Ethernet is everywhere. It’s become a ubiquitous networking technology that’s displaced almost all other legacy data transport. If you connect anything that uses data, you’re probably using Ethernet to do it. Yet whether you’re on the front lines of your network or simply reaping the benefits of Ethernet in your workplace, just how much do you really know about it?

Here are 7 facts you may not have known about Ethernet and Carrier Ethernet:

1. Bob Metcalfe and his colleagues are credited with inventing Ethernet protocol back in 1973 during his time at Xerox Park.

2. Contrary to popular belief, Ethernet and IP are not competitors; they work together.  In fact, Layer 3 IP works as a client of Layer 2 Ethernet.

3. Source address learning is an Ethernet switching technique whereby the switch "learns" where stations are in a network by observing source addresses as they go by and adding them to its forwarding tables.

4. The MEF Forum was formed in 2001 (then called the Metro Ethernet Forum) with a goal of creating standardized Carrier Ethernet services. The MEF now counts over 200 member companies and has published over 50 technical specifications defining Ethernet networks and services.

5. The global Managed Ethernet Services market hit $42B in 2016 and is estimated to jump to $50B by 2018, an 11% CAGR. (Vertical Systems Group)

6. The Optical Interworking Forum (OIF) is working on a new standard called Flex-Ethernet – or FlexE – that will allow Carrier Ethernet services to be more efficiently mapped onto high-speed optical networks and connections between data centers.

7. QoS protocols within Ethernet help decide what traffic gets prioritized treatment. But absent congestion, the QoS mechanism isn’t active.

So… how many of these did you already know? If you’re looking to raise your Carrier Ethernet IQ or just refresh on this core networking technology, download Ciena’s popular Carrier Ethernet eBook, part of our Essentials series.

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