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在跨层和跨代以太网中实现互操作性

2012年10月31日 15:11:09 | 作者:John D'Ambrosia,Chauncey Schwartz | 来源:网界网 | 查看本文手机版

摘要:双语阅读;核心网络和生态系统中的其他组件的带宽需求正面临严峻的挑战,因为它们都需要部署基于新的更快技术的产品。如果解决方案的部署是以基于开放标准的产品为基础,那么该解决方案将具有风险小、成本低和部署简单的优势。...

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以太网
互操作性
中英双语

本文作者为John D'Ambrosia和Chauncey Schwartz。前者为以太网联盟理事会主席、戴尔首席技术官办公室首席以太网传播者,后者为以太网联盟市场营销委员会主席、QLogic公司技术营销市场经理。

IEEE 802.3带宽评估特别小组近期公布了他们对未来以太网带宽需求的评估报告。尽管结果没有任何意外的地方,但是他们对未来十年的预测仍然让我们感到形势正日趋严峻:即核心网络平均带宽需求将以58%的复合年增长率增长。假设在2010年为100吉比特/秒,那么2015年的带宽需求将是2010年的10倍,即1太比特/秒;2020年的带宽需求将是2010年的100倍,即10太比特/秒。

这一带宽的交付将不仅仅是核心网络的一项功能,而且是完整的应用与数据交互生态系统中的端对端连接应该提供的功能。因此,生态系统中各种组件间的互操作性至关重要。而且,互操作性的实现和基于开放标准的产品的部署的发展,将促进竞争,并帮助降低整体成本。

由于采购者可选择的产品非常之多,因此互操作性在以太网网络中显得尤其重要。目前有多家厂商正在提供网络接口卡(NIC)、边缘交换机、物理介质、核心交换机和路由器,以及以太网存储产品。在IT专业人员设计以太网络时,他们可能选择4家或5家不同厂商的产品--这时设计人员需要并且希望这些组件能够完美地协同工作。但是,实现互操作性虽然是一个值得奋斗的目标,目前在很多领域却还是可望而不可及。

全球以太网生态系统在培养互操作性方面已经努力了十年时间。随着IEEE 802 标准和以太网变化速度的加快,我们必须要加强这种职责。

适应不断的创新

你可能会问:"我为什么要担心以太网的互操作性?毕竟,以太网已经部署了许多年并且已经大规模普及。有什么大不了的?"

问题在于,企业主管和IT经理[注]希望其网络能够安全易用,而无不同网段无法协同工作之虞。事实是,即便在已大获成功的以太网技术领域内,由于其在功能和性能方面的创新不断在继续,因此需要对确保互操作性这一关键问题保持高度关注。

在引入了40Gb/s 和 100Gb/s以太网的过去两年中,以太网生态系统已经发展到所有的应用领域都在寻求向更高速度迁移。由于数据中心桥接(DCB)的出现,这使得未来有望将以太网和存储网络整合在一起。如果不将关注重点放在实现和维护互操作性上,那么不仅在新建网络之间,而且在新建和历史基础设施中将极有可能会出现服务中断。

厂商、服务提供商和用户都同样需要跨网络、跨层和跨代的以太网互操作性。全球以太网生态系统正致力于将全面的端对端的互操作性变成现实。

降低风险、成本和复杂性

对于企业主管和IT经理们来说,对经过验证的可互操作的系统进行投资能够解决一些主要顾虑,如扩展中可能遇到的风险、成本和复杂性。

一个良好的例子是对"互操作性测试(plugfests)"进行的投资。互操作性测试为以太网厂商实现和展示早期技术原型部署中的互操作性提供了一个安全友好的场景。通过多个项目的佼佼者将逐个与不同厂商的设备进行连接,确定发送和接收的流量能否达到预期。如果出现问题,所有测试方都会彼此交换意见,在某些情况下,厂商可以在互操作性测试中对技术原型进行必要的修改。即使如果不进行现场修改,每个厂商也可带着一些解决问题的奇思妙想返回实验室进行修改。对于以太网厂商来说,这么做的好处是,自行解决某些故障时可能需要几个月,但是在互操作性测试过程中可能只需要一个星期即可解决。

对于以太网技术采购方来说,好处是可以大幅降低部署中出现问题或后续出现服务中断的风险。不过,这并不是问题的全部。互操作性将使得竞争变得更为激烈。由于能够与现有的以太网基础设施进行互操作,企业主管和IT经理可以选择不同厂商的设备,而不会被某一个厂商的专属系统所"套牢"。由于竞争的作用,采购方可以获得更优惠的价格。通过这种方式,互操作性刺激市场在价格方面的竞争更为激烈。同时(+微信关注网络世界),在从老技术向新技术过渡的过程中,互操作性还给了企业主管更多的选择和保证,扩展与规划的成本和复杂性也得到了降低。

在企业主管和IT经理进行投资决策时,经过验证的互操作性是一个良好的开始。互操作性测试和其他展示互操作性的场景可以为此提供证明。

提供端对端保证

自从IEEE 802标准启动以来,全球以太网社区对于互操作性在提升竞即便诸如汽车工业等垂直行业,其利益相关者也开始关注以太网的互操作性)。

与以往相比,实现以太网生态系统的互操作性正变得更具挑战性,因此它们需要较以往更为全面的视野。以前,以太网互操作性只需要确保在某一个指定的以太网速度下少数供应商的互操作性。如今,全球以太网生态系统正在试图保证跨网络层和跨代设备的互操作性;同时,还要保证这些跨代设备具有在多个速度下跨多个基础设施的端对端的互操作性。

以太网联盟(http://www.ethernetalliance.org/)在2012年2月份主办了技术探索论坛,雪佛龙、 Comcast、谷歌、 Harris、英特尔和微软等全球最为成功的公司都派代表参加了会议。与会者所传达的信息非常明确:必须要对互操作性进行定义--它将不再仅仅是一个厂商的组件与另一个厂商的组件实现单一的点对点连接,其连接还应当包括:

· 不同代际的同一厂商的组件之间,

· 相同设备内的不同芯片之间,

· 网络内不同网段中的设备之间

· 任意两个网络端点间的所有组件之间。

服务提供商和用户正在试图让厂商确保跨网络层和跨代技术之间端对端的以太网互操作性。

结论

正如本文在开头所提到的,核心网络和生态系统中的其他组件的带宽需求正面临严峻的挑战,因为它们都需要部署基于新的更快技术的产品。如果解决方案的部署是以基于开放标准的产品为基础,那么该解决方案将具有风险小、成本低和部署简单的优势。当然,虽然基于标准的解决方案具有强大的无缝互操作性,但是要发挥这些优势还有很长的路要走。

在了解互操作性需求不断增加的同时,以太网联盟开始精心安排互操作性测试,以及基于标准的以太网产品及其管理的多厂商互操作性演示(http://www.ethernetalliance.org/events/interoperability/past/)。以太网联盟近期的重点是展示10G 与40G以太网、以及下一代融合技术之间的无缝互操作性。

对于企业主管和IT经理来说,这些努力正在传达一种坚定的信心,即多个厂商的以太网设备将在他们基础设备中实现端对端互操作性——这是实际部署中真正需要的技术。随着以太网技术创新速度的不断加快,在创建支持IEEE 802.3行业连接以太网带宽评估所提出的带宽需求的下一代网络中,多厂商互操作性在降低风险、成本和复杂性方面正成为一种越来越关键的因素。(范范编译)

附:英文原文

Achieving Interoperability in Ethernet Across Layers and Generations

By John D'Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance board of directors, and chief Ethernet evangelist, CTO office, Dell, and Chauncey Schwartz, chair, Ethernet Alliance marketing committee and technical marketing manager, QLogic Corp

The IEEE 802.3 Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc recently published its assessment of future Ethernet bandwidth requirements.  Its forecast for the next decade, while not surprising, is also sobering - the average bandwidth requirements for core networks will grow at a 58% CAGR.  Assuming 100 Gigabit per second in 2010, this corresponds to bandwidth requirements in 2015 being 10x the requirements in 2010 or 1 Terabit per second, and the bandwidth requirements in 2020 being 100x the requirements in 2010 or 10 Terabit.

Delivery of this bandwidth will not just be a function of the core network, but rather of the entire end-to-end connection existing within the entire eco-system that the application and data will transverse.  Thus, the interoperability between the various elements within the eco-system is critical.  Furthermore, interoperability enabled by the development and deployment of products based on open standards will drive competition, and thus, help to lower overall cost.

Interoperability is especially important with Ethernet networks because of the breadth of products available to the purchaser. Multiple vendors supply network interface cards (NICs), edge switches, physical media, core switches, routers and storage for Ethernet networks. When IT professionals design Ethernet networks, they may choose four or five different vendors-and they need and expect these components to work together flawlessly. Far too often, however, achieving interoperability remains elusive-a goal worthy of striving for but one that remains tantalizingly out of reach for some.

The global Ethernet ecosystem has a decades-long heritage of fostering interoperability. That commitment must, and is, strengthening, given the increasing pace of change in IEEE 802? standards and Ethernet networks.

Adapting for Constant Innovation

You may ask, "Why should I worry about interoperability in Ethernet? After all, it is Ethernet-it has been around for years, and it is everywhere. What's the big deal?"

CxOs and IT managers wish it were so easy and safe to dismiss concerns about different pieces of their networks not working together. The truth is that, even in a technology space so established as Ethernet networking, the constant innovation in features and capabilities demands keen vigilance to the task of ensuring interoperability.

In the last two years with the introduction of 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet, the Ethernet ecosystem has evolved to where all application areas are looking to migrate to higher speeds. Data Center Bridging (DCB) has emerged, promising the ability to converge Ethernet and storage networks. Without focus on achieving and maintaining interoperability-and not just in green-field networks but also in legacy infrastructures-service interruptions are the unfortunate likelihood of moving forward.

Vendors, service providers and users alike require Ethernet interoperability across implementers, network layers and technology generations, and the global Ethernet ecosystem is working to make comprehensive, end-to-end interoperability a practical, every-day reality.

Reducing Risk, Costs, and Complexity

Investing in proven-interoperable systems addresses key concerns-risk, cost and complexity in scaling-for CxOs and IT managers.

An example of such an investment are "plugfests," which provide safe, friendly venues for Ethernet vendors to achieve and demonstrate interoperability among their implementations of early technology prototypes. The best and brightest across multiple disciplines come together to literally connect various vendors' equipment together and determine if traffic can be sent and received as intended. If issues arise, suggestions are exchanged among all parties and in some cases, necessary corrections can be implemented at the plugfest. If not corrected on the spot, each vendor returns to its laboratory with a better idea of how to approach a solution. The benefit for Ethernet technology vendors is that what would require perhaps months of debugging in isolation can be completed in one week within the Petri dish of the plugfest.

For Ethernet technology buyers, the benefits include substantially reduced risk of implementation issues and service interruptions downstream. But that's hardly all. Competition is intensified via interoperability. CxOs and IT managers can choose among multiple vendors of equipment that they are certain will interoperate with their existing Ethernet infrastructure-instead of being at the mercy of the one vendor of a proprietary system-typically this results in better prices due to competition. In this way, interoperability motivates the market to be more competitive in its pricing. Similarly, interoperability gives CxOs more options and assurance in gracefully migrating from old to new technologies. Complexity in scaling and planning costs are reduced.

Proven interoperability is a good place to start from when CxOs and IT managers make investment decisions. Plugfests and other venues for demonstrating interoperability deliver such proof points.

End-to-end Assurance

Since the inception of IEEE 802 standards, the global Ethernet community has demonstrated its recognition of interoperability's importance in improving competitiveness, spurring innovation and driving down acquisition costs for users. (Even vertical application spaces-such as the automotive industry-have begun to move to Ethernet interoperability as it pertains to their particular stakeholders).

Delivering Ethernet ecosystem interoperability is more challenging than ever before and, consequently, requires a more comprehensive perspective than ever. Previously, Ethernet interoperability required ensuring interoperability at a given Ethernet speed with a smaller number of suppliers. Today, the global Ethernet ecosystem seeks assurance of interoperability across network layers and generations of equipment with end-to-end interoperability across multiple infrastructures at multiple speeds.

The Ethernet Alliance (http://www.ethernetalliance.org/) in February 2012, for example, hosted a Technology Exploration Forum that drew representatives of some of the world's most successful companies-Chevron, Comcast, Google, Harris, Intel and Microsoft, among them. The message from the varied participants was loud and clear: Interoperability must be defined not just along a single point-to-point connection from one vendor's component to another vendor's component but also among …

· the same vendor's components of different generations,

· different chips inside the same device,

· equipment in different parts of a network and

· among all the components between any two network end points.

Service providers and users are looking to vendors to ensure end-to-end Ethernet interoperability across network layers and technology generations for vendors, alike.

Conclusion

As initially noted, the bandwidth requirements facing the core networks, and the other elements within the ecosystem are facing significant challenges, which will require the deployment of products based on new and faster technologies.  An approach based on the deployment of products based on open standards will enable least-risk, lowest-cost and simplest implementation.  The standards-based approach-when augmented with a strong capability for demonstrating seamless, multi-vendor interoperability-goes a long way toward delivering these benefits.

Understanding the ongoing need for focus on interoperability, the Ethernet Alliance, for example, orchestrates plugfests and other demonstrations of multi-vendor interoperability of standards-based Ethernet products and their management (http://www.ethernetalliance.org/events/interoperability/past/). The Ethernet Alliance's recent focus has been demonstrating seamless interoperability of 10G and 40G Ethernet and next-generation convergence technologies.

For CxOs and IT managers, the impact of such efforts is conveying crucial confidence that multiple vendors' Ethernet equipment will interoperate end-to-end across their organizations' infrastructures-that it is real technology for real deployment. With the pace of innovation in Ethernet technology so rapid, assurance of seamless, multi-vendor interoperability is an increasingly critical factor in reducing the risks, costs and complexity associated with building out next-generation networks to support the bandwidth requirements noted in the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment.

 

参考资料

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