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Ethernet Alliance Completes Industry's First Data Center Bridging Interoperability Event

June 1, 2009, Mountain View, CA - The Ethernet Alliance today announced the summarized results of the Ethernet in the Data Center subcommittee interoperability plugfest for IEEE 802.1 Data Center Bridging (DCB). Member participants included Cisco, Dell, Finisar, Fulcrum Microsystems, Intel, NetApp, QLogic and Spirent Communications. The participants successfully conducted multi-vendor interoperability testing of DCB utilizing 10GBASE SR and 10GBASE-LR optical interfaces.

The plugfest was held May 4 - 8 at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) and focused on interoperability testing of draft standards being developed by the IEEE 802.1 DCB task force. Testing was completed in two phases. In the first phase, participants completed individual tests of specific DCB features such as Priority-based Flow Control (IEEE P802.1Qbb), Enhanced Transmission Selection (IEEE P802.1Qaz), and DCB Capability Exchange Protocol (IEEE P802.1Qaz). The second testing phase included building a large DCB-based network and exercising higher layer protocols such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet and iSCSI.

The plugfest results were impressive considering that this was the first time multiple vendors had participated in testing products based upon the IEEE 802.1 DCB draft standards. Participants were able to demonstrate effectively the interoperability of their products and participate in a lossless Ethernet fabric simultaneously on the same network. These plugfests help to review the IEEE 802.1 DCB draft standards and to create interoperable products.

"The IEEE 802.1 DCB draft standards offer significant improvements in how data moves through Ethernet networks and permits convergence of multiple traffic types onto a single network," stated Brad Booth, Ethernet Alliance Chair of the Board. "Ethernet Alliance sponsored plugfests help to prove the feasibility of the technology, to demonstrate interoperability and to prepare for the development of certification criteria."

Additional information on the interoperability demonstration will be available in a white paper published later this month and can be found on the Ethernet Alliance Web site at

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