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Data Center Interconnect

ADVA Ups Its DCI Game

ADVA is the latest vendor to target a new product at the hot, if increasingly crowded, market for data center interconnection, announcing the FSP 3000 CloudConnect. ADVA itself isn't so new to the DCI market segment, however, already having sold its existing FSP 3000 into several DCI deployments.

"By default, our existing product [the FSP 3000] was pretty close to what providers wanted for data center interconnect from Day 1," says Jim Theodoras, senior director of technical marketing at ADVA. "We were in this space addressing the needs of these customers long before anyone was talking about it being a hot and important market."

ADVA's success in supplying the FSP 3000 to satisfy customers' DCI needs has been pretty well documented, even going back as far as 2011, when the latest round of dedicated DCI products were not even a glint in vendors' eyes. The company has continued to add new capabilities to that platform, including the recently announced ConnectGuard security suite, as the market has evolved. (See ADVA Wins Data Center Deal in Germany, Global Net Picks ADVA and ADVA Opens Up Its Security Umbrella.)

Yet, Theodoras is the first to admit that the bandwidth, footprint and feature requirements -- along with competition at both the service provider and vendor levels -- have evolved at such a rapid pace that ADVA needed something new. Hence, the new FSP 3000 CloudConnect, which Theodoras describes in as a "second-generation update" to its existing FSP 3000 platform that is also "fundamentally all new."

He says the FSP 3000 CloudConnect is "an update to help us remain competitive, because customers want more from these platforms as their market gets more competitive. As a vendor, you can't just repackage your WDM platform for this market."

It's been said by many vendors that DCI customers have very tight footprint and low power requirements, but don't want to sacrifice capacity and density. The new ADVA platform answers those needs with multiple configurations, including a four-rack unit, 450mm-deep chassis and a 12RU, 300mm version, both with front-facing traffic and management access, with the 4RU featuring rear power access in contrast to the 12RU's front power access.

Though many rack cabinets run 600mm deep, ADVA customers have made a point of asking for a little breathing space for easier cable management. The bottom line is that while DCI platforms often get deployed in mega-data centers, they also get used in colocation sites and edge sites with more space restrictions.


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The bandwidth capabilities are highlighted by a 400G (2x200G) line card. A single rack provides 25.6 Tbit/s per fiber pair and 51.2 Tbit/s total bandwidth. A single 4RU chassis with seven line cards can support up to 5.6 Tbit/s capacity, with 2.8Tbit/s capacity for transport over 14 WDM channels. It also moves 2 Tbit/s using up less than 1 kilowatt.

"A big thing for a lot of these customers is how much capacity can they get into a single fiber pair, because a lot of them are leasing fiber and want to maximize," Theodoras says. "Another big thing is power efficiency. We think a 4RU will be the sweet spot or this market, though there may be some 1RU and 2RU deployments out there, too. You want to be big enough you're not too small, and small enough you're not too big."

Theodoras also acknowledges, as other vendors have, that for all the physical attributes and hardware features of DCI platforms, deployment decisions may often come down to the software-programmable optics capabilities of such platforms, and particularly their readiness to fit into a market moving to transport SDN. The FSP 3000 CloudConnect supports Yang model APIs, including REST, NETCONF and the emerging RESTCONF, along with CLI.

"This market has become very interesting in that you start talking to people about the hardware, and eventually they go 'yeah, yeah, yeah,' and what they really want to hear about is the software."

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

dwx 6/1/2015 | 9:15:23 PM
Density It's crazy the density people are getting out of these platforms right now.  Cyan/Ciena are getting 168 100GE ports in a single rack, this kind of leapfrogs all of that into 250+ territory.   You look at the form factor of the card they are putting 4xQSFP28+1x200G 16-QAM line side on and it's kind of amazing.  A few years ago people were lucky to get a single 100G client+line out of a full-width dual slot card.  I'm not sure I fully agree with all the assertions Adva makes in their white paper around it though, people still want longevity out of platforms, they aren't just concerned with how quickly the can rip and replace them.  

One nice thing they highlight about the solution is the 1RU line side mux.  Haven't seen that with anyone else who I guess assume you are using an existing optical mux or ROADM.  
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