SINGAPORE (May 22): Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, data centres and cloud computing are becoming more important than ever. Data centres are essential nodes for all digital infrastructure on which consumers, businesses and governments rely on to remain connected and stay in business.

In times of distress like these, organisations are forced to rush through their digitalisation plans in order to stay relevant. A digital transformation that was scheduled to take years would have to be compressed into a matter of weeks or days. 

Naturally, the onus is now on digital infrastructure providers to meet the growth in users’ expectations. Data centres, for one, are seeing a surge in demand for simple, high-performance data centre interconnect (DCI) solutions.

According to a report by technology research firm Omdia, total revenue of the global DCI market reached US$3.7 billion ($5.3 billion) in 2019, with growth coming largely from regions such as Europe and Asia Pacific. Revenue in the DCI market in Asia Pacific reached US$1.33 billion in 2019, representing a robust y-o-y growth of 13.8%.

Currently, traditional data centres operate on multiple networks, which can be difficult to manage. Network construction, as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) costs remain high, and are unable to meet increasing network requirements of the digital era.

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According to Huawei Technologies’ Brandon Wu, existing DCI solutions in the market face several constraints. One of the largest limitations is that it typically requires more fibres or network device upgrades, when more bandwidth is required, or, when new protocols are implemented. The upgrading works also often result in service interruptions. 

Wu, who is Huawei’s CTO, Southern Pacific region, enterprise business group, explains that when more DCIs need to be added and connected, the network gets more complicated unnecessarily. More critically, it increases costs and risks in service availability. 

“Today’s DCI is evolving into active-active and more distributed architecture while applications and services are moving towards microservice and container-based. The current DCI solution is not able to address this effectively,” says Wu. 

And this is where Huawei’s latest solution, the Huawei OptiXtrans DC908, comes in as an effective solution.

This product can carry ultra-high traffic over a single fibre and enable multiple types of data to be carried over the same fibre — each with dedicated channel (wavelength) — while also providing better L1 security and protection; and can support evolution of the data centre.

The OptiXtrans DC908 features an ultra large capacity of 800 Gbit per second per wavelength, supporting flexible configuration between 100Gbps and 800Gbps, and future-proof Super C+L technology to achieve 220 wavelengths. 

GlobalData, a data analytics and consulting company for the ICT industry, has ranked the Huawei OptiXtrans DC908 as a leader in architecture, performance, modularity, line interfaces, and network management.

While Huawei is relatively new to this market segment, its latest DCI solution has managed to outperform mainstream vendors, states GlobalData in its report Data Center Interconnect: Competitive Landscape Assessment.

With the OptiXtrans DC908, this cutting-edge product helps enterprises easily cope with the challenges of massive data flows in the cloud era, while continuously reducing unit cost, maximising the value of optical fibres, and improving return on investment.

In addition, the Huawei OptiXtrans DC908 is the industry’s first AI-ready data centre interconnect product to implement intelligent O&M capabilities, predict fibre faults, and perform accurate and efficient troubleshooting, thereby ensuring service availability.

In addition, the simplified optical-layer design and Web Graphic User Interface (WebGUI) enable fast deployment and service commissioning within 8 minutes.

The way Wu sees it, the OptiXtrans DC908 is able to help enterprises build their data centre interconnections in a better way in the following areas: Better cost control; maximising fibre utilisation; supporting business traffic growth with a future-proof architecture; and better service management.

As of the end of December 2019, Huawei OptiXtrans product series have already been deployed by over 3,800 customers in 158 countries and regions, enabling digital transformation across over-the-top (OTT) platforms as well as the government, energy, transportation, financial and education sectors.

The Covid-19 crisis may recede, but the need for digital connectivity will not stop, becoming more essential as the world moves towards a new norm. As for now, industries have to learn to survive by remaining relevant and increasing productivity.