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Data Center Interconnect to Star at OFC 2015

Ray Le Maistre
3/23/2015
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LOS ANGELES -- OFC 2015 -- Optical transport efficiency, in particular for the data center interconnect market, looks set to be the hottest topic at this year's Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition, better known simply as OFC.

The reason for that is simple: Data traffic volumes are growing fast in metro and long-haul networks, particularly on routes to, from, and between data centers, as cloud services grow in popularity, mobile/wireless devices become ever more powerful and are able to connect to the Internet at ever greater speeds, and video services/applications put ever greater strain on service provider networks.

The topic is not new: Companies such as BTI Systems Inc. and Cyan Inc. have been developing platforms for data center interconnect (DCI) and announcing resulting market traction for a couple of years. (See BTI Expands on Services Delivery and ViaWest Deploys Cyan.)

But there has been a crescendo of DCI noise building during the past year in particular, as Light Reading coverage from the past 12 months shows:

But get this: Cisco actually cited DCI as an "emerging high-bandwidth application" 15 years ago! (See Cisco Introduces Metro DWDM Platform.)


Want to know more about data center interconnect? This will be just one of the many topics covered at Light Reading's second Big Telecom Event on June 9-10 in Chicago. Get yourself registered today or get left behind!


There will be plenty of DCI chat this week in Los Angeles as the optical networking fraternity gathers for OFC. There have been plenty of pre-show news announcements from some of the components companies heading to the show: Here's a taster of a couple that have called out DCI as a driver for their business.

  • Acacia Communications Inc. is pushing its new 400Gbit/s transceiver module as a component made for the DCI market. In the company's official announcement of the product, CEO Raj Shanmugaraj sounds pumped about the potential for the market to embrace 400Gbit/s transmission: "With the availability of Acacia's low cost flex-rate coherent AC-400 MSA module, we expect to bring even better economies for coherent applications at multiple rates from 100G to 400G. Powered by the Acacia's ASIC/DSP and extensive silicon photonic integration for metro and Data Center Interconnect applications, we have been able to extend the performance advantages of an AC-400 module while reducing cost, size and power consumption dramatically. Our new AC-400 provides carriers and content providers with a compelling solution to cost-effectively address capacity needs in their ULH/LH, metro and Data Center Interconnect networks." (See Acacia Unveils Coherent Flex-Rate 400G 5x7 Transceiver Module.)

  • Optical module specialist Oclaro Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLR), which has been seeing growing demand for its 100G products and adjusting its production capabilities accordingly, also looks set to talk up the potential of the growing DCI market for its business. As well as highlighting what it's offering for intra-data center connectivity -- it has a new SFP transceiver designed for emerging 25GigE applications and storage networks -- the company will be reminding the market of its 200G Coherent CFP2 Pluggable Transceiver, which was launched last year and designed to enable transport systems vendors to develop 400Gbit/s line cards (using two modules) for DCI and other metro and regional applications. (See Oclaro Ramps Up CFP4 Production and Bit Parts: 100G Driving Revenue Growth.)

    Look out for Light Reading's DCI coverage from OFC throughout this week.

    — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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    pcharles09
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    pcharles09,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    3/30/2015 | 7:41:23 PM
    Re: So far it's DCI and SDN
    @Ray@LR,

    I guess it's better for the POC to go really well then expand to larger metro areas.
    kq4ym
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    kq4ym,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/24/2015 | 4:21:37 PM
    Re: So far it's DCI and SDN
    Well at least the weather is possibly more agreeable than the coffee! Whether the efficiency problem will be solved by this or that company might be a great crystal ball prediction game for a lot of followers...
    Ray@LR
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    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/24/2015 | 7:15:23 AM
    Re: So far it's DCI and SDN
    Not so far in terms of commentary from companies with production deployments of commercial platforms, but OFC so far has been in warm-up mode -- Tuesday is official day 1 where everyone comes out shouting.

    There have been data center operators talking about requirements etc such as Facebook but I'm certainly looking for case studies and market details.

    Thge overall impression is that this is an area of significant growth and a significant driver of 100G metro action but still overall a smallish part of the overall metro transport market.
    pcharles09
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    pcharles09,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    3/24/2015 | 12:54:25 AM
    Re: So far it's DCI and SDN
    @Ray@LR,

    Any shining testimonials of the DCI implementations?
    Ray@LR
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    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/23/2015 | 4:02:34 PM
    So far it's DCI and SDN
    So I am half a day into OFC 2015 and apart from the weather (great) and the standard of the freely available coffee (really not great) the two main topics of discussion so far are data center interconnect and SDN.  
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