What Happened at January's 25GE Plugfest
The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium recently held a plugfest at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab in Durham. The aim was both to prove interoperability between specific products, and to uncover data corruption, interoperability, and protocol interpretation challenges to interoperability.
Sixteen companies participated, bringing such products to the event as adapters, interconnects, switches, test and measurement devices. They worked on auto negotiation, comprehensive benchmarking, data integrity, and stress-testing.
All tests were completed using either an Ixia XGS2 with a Novus 25G or Multis 25/50 G blade, or Spirent Test Center N4U with a FX3-100GQ-T2 blade, or internal generators in the DUT and Link Partner. The DUT and Link Partner were connected via a directly attached copper SFP28 or QSFP28 cable labeled at the Cable Under Test, according to the consortium.
The consortium was established to help enable and promote 25 and 50 gigabit per second Ethernet standardization. The January plugfest was the group’s first event of this kind. It plans to stage additional plugfests going forward.
25/50 and 100 gigabit per second Ethernet is forecast to surpass other Ethernet solutions as the most deployed by next year, according to Crehan Research. Twenty-five gigabit per second technology is attractive not only because it offers greater speeds, but also because of the better cost efficiencies it delivers, according to the consortium.
Mellanox Technologies was among the suppliers at the recent plugfest. The company recently introduced an end-to-end Ethernet connectivity bundle for 25, 50, and 100 gigabits per second. It includes a switch, four adapters, cables, and support. It can be used to connect compute, database, and storage with a fast, non-blocking switch footprint. It also allows users to evaluate OpenStack using the company’s various plug-ins and NEO software. It supports VXLAN tunneling technology. And it can accelerate storage protocols such as iSCSI, iSER, and RDMA (RoCE).