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Management key to successful Ethernet

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Proper management and policy management is essential to the success of Ethernet in the enterprise.

During the first day of discussions at the Ethernet Innovation Summit in Mountain View, California a panel of networking vendors debated the complexities of Ethernet in the enterprise.

"We are in the middle of a war between bandwidth, density and scale and that war shows no signs of decreasing," said Steve Collen, VP of enterprise marketing at Juniper, noting that it is key for these technologies to be deployable. He and his fellow panellists agreed that the war will be won at the management level.

According to the panellists, the lines of mobility and networking technology intersect at the management layer. Collen stressed that it is important for enterprise to implement a management interface that supports both wired and wireless infrastructures.

According to Mike Banic, VP of Marketing at HP Networks, enforcing a single consistent policy is essential for enterprise. Sachin Gupta, a senior director at Cisco, agrees. "Enterprise needs one policy, one management strategy and one network that can deliver what an organisation needs."

He believes that vendors need to look at each case individually. "While I do agree that the management layer is important, in the data centre, it is not a case of one-size fits all," said Gupta, adding that things like virtualisation have made the requirements being placed on networks even more complex.

"To cut a long story short, the network has actually been getting in the way of virtualisation in the enterprise," said Collen, adding that it is up to vendors to make these networks simpler. "Virtualisation is challenging networking decision-making within data centres, potentially making networking teams irrelevant."

According to the panel, the question of who will facilitate this management interface is yet to be answered.

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