CloudEthernet Forum unveiled

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The formation of the CloudEthernet Forum was announced at the Ethernet Innovation Summit, in Mountain View, California, on Thursday.

Launched by a group of cloud vendors, in collaboration with the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), the CloudEthernet Forum will promote more coherent standards for storage on Ethernet networks. In addition, the aim of the forum is to better equip Ethernet to suit large-scale cloud services, which can operate across various data centres.

The idea to create this kind of forum began just six months ago, according to James Walker, president of the newly formed CloudEthernet Forum. Speaking during a panel discussion on Ethernet and the cloud, Walker described this as a critical development in that it looks to benefit customers building large-scale, complex data centre environments.

"One of the great things about Ethernet is that it has remained a constant. This forum is a continuation of that consistency," Walker said. "As we look forward to the role of Ethernet in the future, we need to refine and improve the behaviour of Ethernet in a large-scale data centre environment," he said, adding that the forum will complement the work being done by others in the industry.

Forum founding members include Juniper, Verizon and HP, among others. While the forum is an MEF organisation, it will operate independently. According to Walker, the forum has already raised interest among cloud vendors, and additional members will be announced over time. The membership fee is $15 000 annually, with a reduced fee of $10 000 for MEF members.

Initial focus areas for the CloudEthernet Forum include addressing major data centre scaling problems, such as establishing protocols within the data centre environment, and projects to rationalise storage technologies in the cloud, said Walker. He added that they plan to expand this focus, depending on the needs of the forum's founding members.

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