Carrier Ethernet 3.0 for an SDN world

February 7th, 2013 by · 1 Comment

This article was authored by John C. Tanner, and was originally posted on

Now that Carrier Ethernet 2.0 is all set for commercial deployment, you may now all brace yourselves for Carrier Ethernet 3.0.

Well, not yet. Not for awhile. But it is coming. And according to Bob Metcalfe – the man who invented Ethernet in 1973 – Carrier Ethernet 3.0 will be driven by two factors: greater speeds and software-defined networking (SDN).

Metcalfe – who spoke at the Metro Ethernet Forum quarterly summit in San Diego last week – says his vision of CE 3.0 is informed in part by his work at US Ignite, anon-profit public/private research project created by the White House last June that’s tasked with driving nationwide adoption of new high-speed network technology and developing advanced broadband applications to run on it, with a particular focus on healthcare, education, public safety, energy, transportation and advanced manufacturing.

According to FierceTelecom, Metcalfe said US Ignite’s charter is based on two core assumptions: (1) broadband access connections will be at least 1 Gbps, with traffic driven by video, mobile and embedded M2M, and (2) new networks will be software-defined.

Those same assumptions will shape the next generation of Carrier Ethernet development, which is why Metcalfe urged the Metro Ethernet Forum to collaborate with the Open Network Forum (ONF), the industry group developing SDN standards:

“Wouldn’t it make sense for the MEF to be talking to the ONF about how 3.0 can anticipate the requirements of the new Gigabit Software Defined Networks?”

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Categories: Ethernet · Other Posts · SDN

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1 Comment, Add Yours!

  • ether says:

    Was at the conference. I think Bob saw the tea leaves on the amount of tension between MEF and ONF as very counterproductive. I couldn’t agree more.

    All they need to do is play well together, and there will be no overlap between their individual charters and standards. If they keep the bickering up, however, MEF is going to find themselves on the losing side of influence when the miscommunication leads to contradictory directions.

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