Hello, everyone. You may have noticed a long gap since my last blog entry. Of course if you are following me on twitter (@datacenter_rave), you know that I have a new addition to the family that has been keeping me occupied, as well as keeping me from sleeping much. This experience got me thinking about what to write for today’s post. I decided to digress a bit from the blog’s main data center topic. I’m a new daddy, so I hope you can give me some latitude.
One of the reasons I chose a career in this industry (and stuck through it during the bubble/bust cycle) is because of my passion and belief that access to higher bandwidth brings people closer. Social media has been an obvious beneficiary of higher bandwidth. But here is a particular case in point: my elderly mother who lives a long plane ride away was unable to physically meet her new grandchild. But with wifi, tablets with easy-to-use video-conferencing apps, high speed internet access, a cloud/data center in between (which I’m 100% certain for this application has data flowing over optics and fiber cables), my mother is able to regularly video-con with her newborn grandchild! Today, this is possible with relative ease, but going back even five years having this on-demand capability would have been much more challenging. My kid will grow up taking this capability for granted. By then, who knows? This mode of communicating will involve holographic 3D (without special glasses…um maybe that’s here today) using 1 TB links running through mega-exa-tera (I made that up) scale data centers made up of all-optical computers where the lowest bandwidth port is 100G! One can only imagine.
Back to regularly scheduled programming in my next post.
When you think of flashing lights, deafening decibel levels, lots of heat being generated, air-conditioning blasting, what comes to mind? A data center, of course! (Note that I did not mention a DJ, glow sticks, and well…never mind). Hello, and welcome to my new Lightspeed blog column focused on emerging optics in the data center – a thriving topic in the optical communications industry. Managing 10G Datacom products with a focus on data center applications keeps me quite busy these days. With over 15 years in the industry beginning in the telecom carrier world, I’m very excited to be part of today’s growing data center market. I sometimes like to say that data centers are the “central offices of the future”.
Now, I know there are a number of data centers out there with cool blue lights and dark aisles which might pass as a rave venue, but that’s a topic of a future blog post. As you know, the visible flashing lights in the data center are LEDs (which you hope are not red), but it’s the invisible flashing lights—infrared, multi-gigabit/second lasers transmitting videos, songs, stock trades, video chats, social media posts, etc.— enabling all that high-bandwidth traffic to flow in, out, and through the data center.
Stay tuned to this blog where I plan to discuss the important role that the optical layer plays in the data center. There are so many topics to address: 10G/40G/100G transceivers, active optical cables, SDN and the optical networking layer, single mode vs. multimode, to name a few. I also welcome your comments as I am very interested in your perspective on these topics.
Be sure to check back regularly for new posts and follow me on Twitter (@datacenter_rave). And I’m not kidding about the glow sticks–the first 10 people to comment to this inaugural post will get one!
This week’s blog post comes from Shawn Esser, Director of Product Marketing for CATV Products at Finisar.
Last week Finisar demonstrated the industry’s first 1 GHz RF-modulated, widely-tunable optical transmitter in a Small-Form Factor module at the Cable Tec-Expo trade show in Orlando, Fla. The Cable-Tec Expo, organized by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), is the cable industry’s engineering show of the year and drew about 9,200 people. The active demonstration of wavelength-tunability showed a new tool for cable operators to route video and data services in the cable access network. The demonstration included two televisions, two different movie streams, and two wavelength-tunable XFP-RF transmitters. Using Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), the video content showing on the televisions was swapped by changing the wavelengths of the transmitters. Customers saw how bandwidth, and thus services, could be dynamically increased to serving areas that have high contention with this new wavelength-tunable capability.
The product was very well-received by visitors to Finisar’s booth. Visitors were also impressed that Finisar’s XFP-RF transmitter is the first 1GHz RF-modulated optical transmitter packaged in a Small Form Factor pluggable optical module. The XFP module is commonly used in 10Gb/s digital applications today. Finisar combined its high-volume Small-Form Factor module capabilities and its extensive experience in CATV optics to significantly reduce space and energy of transmitters for cable access networks. The XFP-RF transmitter can be designed into existing broadband optical platforms today to double the density and halve the power consumption of transmitters in Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) networks. It can also be plugged directly into next-generation infrastructure equipment, such as Converged Cable Access Platforms (CCAP) currently under development, to further reduce costs for cable operators.
Finisar was also displaying its Small-Form Factor Pluggable ONU (EPON Stick) that converts standard GE media convertor into EPON Optical Network Unit replacing the need for a standalone ONU. This enables MSOs to use the same premise equipment with a pluggable port (SFP) that they use to deploy business services over point to point Ethernet and WDM to be used over EPON. Mike Holmes, Finisar Director, presented DPOE DAC (Demarc Auto-Configuration) along with Kevin Noll of Time Warner Cable, Curtis Knittle of Cable Labs and moderator Rammy Bahalul of Omnitron. Their presentation explained the DPOE DAC benefits highlighting the EPON Stick, Demarc features and the successful Time Warner Cable DAC testing.