Tuesday, July 11, 2017

LightCounting sees demand for DCI as mega data centres go metro-regional

LightCounting forecasts in its latest Mega Datacenter Optics report that there will be growing demand for high bandwidth interconnectivity as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent move to a distributed network of data centres in metro areas due to restrictions on building larger facilities in China, while mega data centres operated by the big western cloud companies are transforming into metro-regional clusters.

More specifically, LightCounting notes that Amazon recently disclosed that it operates 25 data centres interconnected with 3,500 fibres in Ashburn, Virginia, while Facebook has expanded its mega data centres by building new facilities near to existing ones, and Microsoft has announced it intends to build more metro and regional data centres to reduce the time involved in planning new facilities.

The research firm states that most of these facilities will be interconnected using DWDM technology, thereby expanding the market opportunity for suppliers of data centre interconnect (DCI) equipment to the cloud companies. Such customers are expected to be early adopters of 200 and 400 Gbit/s DWDM technology.

In terms of vendors, LightCounting notes that Cisco recently introduced the term 'fog computing', referring to adding compute and storage capabilities in facilities located closer to enterprises to facilitate migration of private data centres to the cloud. Meanwhile, Equinix and other colocation providers are increasing their business with enterprise customers as they migrate to the cloud.

In addition, cloud companies are beginning to use colocation data centres to extend reach closer to the end users. LightCounting notes that storage (or caching) of popular videos in local data centres or the central offices of service providers was necessary to meet rising demand for video on demand, while new applications such as SnapChat and Instagram are creating the need to support these applications locally to reduce the load on long haul networks.

The research firm adds that in the future applications such as self-driving cars and IoT will require the use of edge data centres to deliver low latency performance. All of these requirements are driving a transition in the way data centres are deployed and operated.

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