Colt to deploy Cisco's Silicon One, 400G OpenZR+

Colt's network connects more than 900 data centers on multiple continents.(Pixabay)

Colt Technology Services is set to deploy Cisco Systems’ Silicon One switches, 400G OpenZR + pluggable optical technology from Cisco subsidiary Acacia and Segment Routing MPLS software as the carrier tackles a transformation of its five-year-old global IQ Packet Network.

With this announcement, Colt becomes the latest 400G OpenZR+ technology, which is designed for long-haul inter-metro connections greater than 200 km. (ZR technology typically being at shorter, single-span data center interconnect applications.) Windstream earlier this year talked up the distances it achieved Acacia’s OpenZR+ technology, and hinted at the possibility of future deployment.

The announcement also represents the latest step in the ongoing partnership of Colt and Cisco, which has witnessed the pair work together on upgrading Colt’s IQ Network from 100G to 400G over the course of the last two years. The IQ Network connects more than 900 data centers across Europe, Asia and North America’s largest business hubs, with more 29,000 on-net buildings. Bandwidth benefits of this latest upgrade will be available to customers in those regions and buildings by September.

“Colt is committed to ensuring its network is at the forefront of technological innovation, and this latest investment is the next step in our network optimisation strategy, as we continue to leverage next- generation optical and packet technologies”, said Vivek Gaur, Vice President – Network Engineering, for Colt, in a press release. “Over the last couple of years, Colt and Cisco have built a strategic relationship centred on innovation, and we’re excited to continue to push boundaries for our customers and the industry. We know the requirement for ultra-high bandwidth services is increasing. With Cisco’s technology in specific layers of our network, we’ll have a scalable and efficient packet core network that fulfils the connectivity demands of our customers across the globe.”

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Cisco earlier this year expanded its Silicon One family after initially unveiling it in late 2019. Silicon One hardware converges IP and optical networking layers “for a simpler and more scalable architecture that delivers cost efficiency and reduces space and power usage in data centers and colocations,” the company said in its release. The company completed its acquisition of Acacia in March after more than a year and a half of tense negotiations and legal disputes.