Adva targets new data center interconnection opportunities with 600G wavelength technology

A data center

LOS ANGELES—Adva Optical Networking is looking to further its mark in the data center interconnection (DCI) space, introducing its TeraFlex terminal for its flagship FSP 3000 CloudConnect solution.

The TeraFlex solution is capable of transporting 600 Gbps of data over a single wavelength, delivering total duplex capacity of 3.6 Tbps in a single-rack unit.

Adva claims that this represents 50% more density than technology from its competitors.

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Stephan Rettenberger, SVP of marketing and investor relations for ADVA Optical Networking, told FierceTelecom that the latest version builds upon its previous 200G capabilities. Adva is working closely with Acacia on the digital signal processing (DSP) front.

“Acacia is introducing a new generation of technology will give us 600 Gbps on a single wavelength,” Rettenberger said. “We believe that is the very best use of the technology that money can buy and we will be the early adopters of that technology.”

Rettenberger added that these new technologies will help raise the bar in the DCI market segment.

“I think this is the new industry benchmark and it’s the Acacia piece that makes the difference in this solution,” Rettenberger said. “It’s an interesting footprint for those who care about maximum spectral efficiency, highest possible throughput, and lowest power consumption and that’s the hero box where everyone is trying to make noise.”

DCI momentum growing

Having provided optical solutions to the data center market for over 20 years, Adva is no stranger to the DCI market.

However, it’s clear from the vendor’s fourth-quarter earnings report that DCI is becoming a larger part of its revenue stream.

Adva reported annual 2016 revenues of 608.3 million, up 28.2% year-over-year. According to Ovum, these record sales have given the vendor global market leadership in several areas of the growing DCI market. 

“We grew our 2016 top line revenue, and close to 20% was organic,” Rettenberger said. “A lot of that came from internet content providers and data center interconnect applications.”

Open line systems (OLS) provide flexibility

One of the key elements of the new system is flexibility. Featuring open APIs and management interfaces, the ADVA FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform supports all known DCI architectures.

But what’s even more compelling about the new product is that it is available as a complete solution or as a disaggregated Open Line System (OLS). By decoupling the terminal functions from the line system, customers are able to evolve and optimize each network layer separately and to specific innovation cycles.

There are various options to disaggregate optical functions. One option is to separate transponders/modems from the line equipment such as ROADMs and amplifiers. Because this requires interoperability between the different equipment types, IHS Markit says service providers gain the advantage of not being locked into one equipment vendor. It is also expected to allow for more flexibility in equipment upgrade cycles, and to reduce capex costs. 

Heidi Adams, senior research director of transport networks at IHS Markit, told FierceTelecom that the adoption of flexible coherent technology and higher-speed wavelengths is driving change into optical line systems.

“Data center interconnect (DCI) is emerging both as a growth market for optical equipment and as an application that is powering innovation in optical transmission equipment and operations, Adams said. “Optical disaggregation and open line systems (OLS) have also sparked many debates over the course of the past year.”

OLS (IHS Markit)

Adams said that optical disaggregation has been getting the attention of a number of Tier 1 service providers.

“AT&T is a strong supporter of this type of approach and has backed the OpenROADM MSA (multisource agreement),” Adams said. “Our recent service provider survey indicated this is currently the most preferred ‘variant’ of optical disaggregation with that audience.”

However compelling OLS may be, IHS Markit says that a number of service providers remain undecided on how they will use the new technology.

The research firm said that “one-third of survey respondents indicated that they are considering the use of OLS in their networks, but half said they are undecided or not familiar with the technology.”