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IEEE 802 主席:互操作性让网络产业更繁荣

2012年12月26日 04:58:03 | 作者:高辉 | 来源:网界网

摘要:近日,网界网总编辑高辉就IEEE 802 标准委员会的发展、标准的制定和未来值得重点关注的网络技术等话题对IEEE 802标准委员会主席Paul Nikolich院士进行了独家专访。

标签
以太网
IEEE 802
Paul Nikolich

【Cnw.com.cn专稿】

采访背景:IEEE 802 标准委员会成立于1980年,致力于研究局域网和城域网标准。目前已经得到广泛应用的以太网、无线局域网、蓝牙等技术标准都出自于IEEE 802 标准委员会。 三十多年来,IEEE 802 标准委员会在网络产业迅速发展的进程中发挥了关键作用。作为IEEE 802 标准委员会的领导者,Paul Nikolich院士于1986年加入IEEE,2001年当选为IEEE 802标准委员会主席。近日,网界网总编辑高辉就IEEE 802 标准委员会的发展、标准的制定和未来值得重点关注的网络技术等话题对Paul Nikolich院士进行了独家专访。

IEEE 802标准委员会主席Paul Nikolich院士

中文版本

Q:请问您是在何时加入IEEE的?您愿意与我们分享一下您的经历吗?

A:我是从1986年成为IEEE会员的,最初参加的是计算机协会与通信协会的技术活动,后来在1989年开始从事标准制定工作。我从事的第一个IEEE 802项目是规范在双绞线上实现10Mb/s传输速率的802.3 10BASE-T项目。802.3工作组目前正在制定在双绞线上实现40Gb/s传输速率的技术规范——这一速度比23年前提升了4000倍!后来,我在1993年成为了802.3工作组的副主席,在1996年成为了802 LMSC的副主席,从2001年至今一直担任IEEE 802主席一职。与此同时,我还在IEEE 802的主管机构,也就是IEEE标准协会组织部门担任了多个职务,时间大概有15年左右。

Q:在您看来,IEEE 802对于产业的发展发挥了怎样的作用?

A:IEEE 802在网络产业的发展和增长中扮演了一个非常关键的角色,为不同厂商生产的设备实现互操作提供了一个解决方案。如果没有互操作性,那么整个产业将无法生产出物美价廉的网络产品。

Q:IEEE 802是如何构成的?厂商、用户、个人如何参与?有什么条件?

A:IEEE 802成立于1980年,目的是让参与网络设备研发的个人能够规范网络接口以促进不同厂商生产的产品实现互操作。IEEE 802的流程非常完备,任何人都可以加入,没有任何限制。每个人必须要做的是参加标准制定会议,并开始参与其中。我第一次参加IEEE 802是在1989年,当时IEEE 802只有200多名成员,现在已经发展到了1000多名成员。其流程的开放性正在吸引着来自全球的网络专家参与制定与市场联系紧密的高质量标准。我们的成员是802最重要和最富贵的财富。如果没有他们高超的技术/编辑/组织能力和无数人长年累月的精诚合作,那么802就不会取得今天的成就——一个世界级的标准制定组织。能够成为这一组织的主席代表他们,我感到非常荣幸。

Q:迄今为止有多少中国公司或个人加入了IEEE 802?

A:虽然我不清楚确切的数字,但是来自中国的参与者的比例正在持续增加。到2012年,这一比例已经占到了IEEE 802参与者的5-8%。在我们启动的一些项目中,中国网络社区对我们的无线和有线标准表现出了极大的兴趣。

Q:如果中国厂商希望参与IEEE 802的标准制定,那么他们应当怎么做?您能否在这里给他们一些建议?

A:我一直鼓励网络技术社区的所有成员都参与进来。事实上,我的这趟北京之行就是为了鼓励中国的网络技术社区,鼓励他们参加IEEE 802标准制定项目。我们欢迎所有的利益相关者加入我们。

Q:在LAN/MAN领域还有以太网联盟、Wi-Fi联盟和MEF等组织,IEEE 802和这些组织保持着怎样的关系?

A:IEEE 802与这些组织之间是一种建设性的伙伴关系。我们研发技术标准,他们帮助开发市场,通过市场将这些标准推广到全球的产品和服务中。

Q:诞生于1973年的以太网,明年就到40周年了。请问您如何评价以太网对产业所做出的贡献,明年是否会举办一些纪念活动?

A:总的来说,以太网对产业和社会产生了巨大的影响。如果以太网没有打下互操作性标准这一基础,那么整个产业就不会像现在这样得到良好的发展——全球每分钟都有无数的IEEE 802接口被投入使用。目前我个人还没有听说任何纪念活动。

Q:目前制定网络标准需要花费很长的时间。请问导致出现这种情况的主要原因是什么?

A:形成共识需要时间,尤其是当你召集的成员在IEEE802以外的市场中互为竞争对手,但是在IEEE802环境中又向着一个共同目标努力时。打造优秀的品质也需要时间——IEEE 802标准的质量是最高的,因为它们的准备工作与评估都是由世界级的网络专家完成的。开放导致大量的参与者,每名参与者都需要认真考虑,这也是非常的耗时。目前根据项目的复杂性和形成共识的程度,完成一个802项目大约需要2-4年时间。

Q:有些产品在标准制定完成之前就被推向市场,比如802.11ac,您如何看待这个问题?用户在选择这些产品的时候需要注意什么?

A:由于可以识别哪些规范可能未被充分定义,无法确保多厂商间的互操作性,因此在标准推出前抢先实现实际上有助于消除标准中的漏洞。只要这些实现不乔装成符合一个批准的标准,我没有异议。不过,这些产品的消费者和用户应当意识到这些产品在多厂商环境中的工作情况的可能并不如他们预期的那样好。

Q:请问您对目前的热点SDN[注]怎么看?依照目前形势,标准化是否将是SDN能否顺利发展的决定性因素之一?

A:软件定义网络[注]毫无疑问是一个热门话题。为了对多个厂商的网络组件进行必要的控制,互操作性标准非常关键。目前还没有一套完整的相关标准,因此SDN在初期将倾向于厂商制定的规范。

Q:在IEEE 802目前正在制定的标准中,是否有一些值得重点关注和令人期待的标准?

A:是的,802开展的许多活动正在致力于解决有线与无线技术需求。在有线方面, 802致力于在节能的同时为数据中心、区域、宽带接入和车辆应用通过不同媒介实现更高的速度。在无线方面,针对包括家庭、企业、宽带接入、智能公用事业网络和传感器网络在内的不同应用,802规范了在批准和未批准的频段,甚至是光波上的操作。802还规范了众多802网络的操作,以促进诸如视频会议和实时工业控制等对时间敏感的应用的使用。

Q:您对2013年网络技术的发展有何展望?

A:我们有几个令人关注的新活动。其中一个是802.3以太网400 Gb/s光纤兴趣小组。另一个是802.15无线个人区域网兴趣小组,目前该小组正在对可在100吉赫以上频率工作的太赫无线技术可行性进行评估。我们近期还特别成立了一个名为“OmniRAN”的研究小组,专门研究在802网络内部和外部的各类网络间实现无缝漫游所需的技术需求。这些只是802开展的新活动的代表,我可以肯定,2013年将有会更多的活动。

(完)

英文版本:

Q:At what time, you became a member of IEEE? Would you like to share with us of your experience?

A:I’ve been an IEEE member since 1986. I first joined to participate in the Technical Activities in the Computer Society and Communications Society and began my Standards Development in work 1989. The first IEEE 802 project I working on was the 802.3 10BASE-T project specifying 10Mb/s operation over twisted pair cable. The 802.3 working group is now working on a 40Gb/s specification for operation over twisted pair cables—increase in speed by a factor of 4000 in 23 years! Eventually I became vice-chairman of the 802.3 Working Group in 1993, then vice-chairman of the entire 802 LMSC sponsor in 1996 and finally chairman of IEEE 802, where I have served the that role ever since 2001. I have also held a variety of positions in the IEEE Standards Association Organizational Unit, the parent organization to the IEEE 802 Sponsor, for about 15 years.

Q:What kind of role that the IEEE 802 played for the development of the whole industry?

A:IEEE 802 has played a critical role in the development and growth networking industry in providing a means for multiple vendors equipment to interoperate. Without interoperability, the industry would not have been able to offer low cost, high performance networking products.

Q:How could the IEEE 802 constituted? How could the vendors, users and individuals take part in the organization? Are there any requirements for entry?

A:IEEE 802 was formed in 1980 to enable individuals participating in network equipment development to specify operation of network interfaces to facilitate multi-vendor interoperability. The beauty of the IEEE 802 process is that anyone can participate, there are no restrictions. All one has to do is attend the standards development meetings and begin to participate. When I first began participating in IEEE 802 in 1989 it was comprised of about 200 members, it is now over 1000 members. It is precisely the openness of the process that attracted (and continues to attract) networking experts from around the globe to develop high quality, market relevant standards. Our members are the most valuable and important part of 802—without their in depth technical/editorial/organizational skills and countless man-years of dedicated teamwork, 802 would not be where it is today—a world-class standards development organization. I am humbled to be able to represent them as the chair of their organization.

Q:How many Chinese vendors or individuals became the members of IEEE 802 so far?

A:I don’t know the exact number, the proportion of Chinese participants has steadily been increasing. They represent approximately 5-8% of the IEEE 802 participants as of 2012. We have started projects with great interest from the Chinese networking community in our wireless and wireline standards.

Q:How would the Chinese vendors to try hard if they want to take part in the Standard making of IEEE 802? Do you have any suggestions?

A:I fully encourage participation by all members of the networking technology community. In fact, I’m on my way to Beijing this morning to engage the Chinese networking technical community and to encourage them to participate in IEEE 802 standards development projects. We welcome all stakeholders.

Q:There are organizations like Ethernet Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance and MEF in the field of LAN/MAN, what kind of the relationship that the IEEE 802 keeps with those organizations?

A:IEEE 802 has a constructive relationship with those organizations. We develop the technical standards and they help develop the markets which apply those standards to products and services that are deployed around the world.

Q:As born in 1973, the next year will be the 40th Anniversary of Ethernet; How would you like to evaluate the contribution that the Ethernet has made to the industry; are there any commemorative activities to be held next year?

A:Ethernet has had a tremendous impact on the industry and society in general. Without the foundation for interoperable standards that Ethernet laid, the industry would not be as well developed—there are thousands of IEEE 802 interfaces put into service each minute, globally. I personally am not aware of any commemorative activities.

Q: It takes a quite long time to develop some network standards currently, what is the main reason of this situation? Will IEEE 802 have any plans of improvement in the future?

A:Consensus takes time, especially when you assemble people that are competitors in the marketplace outside of IEEE802, yet working towards a common goal within IEEE 802 environment. Quality takes time—IEEE 802 standards are of the highest quality because of the degree of preparation and review by our world-class networking expert participants. Openness results in a large number of participants, with everyone’s input carefully considered, this takes time too. Currently it takes approximately 2-4 years to complete an 802 project, depending on the complexity and degree of consensus on the project.

Q:Some products have been brought to the market before the standard comes out, for example, the 802.11ac. What is your opinion on this situation? Is there anything that the users need to pay attention to when they are making their choices to buy those products?

A:Pre-standard implementations actually help debug the standards by identifying specifications that may not be sufficiently defined to ensure multi-vendor interoperability. As long as these implementations do not misrepresent themselves as compliant with a ratified standard, I have no objections. However, consumer and users of the products based on pre-standard implementations should be aware these products may not work as well as they expect in a multi-vendor environment.

Q:What do you think about the hot topic SDN? According to the situation at the moment, will the standardization become one of the decisive factors which would affect on the development of SDN to success or not?

A:Software-Defined Networking certainly is a hot topic. Yes, in order to provide the necessary control of the multi-vendor networking components interoperability standards will be essential. A full set of such standards do not exist yet, hence SDNs will tend to be vendor specific initially.

Q:Does IEEE 802 have any standards in process which worth a huge attentions and expectations?

A:Yes there are many activities within 802 that address the needs across wireline and wireless technologies. For wireline 802 is working on higher speeds over a wide range of media for data center, regional, broadband access and vehicular applications while keeping energy conservation in mind. For wireless, 802 specifies operation over licensed and unlicensed bands, even lightwaves, for a wide range of applications including home, enterprise, broadband access, smart utility and sensor networks. 802 is also specifying operation of the various 802 networks to facilitate time-sensitive applications such as video conferencing and real-time industrial control.

Q: Do you have any ideas to look into the distance to the development of network technology in 2013?

A:We have several interesting emerging activities. A 400 Gp/s fiber optic interest group in 802.3 Ethernet. Another interest group in 802.15 Wireless Personal Area Networks is evaluating the feasibility of Terahertz wireless technologies that would enable operation at frequencies above 100 Gigahertz. We also recently chartered a study group to consider the requirements needed to enable seemless roaming among networks of different types, both within and external to 802 networks. It is called OmniRAN. These are but a few examples of the emerging activities within 802—with more to come in 2013, I am sure.

(The End)

参考资料

1.SDN:(Software Defined Network,软件定义网络)是一种新型的开放网络创新架构。最初是由美国斯坦福大学研究组提出,OpenFlow通过将网络设备控制面与数据面分离开来,从而实现...详情>>

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