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Nan Chen Takes CENX Route

MEF president Nan Chen has started a new Ethernet company and recruited a former MEF chairman to join up.

The MEF site now lists Chen's title as president and CEO of the enigmatically named CENX. And a source tells Light Reading that an internal MEF memo this week heralds the arrival of Mark Fishburn to "a senior position with CENX."

Fishburn is a former Spirent Communications plc vice president who served as the MEF's chairman from 2003 to 2006. (See Spirent Exec to Chair MEF.) More recently, he's been running his own consultancy, Marketword Inc.

Neither Chen nor Fishburn responded to requests for comment.

As for what CENX is doing, one source who's seen the MEF missive has a guess: Carrier Ethernet Network eXchange -- which brings to mind the Ethernet peering fabric that the MEF reportedly started talking about last year. (See MEF Peers Consider Ethernet Exchange.)

Chen wouldn't comment on the peering idea then, and he likewise declined to comment when asked about it earlier this year.

But the source says Chen's been pushing hard for the concept of an Ethernet peering interconnect, even though the MEF hasn't completed an Ethernet network-to-network interface (NNI) standard. (The NNI is expected to be finalized late this year.)

Assuming it's an Ethernet company, CENX continues Chen's chain of Ethernet-related startups. During Light Reading's lifetime, he's been involved in Atrica, Strix Systems Inc. , and Qosera. (See Chen's Outta Atrica and Chen All Quiet on Qosera.)

Before all that, he also wandered the halls (with permission) at Force10 Networks Inc. and Nortel Networks Ltd.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:59:52 PM
re: Nan Chen Takes CENX Route

Forgot to mention the strangest part: Nan Chen moved on before his startup could claim a Leading Lights award!


(Inside joke. He's won at the MEF, at Strix, and I think at Atrica too.)


Now we may never know what Qosera was up to. (Assuming CENX isn't just Qosera renamed - and we don't think it is.)  Anybody got a guess?

Concerned 12/5/2012 | 3:51:38 PM
re: Nan Chen Takes CENX Route Although he'll swear he is not part of it, don't be surprised if you see the Qosera box as part of their solution. Did he really win at Strix and Atrica? Great evangelist for the MEF, but can he really run a company....
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