Wishful Thinking: The CEE Edition
So, before we dig into CEE (Convergence Enhanced Ethernet), I have a quick quiz for you: take a look at the two pictures below and make note of the differences:
Ready? OK, back to the topic at hand….So, one of our competitors marked their entry into the realm of Ethernet switching with an FCoE capable switch. I honestly thought was kinda cool, since their actions continue to validate a vision, Data Center 3.0, we laid out almost two years ago and a unified fabric strategy we laid out a year ago. During their launch, however, the company made a curious pronouncement: said newly announced switch was the “industry’s only end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)-based solution that brings the Fibre Channel (FC) standard and Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) together.”This had me scratching my head a bit since we announced the Nexus 5000 a year ago, with a fine collection of ecosystem partners, and have customers with the solution in production already. Perhaps there is something magical in CEE that I missed? Well, if you read IBM’s Redbook paper on FCoE and CEE, you will see that CEE looks remarkably similar to our discussion of the elements of Data Center Ethernet (DCE). The reality is that neither CEE and DCE are standards but rather marketing shorthand for a half a dozen extensions to the Ethernet standards that are in the process of being finalized and published–the exact same standards. We collectively came up with constructs like DCE and CEE because “IEEE 802.1Qaz” and its brethren is somewhat awkward to into conversation. Thankfully, this naming dichotomy is going to be short-lived. As the standards move towards finalization, you will either see adoption of the formal name, such as Data Center Bridging (DCB), of they will simply be folded into the term “Ethernet”, as has happened in the past.Oh, and as for the ducks, much like DCE and CEE, they are the same.