PALO ALTO, Calif. – Bob Metcalfe is trying to avert the next big war in the communications industry. Specifically, he is trying to get two competing sides of the debate over software-defined networks to form an alliance.
The father of Ethernet is an appropriate elder statesman for such a role. While spending a day back on the Xerox PARC campus where the technology got its start, he talked to a trio of reporters here about his peace efforts, his opinions on other issues of the day and plans for a 40th anniversary celebration for Ethernet.
Software-defined networking is an approach to making nets as programmable as computers. It’s being driven by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a group of “mostly computer companies like Google,” Metcalfe said.
By contrast, much of today’s network traffic runs over carrier-class Ethernet systems made by members of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), a group of “carriers and companies like Cisco,” he said.
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