Learning the Basics
This presentation from 2010 is still a premium guide to learning fibre optics and understanding how laser / optical / fibre operates. Vital for every network engineer.
IETF – Internet Engineering Task Force
Official IETF Home Page – http://www.ietf.org
IETF Working Groups – https://datatracker.ietf.org
Best site to read IETF RFCs – RFC Reader (http://www.rfcreader.com). Helps with IETF’s ancient practice of formatting their official documents as if they were going to be printed instead of read in a web browser.
IEEE – Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers
The IEEE is a members-only, closed organization. Most standards, discussions, and meetings are not available to the public. Most useful content requires payment to access in addition to specific qualifications.
- IEEE-SA -IEEE Get 802 Program – 802.3: Ethernet – Through the IEEE-SA, industry, and government support, select IEEE standards are available for download at no charge.
- Note: if you have access to a University library you can probably get access through their paid subscriptions.
The IEEE 802 ETHERNET Standards Committee maintains a separate set of pages. The Ethernet section is http://www.ieee802.org/3/, but contains little useful information about process and technology that defines the future of Ethernet.
Ethernet Lobby Groups, Factions and Competing Standards Bodies
You can find some useful information at Ethernet Alliance who are a lobbying group providing “inputs” to the IEEE, effectively bypassing to the IEEE process.
Another political lobby group is the Metro Ethernet Forum who has mostly left the IEEE to create their own standards for using Ethernet in the WAN. Again, all of the documentation and processes are available to members only and hidden from plain sight.
Because the IEEE and MEF are politically driven and slow to act, another Ethernet lobby group is the Open Cloud Connect (previously Cloud Ethernet Forum) who are trying to convince the world that Layer 2 Ethernet should replace the IP/MPLS as the default WAN protocol.
The 25G Ethernet Alliance is/was the lobby group for the IEEE and developed the 25GbE/50GbE/100GbE standards using 25 gigabit lanes. This website (a media company) library section has collected good information.
See also the NBASE-T Alliance for discussion of 2.5 & 5.0Gbps standards, aimed at squeezing a few more years out of aging CAT-5, CAT-5E, and CAT-6 cabling plants.