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Consortium: 25Gbps Ethernet Plugfest a Success

February 06, 2017

The 25G and 50G Ethernet plugfests recently held at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory demonstrated a high degree of multivendor interoperability and specification conformance. That’s the word from the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium, which developed those specs based on the 25Gbps SERDES technology.

Sixteen companies attended the event and participated in various test scenarios. That included interoperability related to adapters, interconnects, switches, and test and measurement devices. They proved advanced infrastructure connectivity. They demonstrated plug-and-play multivendor compatibility. There was some successful auto-negotiation. And there was some support for forward and backward compatibility.

“This is an encouraging sign as testing ensures vendors’ conformance to a single standard and the success at the plugfest demonstrates its maturity,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “Ultimately this helps drive advanced network performance, enables the development of new innovation, and benefits consumers and the industry as a whole.”

Consortium members include Arista Networks, Broadcom Corp., Google, Mellanox Technologies Inc., and Microsoft Corp. These companies came together to form the consortium to support an Ethernet specification that improves the performance cuts the interconnect costs per gigabit per second between the service network interface controller and top-of-rack switch. The specification calls for a single-lane 25 gigabit per second Ethernet and dual-lane gigabit per second Ethernet link protocol. That enables up to two and half times higher performance per physical lane or twinax copper wire between the rack endpoint and switch compared to today’s 10 and 40 gigabit per second Ethernet links. The spec is offered royalty free.

 “The companies joining the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium are taking a major step forward in increasing the performance of data center networks,” said Anshul Sadana, Senior Vice President, Customer Engineering, Arista Networks. “With ever-increasing server performance and with the uplinks from the leaf to the spine layer migrating to 100 Gbps in the near future, it makes sense to increase the access speed from 10 Gbps to 25 and 50 Gbps.”

Edited by Alicia Young

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