25G Ethernet consortium releases 25G/50G Ethernet specification, focuses on multivendor interoperability

Ethernet network
The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory has taken a larger role in the 25G standards effort.

The 25G Ethernet Consortium completed the first 25G and 50G Ethernet plugfest at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham, New Hampshire, reporting record participation from the vendor community.

During the plugfest, 16 companies attended the week-long event where they engaged in a wide variety of test scenarios including auto-negotiation and stressed conditions.

These companies focused on vendor interoperability including adapters, switches, test and measurement devices, and interconnects.

RELATED: UNH-IOL capitalizes on data center growth with 25G Ethernet testing service suite


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Additional areas of focus centered on proving advanced infrastructure connectivity and plug and play multivendor compatibility.

The Consortium said that the results from the plugfest are “in line with what the industry requires and expects” from Ethernet-based solutions and are available for download (PDF).

InterOperability Laboratory steps up

UNH-IOL itself has been taking a larger role in the 25G standards effort.

In September, UNH-IOL began offering 25 Gbps Ethernet Testing at its facility in Durham, New Hampshire, targeting equipment vendors that were selling to data center providers and service providers that use higher network speeds to support cloud-based services.

Along with confirming interoperability and electrical validation of systems and modules, the services will confirm auto-negotiation (ANEG) to ensure connected devices choose common transmission parameters. ANEG will become more important as new and higher speeds are created.

UNH-IOL told FierceTelecom in a previous interview that ANEG is not only relevant to current 25 Gbps products, but also future products with even higher speeds.

“ANEG is critical to 25 Gbps from the perspective as future speeds like 50G, 200G and 400G come out,” said Jeffrey Lapak, UNH-IOL enterprise industry and operations strategic manager, in an interview with FierceTelecom.

Besides ANEG, UNH-IOL’s testing regime will also support the current 25G standard set by the 25/50G consortium and the IEEE.

25G interest ramping

While 10G is still a dominant network speed, service providers are migrating to 25 Gbps per lane to take on current silicon and system design because it is available at a lower cost than existing 40G Ethernet technologies.

Vittal Balasubramanian, chair of the 25G/50G Ethernet Interop Committee and principal signal integrity engineer at Dell, said that 25G Ethernet will help data center providers deal with the increasing amount of data without having to deploy multiple 10G ports.

“25G Ethernet arrives just in time and has started its climb towards dominance as the leading server-to-ToR switch interconnect,” Balasubramanian said in a release. “As this transition occurs, plugfests assure users that 25G and greater speeds from different vendors will perform as advertised with solid plug-and-play interoperability.”

The advent 25 Gbps is finding its most compelling growth in data center applications.

Dell’Oro Group has forecast 25 Gbps speeds to drive the second highest server Ethernet port sales and shipments by 2018.

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