Demands on data centers are greater than ever. For the first time, network capacity is demand-driven by the consumer, not supply-driven by the network provider. While Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) in a recent TechZine article, “A Changing Market Environment Demands a High Leverage Network,” notes that bandwidth demand will grow between 45 and 85 times over the next five years, supply will only grow between 10 and 30 times its current network capacity.
As a result of this change in the “new normal”, vendors have been busy launching next-generation data center architectures and solutions to deal with the new demand. However, it is sometimes overlooked that these data centers connecting over the wide-area-network (WAN) are an even more critical factor.
That’s because the old service provider architecture of an active and backup data center pair no longer is adequate to meet the demands of virtual computing and modern storage needs.
“This new generation of virtual computing and storage resources,” noted a recent white paper by Alcatel-Lucent, Optimal Solutions for Data Center Connect (DCC). It went on to explain that, “typically require many data centers to support their enterprise customer base. Low latency transport enables multi-datacenter architectures, where all data centers are connected together with a scalable and redundant mesh of high-speed links.”
The leading technology to provide these data center connect (DCC) requirements is Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) transport.
“DWDM is the only solution that enables full network flexibility and adaptability at speeds of 100G and beyond, quick service turn-up to meet dynamic bandwidth requirements, ultra-low latency connectivity, and transport-grade reliability,” according to the white paper. “Ultimately, DWDM solutions enable the highest throughput for DCC at the lowest total cost of ownership.”
Leading the way with DWDM is Alcatel-Lucent, which offers data center connect solutions that include the company’s 400G Photonic Service Engine—which is touted as the first-ever commercially available electro-optics chip capable of driving traffic up to 400 gigabits per second (Gb/s). This versatility dramatically boosts the performance of 100G networks today and lays the foundation for 400G transport in the future.
The Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch is the company’s best-in-class DWDM technology, including 100G coherent optics, T-ROADM (News - Alert), photonic OA&M, and metro to long haul reach, according to the paper. Scaling higher than 2 TB in a single chassis, and as low as a single slot version, the 1830 PSS also supports interchangeable line cards. This fourth generation of this solution was developed to maximize wavelength utilization levels, while meeting strict service level agreements (SLAs) with ultra-fast restoration and coordinated network management.
“The 1830 PSS decreases operating expenses (OPEX (News - Alert)) through industry-leading power efficiency <2 W/Gb/s, and automated provisioning and restoration through a G-MPLS control plane,” the paper noted. “G-MPLS/Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON) also supports automated topology and services discovery, and supports optimized path computations to minimize latency across the network.”
Added the paper: “This is the solution of DWDM and T-ROADM at 100G that service providers need today for DCC.”
For most of the history of the communications industry, the saying, “build it and they will come,” was the rule. However, given the data storm we are in and which is accelerating, concentration needs to be not just on interactions within data centers or private cloud interactions but also between data centers be they public, private or part of a hybrid solution. This means speed and lots of bandwidth. It is why 400G is going to be so important and why adoption of 100G solutions is already picking up momentum.
Edited by Peter Bernstein