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Heavyweights Form CloudEthernet Forum

Ray Le Maistre
5/24/2013

A collective of major industry operators and vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., has formed a new industry organization, the CloudEthernet Forum. The Forum, a new part of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) that will "operate independently," has been formed to address "the specific issues of scaling and applying suitable Ethernet services to meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud services." The Forum says it will "work to develop Ethernet to enable collections of millions of virtual servers and storage devices to perform reliably and efficiently across both regional and global networks." In addition to Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper and Verizon, the other founding members are: Avaya, Equinix, HP, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications and Tata Communications. Other service providers, vendors and systems integrators are being invited to join. For more background on why the Forum has been formed and the views of various stakeholders, check out the CloudEthernet Forum official website. Why this matters
There's no doubt that the issues surrounding the planning, construction and management of networks that will support cloud services and emerging capabilities such as network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) demand close attention from all parties. But does it need its own Forum? Don't we have enough industry organizations? And to what extent will this be independent of the MEF? (Does it need to be independent of the MEF, even? That will certainly be a question asked by MEF members if they're asked to stump up another membership fee…) No one will argue that this isn't a development worthy of close, ongoing attention from a collective and representative group, but this industry may be reaching forum saturation point. — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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