The Ethernet Alliance was incorporated in the state of California in August 2005 and officially launched in January 2006 as a global non-profit industry consortium to promote and support Ethernet. The objectives of the organization are to provide an unbiased, industry-based source of educational information; to ensure interoperability among disparate, standards-based components and systems; to support the development of standards that support Ethernet technology; and to bring together the Ethernet industry to collaborate on the future of the technology.
The Ethernet Alliance is a member-driven organization of Ethernet end users, system and component vendors, industry experts, and university and government professionals who are committed to the continued success and expansion of Ethernet.
The Ethernet Alliance works towards its goals by forming and hosting work groups called subcommittees. These subcommittees are focused on efforts around specific standards-based Ethernet initiatives. These standards can be developed in any Ethernet standards body, including but not limited to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Small Form Factor (SFF) Committee as well as supporting done by organizations such as the Optical Internetworking Forum, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC). These initiatives are identified by members as those specific Ethernet technology areas where work needs to be done to help support the industry’s knowledge, adoption and usage of these technologies.
As of March 2011, the working subcommittees within the Ethernet Alliance included:
- 10G EPON focuses on the support of IEEE Std. 802.3av-2009 that extended the speed of EPON networks to 10Gbit/s.
- 10GBASE-T supports IEEE Std. 802.3an-2006 which defined a specification for running 10 Gigabit Ethernet over twisted-pair copper designated 10GBASE-T.
- Carrier Ethernet helps guide work being done to support the specific, evolving and growing demands of Ethernet from carriers and service providers.
- Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) work is largely based up EEE Std. 802.3az-2010.
- Ethernet in the Data Center focus includes protocols such as Data Center Bridging (DCB), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) and iWARP.
- Higher Speed Ethernet (HSE) encompasses all aspects of 40 Gbit/s and 100 Gbit/s Ethernet largely based up the work of IEEE Std. 802.3ab-2010.
- Next Generation Enterprise Cabling whose goal is to gather and analyze data relative to observed deployment models, applications, and reaches, and then to share that information via a white paper with Ethernet Alliance members and standards bodies.
- Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) promotes the current capabilities of IEEE802.3at-2009, as well driving consensus with efforts to extend the power delivery and port-level resiliency capabilities of IEEE802.3at in the Ethernet community.
- High Speed (HS) Modular Interconnects helps drive the adoption through demonstrating interoperability of compliant HS Modular Interconnect devices and ports including optical modules and copper cables.
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“Let it be an alliance of two large, formidable natures, mutually beheld, mutually feared, before yet they recognize the deep identity which beneath these disparities unites them.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)