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Thanks for your concern about my frustration with the way things were going in Geneva. After a week of touring Rome, Tuscany and the Cinque-Terra National Park with my family, I feel totally rested and relaxed and ready to get back to work. After a relaxing week in Italy, I still think that my frustration with the debate in Geneva was justified.
As I said in my presentation, it was clear that a super-minority was willing to stall 100G progress in an effort to get an unprepared and unjustified 40G project through the process. The debate after my presentation, including last-minute additions to their objectives to gain a few votes demonstrated that I was on target completely. Fortunately, the record shows this as well.
In hindsight, I have only one regret with regard to the presentation I gave on Thursday morning. The photograph I inserted as an attempt to provide some levity into a serious discussion (which I am known to do) might be misinterpreted by someone who was not in the meeting and thus unaware that it was NOT a real part of the debate, but rather a staged photo designed to make light of the meeting location which was taken before the debate began. I should have left that out of my presentation so that the record would not contain any ambiguity as to the completely professional approach I took to the debate.
Now, how do we move forward?
I think the path is relatively straight forward if we choose to take a straight forward path. It can get ugly and distorted, only if we choose to take an ugly and distorted path.
The record shows that 100G Ethernet has been justified as a project for the IEEE 802.3. We have shown economic feasibility, technical feasibility, distinct identity, compatibility, and broad market potential. Up until Geneva, there were only a few that would argue against this. I respect the difference of opinion held by those who have issues with the technical or economic feasibility of 100G, but they were a very small minority and their concerns do not merit delaying the project.
In Geneva, when I raised the motion to clarify this point, the most vocal argument made against 100G being proven was "Without 40G in the PAR, these conclusions are no longer valid". So all of the work to justify a 100G project that was done prior to Geneva, and voted on with overwhelming concensus, suddenly lost its merit? I don't think so. I think it was a transparent argument posed to rationalize the minority demand to add 40G into the PAR. There was little argument (and only by that small but persistant minority) against 100G being proven as a stand-alone project by the work we have done.
The straightforward path is obvious. The HSSG should forward a PAR for 100G Ethernet as it has been written, reviewed, and approved by a super-majority of the HSSG prior to Geneva. The super-minority should recognize that stalling a well developed PAR will continue to be perceived by the majority of the HSSG, our customers, and by outsiders, as counterproductive.
In addition, as I initially proposed and subsequently demonstrated, I am open to studying 40G as a server interconnect solution. Consistent with my first presentation, we should consider it as a separate PAR and perhaps in a new study group focused on that market need.
Such a project would have to be shaped to ensure that was economically feasible, distinct, and that it would not result in market confusion or an unjustified amount of standardization work. I think this is a reasonable set of criteria for advancing a project and to protect our customers and the industry from yet another minority-driven compromise that forces the industry and the market to make a decision we did not have the discipline to make ourselves.
From: Chris Cole [mailto:chris.cole@FINISAR.COM]
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 3:14 AM
Subject: Re: [HSSG] Soliciting Support for my Presentation
share some of your frustration with the lack of progress during this week’s HSSG
meeting, and some of the individual points in your presentation, I do not
support it. I am in disagreement with your Post-Debate Conclusions, and find
their tone as not conducive to good discussion of the best way to move forward
within the HSSG. I am aware of the passions generated during this week’s debate
and understand why you wrote your presentation, but wish that it had not been
sent out. I am confident that after your vacation travel in
Good discussion of how to move forward is critically dependant on acknowledging that 1) 100GE Broad Market Potential, and 2) 40GE Broad Market Potential have been established well above the threshold for 802.3 Five Criteria. Continued debate of this will only lead to delay in addressing the substantive issue of what is the best way to move forward in developing 100GE and 40GE standards. A possible framework for this discussion is outlined in “HSSG Next Steps Proposal” presentation that HSSG participants authorized as a post-deadline meeting submission.
An insight that has come out of the HSSG discussion of 100GE and 40GE rates during the past several months is that fundamental development cycles for new network equipment architectures and new server architectures appear to be different. A new data switch architecture development requires massive investment, which leads network equipment developers to want large jumps in data rate, like factors of 10x, to allow a return on that investment. An intermediate data rate causes an increase in the overall development investment, and a shortening of the useful life of network equipment which reduces the return on that investment.
Economics of server development appear to be different and more favorable to shorter development cycles, i.e. more frequent architecture changes. This drives the need for more granular jumps in data rate, like 4x. Ethernet has not done this historically, but that may be because protocols other then Ethernet were used to bridge the gap. Going forward, more granular Ethernet data rate steps may become the norm, rather then just a one time anomaly. This difference in development economics is also consistent with how often some end users replace servers versus networking equipment. It suggests that moving forward, network data rates may go from 10G to 100G to 1T, while server data rates go from 10G to 40G to 100G to 400G to 1T. This difference in data rate needs is not necessarily bad for either industry. More frequent server replacement may extend the useful life of network equipment (good for network equipment developers), and large jumps in network data rates assures availability of aggregation capacity to support multiple server cycles (good for server equipment developers.)
As we discuss how to best move forward with developing 100GE and 40GE standards, any approach needs to have the following two characteristics; 1) permits network equipment developers to have a single 100GE architecture, i.e. does not force them into developing a dual rate 100GE/40GE architecture, and 2) gives server equipment developers a 40GE server data rate. It may also need the recognition that some data rates are optimized for server interconnect and not intended for networking.
I look forward to a constructive discussion on how best to move both standards forward.
Subject: [HSSG] Soliciting Support for my Presentation
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 05:25:12 -0000