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UNH-IOL Launches Ratified Ethernet Standard: NEBS Channel Report


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July 28, 2010

UNH-IOL Launches Ratified Ethernet Standard: NEBS Channel Report

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory announced it has launched a new consortium for companies preparing products for the IEEE (News - Alert) 802.3ba standard for high-speed Ethernet.

Currently, the consortium is accepting founding member companies. These companies are expected to have an early opportunity to provide input into the testing process and have market ready products as the high speed Ethernet standards evolve.

UNH-IOL (News - Alert) an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry. The University officials said that as the demand for increased bandwidth continues to accelerate, the need to extend the current protocol to adapt to market needs was important.

Ratied last June, the IEEE 802.3ba Ethernet standard is the first standard to specify two new Ethernet speeds -- 40 Gb/s for computing and networked storage applications and 100 Gb/s for core networking applications.

The IEEE 802.3ba Task Force goal in initiating the standard was not only to handle higher speeds, but also to maintain compatibility with existing devices and preserve previous investments in research and development, said University officials.

Jeff Lapak, senior engineer for the UNH-IOL, said that as standards evolve, the on-going participation in Ethernet standards development has given particular insights into the best ways to test products and ensure interoperability.

“We encourage companies to get involved early to have the most impact on implementing the new standard and preparing for market adoption,” Lapak said.

The UNH-IOL offers a variety of testing programs, or consortiums, representing a collaboration of major companies in network equipment, test equipment and industry forums, as well as service providers.

In collaboration, the consortiums can decrease research and development and quality assurance expenses, reduce product time to market and drive the industry acceptance of a technology.

Through an annual membership, the UNH-IOL collaborative testing model distributes the cost of performing trusted, independent testing and validation.

Last month, UNH-IOL announced that it is the first third-party testing facility which possesses the capability to test Energy Efficient Ethernet (IEEE) 802.3az, a protocol intended for addressing the mounting demands of companies and enterprises to be both energy efficient and energy conscious.

As the industry prepares to move toward adopting 100 Gb/s for core networking applications, we’re hearing more announcements about next-generation platforms, too.

Recently, Canton, Mass.-based NEI announced that its next-generation telecommunications platform -- the A-13000 multi-vendor 10G ATCA has achieved NEBS Level 3 Certification.

Achieving this standard guarantees that equipment intended for use in telecom central office environments has met an extensive set of environmental and safety tests to ensure network performance and reliability under extreme conditions.

Officials with NEI said that the A-13000 provides carriers, service providers and telecommunications equipment manufacturers with an integrated, scalable and high-availability platform designed to accommodate the rapid deployment of wire-speed communication applications such as WiMAX and LTE (News - Alert).

“We leveraged technology from seven of our trusted technology partners including Emerson Network Power, Kontron, RadiSys (News - Alert), Pentair, Astute Networks, ZYNX Networks and Diversified Technologies to build the A-13000 platform,” said Jeff Hudgins, vice president of marketing, NEI, in a statement.

 Hudgins said that by achieving NEBS Level 3 Certification with a fully integrated best-in-class platform, NEI successfully demonstrated its leadership capabilities using technologies that carriers need today.

 “NEBS Level 3 Certification ensures that our A-Series 10G ATCA platforms are viable for use in carrier-grade central offices and can simplify installation, reduce maintenance costs and accelerate time-to-market,” he said.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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