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Data Center Interconnect

Ciena's DCI Targets Web-Scalers, Data Centers

Ciena's latest packet-optical product breakthrough is targeting the red-hot data center interconnect market, but not its typical telecom customers. The Waveserver Ai's initial customers will be web-scale operators and multi-tenant data centers, who have immediate need for its capacity and appreciate its server-like operation. (See Ciena Intros Waveserver Ai for DCI.)

The Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) Waveserver Ai uses the company's latest coherent optical chipset, the WaveLogic Ai, in a compact system that can scale to 2.4 Tbit/s in a single rack unit and offers lower power per bit. The programmable chip set can be tuned from 100 Gbit/s to 400 Gbit/s, which allows for simpler planning and deployment, with flexibility for scaling up or traveling different distances, notes Helen Xenos, director of portfolio marketing, with Ciena.

"There are two types of key customers that need this type of platform, and one is the very large web-scale providers building out their own networks, and looking for very simple, very scalable systems and the ability to facilitate these mass deployments they are doing in the most automated manner they can," she tells Light Reading in an interview. "The other one is for multi-tenant data centers who are looking at an expanding business as more and more enterprises are moving IT applications to the cloud, and they need to connect multiple software-as-a-service vendors, public clouds and private clouds."


Want to know more about telecom data center strategies? Check out our dedicated data center content channel here on Light Reading.


Don Frey, principal analyst for intelligent networks at Ovum, agrees with Xenos on the market demand among those two groups and calls the Waveserver Ai "the hammer that hits this nail on the head" by incorporating the WaveLogic coherent DSP technology with capacity and power requirement improvements.

Another key aspect to Waveserver Ai, according to Ciena is that it is server-like in operation, something both web-scale companies and data center operators appreciate, Xenos says. That means not requiring these companies to deal with telecom management interfaces but providing a range of management interfces including a command line interface, open APIs and SNMP.

"We have implemented a full suite of these types of management interfaces on Waveserver and we are extending them to Waveserver Ai," Xenos says. "It's a very important attribute, so this can be easily integrated into whatever approach they are taking."

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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