Cisco Systems, which was notably absent when the CloudEthernet Forum was founded last year, has been a member for about two months now, Walker said. The Forum's members represent about 90 percent of the world's Ethernet switching market and 70 percent of the data-center market, he said.
The top cloud companies are becoming some of the biggest buyers of Ethernet products, which will make the Forum's efforts more important over time. But a big reason for the standards it's developing is to help new players join the cloud market, Walker said. Less established cloud providers face an uphill battle if enterprises have to use special tools to work with each one. Standard interfaces should make it easier for those newer players — there are about 400 today, including some major telecommunications carriers — to gain a foothold.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.