26 July 2012
Specifically, the effort aims to define ways users can ask for and get on an ad hoc basis the kinds of Ethernet services they need from carriers when using cloud computing services. “When you are setting up and operating cloud services, there are some issues not well addressed” in today’s Carrier Ethernet products, said Ben Mack-Crane one of the technical editors working on the project.
For example, cloud users sometimes must move large databases or large numbers of virtual machines from their internal systems to an external data center hosting the cloud service. To do so efficiently, they need to request high-bandwidth Ethernet connections for short periods of time, services that today can require several hours or days to set up.
The new group is one of many working on standards for cloud services, including an effort started last year at the IEEE.
MEF supporters estimate as many as three quarters of carrier networks are now using some form of Ethernet as they slowly transition to Internet Protocol and away from older time-division multiplexed (TDM) networks.
To encourage the shift, MEF rolled out a new batch of specifications earlier this year that support many of the legacy features carriers like in their TDM nets. Equipment makers are now undergoing certification tests for the so-called Carrier Ethernet 2.0 suite of specs, hoping to field products based on them early next year.