Coriant Lights Up the DCI Market

Coriant is taking on some well-established and very tough data center interconnect (DCI) rivals with a new product that boasts some standout features, notes Heavy Reading analyst.

December 14, 2015

4 Min Read
Coriant Lights Up the DCI Market

The competition in the data center interconnect (DCI) systems market is already smokin' hot -- and now Coriant has added fuel to the flames with the launch of a new box that ups the ante in a number of ways, according to Heavy Reading .

Coriant's new launch is the rather funky sounding Groove G30, a single rack unit DCI box that boasts 3.2 Tbit/s of capacity but with very low power consumption (just 45 watts per 100G). For the full set of features, see the official announcement -- Coriant Unveils New 1RU DCI Product.

The launch caught the eye of Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Sterling Perrin, who has been following the progression of DCI products, designed specifically to transport large volumes of data between data centers, since the inception of the market about four years ago.

Coriant's latest announcement "falls into one of the optical mega-trends we saw throughout 2015 -- purpose-built DCI boxes aimed primarily at OTT/web-scale providers," notes Perrin. He notes that since Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) launched its Cloud Xpress system in September 2014, others followed suit, including Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) with its Waveserver, Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. with the 1FINITY T100 blade, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) with the NCS 1000 and now Coriant's Groove G30.

Perrin adds that Cyan also announced the N-Series for DCI, but "it seems likely Ciena won't keep that product as it has the Waveserver."

Coriant's G30 displays characteristics that are "consistent with this class, including lots of capacity in a small footprint, low power consumption, optics focused without packet processing functions and open interfaces and SDN support to fit the OTT management models," notes the Heavy Reading analyst.

"One thing we're seeing on the hardware side of these boxes is a leapfrogging of specs every time a new product is announced. Here, the G30 stacks up really well -- 1.6 Tbit/s of line side capacity per 1RU is the greatest density we have seen to date. Cisco's NCS 1000 held that title for less than a month, as it was announced mid-November with a maximum of 1 Tbit/s per 1RU," he notes.

Coriant is also boasting its low power consumption as a competitive selling point. "The 45 watts/100G power consumption is pretty incredible, as the purpose-built DCI class to date ranges from a low of 75 watts to a high of 150 watts per 100G, so they really have leapfrogged in this regard," notes the Heavy Reading man. "Power consumption is a big deal for all providers, of course, but it's a particularly important metric for the data center market. They look at density and power consumption in combination, not just at capacity."

For the latest developments in the hot DCI market, visit the dedicated data center interconnect content channel here at Light Reading.

Competition between the vendors isn't limited to the hardware and power consumption, though: Perrin notes also that there is a great deal of focus in new DCI product announcements on the supporting software and the open nature of that software. "This is fairly new territory for Coriant, so we'll need to see how the vendor shines, or doesn't, on the software side of DCI."

Touting specs is one thing, though -- selling kit is another. Coriant might have some impressive stats to talk about but a number of its rivals, including Infinera and early DCI market movers such as BTI and ADVA, are already generating revenues from their DCI systems, while Ciena is set to start recording revenues during the current fiscal quarter. Meanwhile, the Groove G30 isn't hitting the streets until the second quarter of 2016.

And by then, it may have already lost its capacity and power consumption crowns.

For more on the movers and shakers in the DCI market, which is set to grow in value from $2.5 billion in 2014 to more than $4.2 billion in 2019 according to Ovum Ltd. , see:

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

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