Solving Datacenter Network Bandwidth with 400GB Fiber Optics
Datacenter networks are running into traffic problems because of the increase in data density in recent years. Since 2012, advancements in cloud storage, social media, messaging, large chunks of data, and content distribution networks have contributed to network IP traffic. Data transmissions have doubled by at least 168 exabytes a month for the past few years.
Collective rack bandwidth currently amounts to around 20GB, and it’s expected to reach up to 50GB in a few years. Fiber optic technology can provide the speed and clarity necessary for efficiently transferring data.
The Role of Fiber Optics
Fiber optic transceivers, like the GLC-LH-SMD from Cisco, provide the ability to deliver data across long distances without a drop in transmission efficiency. The data remains clear and with precise amounts. Data traffic is bound to occur with the 100Gbps Ethernet that datacenters offer. If it wasn’t for the market demand for 400 GbE in 2014, the IEEE wouldn’t be setting everything in motion.
Carriers that deal with excess traffic are sure to benefit from such a boost to their bandwidth. 400GbE can allow for up to 50,000 simultaneous high definition video streams.
Reaching Speeds of up to 400 Gigabytes
Companies that rely on cloud storage and service such as Facebook and Google are partnering up with telecommunications companies and data technology providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Vodafone. Vendors such as Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks – in an attempt to allocate traffic surges from these datacenters – are creating solutions to deliver better bandwidth. 400Gb fiber optics are going to lead the way when it comes to solving digital congestion.
Copper has started to reach its limits, constrained as it is by the need for physical durable cables. Light switching would appear to be the solution for breaching speeds of 100Gbps. Current optical switching is powered by four wavelengths bonding to reach speeds of 100Gbps, but last year the IEEE approved the PAM4. The PAM4 is an optical switching standard that uses light wavelengths to get results.
The PAM4 has shown the potential to reach speeds of up to 400Gbps in an affordable and efficient way. This is because it uses just one wavelength to reach 100Gbps. When four of those are bonded together, a single transceiver slot is able to reach speeds of 400Gbps.