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Data Centres; Prepare For The 100G Revolution

Cisco are predicting that global IP traffic will reach 3.3ZB by 2021, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24 percent from 2016 - 2021, in the same time period they predict that global fixed broadband speeds will almost double form 27.5 to 53Mbps. Cisco also predicts that live video will grow 15-fold between 2016 - 2021 and account for 13% of all internet video traffic.

(https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html)

Current data centre traffic is handled mainly through 10G, 40G and some 100G connections, with the predicted massive increase in global IP traffic, 100G through necessity is set to become the standard for data centre architecture and handling the ever multiplying avalanche of data that needs to be processed.

However, as with any new technology there are a number of issues that integrators need to be aware of if they are to design effective next generation networks.

Form Factor

A variety of form factors have offered 100G Ethernet solutions over the last few years, from Cisco proprietary CPAK to CXP, CFP and QSFP28. The myriad of options has caused confusion and uncertainty. Today, in our opinion, the QSFP28 form factor looks to be the preferred solution and is now available from all major Switch Vendors. The QSFP28 form factor is the same as the current 40G QSFP and offers good port density with a power draw of only 3.5W.

Speeds and Cost

The 100G interconnect is actually made up of 4 * 25G channels, the SFP28 standard defines the 25G interconnect and is available as a standalone transceiver. Hence high speed Ethernet interconnects are now available in 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G which offers network architects a variety of options when upgrading legacy networks or installing new ones.

Cabling Infrastructure in the DC

One of the challenges with the move to 25G, 40G and 100G is that current cabling infrastructure is usually standard OM1-OM4 Multimode cabling.   The current high-speed 25G+ multimode transceivers do not have LC connectors but rather MPO/MTP connectors, which is typically a more expensive cable solution to standard OM1 multimode. Network architects should also consider 100G DAC and AOC cables in their designs.

QSFP28 and SFP28 – Standards and futures

The SR4 and LR4 standards, offering short range multimode and up to 10KM single-mode, are fully defined and allow interoperability between various vendor’s transceivers. They also allow QSFP28 devices to communicate with legacy CFP2/4 or CPAK devices.   As the technology matures we expect to see transceivers that offer longer distances and multimode connectivity using LC connectors.

NOTE:  If high speed interconnects are required for distances up to 80Km then traditional CWDM and DWDM technology allows for aggregated throughputs over 100G using single dark fibre links.

Transceiver, Twinax DAC, AOC

Remember that 100G interconnect within the Data Centre is not limited to Transceivers. Traditional Twinax DAC and Active Optical Cable (AOC) are also available in the QSFP28 form factor and often offer lower cost alternatives to transceivers.

About PlusOptic

PlusOptic produce a wide range of fibre connectivity products including multiplexers, transceivers, direct attach cables, media converters, network interface cards and fibre patch leads.

Our products deliver 100% compatibility with over 100 hardware vendors including Cisco, HP, Juniper, Brocade, Netgear, Linksys, IBM, Dell, 3Com, and more. Moreover, we have widespread experience seamlessly connecting different vendor hardware—we connect HP to Cisco, Brocade to Extreme, and Juniper to Netgear, to name a few.

We also offer a vast range of xWDM solutions for lighting up dark fibre and utilising existing fibre infrastructures. Our experts can give you network design advice that focuses on ultimate network performance whilst simultaneously providing substantial savings on your solution.

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Find Out More, Contact PlusOptic:
Tel: +61 2 8324 1413

Email: info@plusoptic.com

http://www.plusoptic.com

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