Ethernet Turns 44

Monday May 22nd 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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Bob Metcalfe first proposed Ethernet on May 22, 1973

At the foundation of all modern networking is Ethernet, which was 'born' on this date 44 years ago.

Bob Metcalfe presented his networking model, now known as Ethernet, on May 22, 1973 at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

— Bob Metcalfe (@BobMetcalfe) May 20, 2017

Ethernet over the last 44 years has fought off challengers (remember token ring?) and more importantly it has evolved. Whereas Ethernet started off as a single standard and speed, it now encompasses all manner of speeds, including 2.5 and 5 Gbps all the way up to 400 Gbps and beyond.

Ethernet started off as a 'best efforts' technology, but that's no longer the case in 2017. Stability and quality of service improvement have improved on the best efforts approach, making Ethernet reliable and resilient for nearly all use cases.

Metcalfe's invention 44 years ago paved the way for the modern internet and the connected networking world we all enjoy. Though other connectivity options do keep on popping up, as Metcalfe himself has said on many occasions - don't bet against Ethernet.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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