BLOG

Another Savior of Data Center MM Fiber?

January, 2015

In addition to the development of longer-distance and higher-speed VCSELs, there is a possibility that in the long term, polymer waveguide material embedded in electronics could also help to extend the life of multimode fiber in data centers. Yet right now, the technology appears to be reminiscent of the use of silicon photonics with active components, but without the hype. As with SI photonics, the concept of these types of waveguides has been discussed for many years with the problem of loss being a major concern, and right now, the vast majority of dialog on the latter can be found almost exclusively in engineering papers and patent applications. An exception has been Dow Corning, which has for a while been making somewhat of a marketing push, such as at trade shows with its short-reach interconnects utilizing “low loss,” silicone-based polymer waveguides. Back in early 2013, both Dow ...

Read More

Cyberattacks: Lower Bandwidth Growth Rates?

January, 2015

Going back to 9/11, there began the realization that an attack on data center infrastructure would make a large corporation the most vulnerable – even more than the loss of the leadership. Simply put, it could stop business in the water. It seems that one of the biggest areas of potential exposure to cyberattacks is in the handoff to outside networks, and if there is a substantial shift in enterprises minimizing these interfaces, it would obviously decrease the amount of bandwidth needed for transport by public networks. We know of one Fortune 250 corporation, which has had at least two encounters with cyber hackers in China over the last two years regarding stolen intellectual property. One of the attacks involved Windows 2000 (Microsoft retired and stopped supporting those servers), and so the engineering team moved horizontally across the company to take control of those relevant serv ...

Read More

Monetizing Older Networks: An Overreach?

March, 2015

Although one of the most thought-provoking panels at OFC 2015 will be on the monetization of optical networks, which will include seasoned experts who are vigorously involved in building new revenue models, it is not easy to imagine the kind of cultural metamorphosis that would be required for incumbent service providers to change their long-standing, bureaucratic behavior. In addition, while it is only commonsense to switch from a model that requires a lengthy period of time to install a circuit with a long-term commitment to more of a cloud-driven, network-on-demand paradigm, in which files can be loaded for say, a couple hours to be analyzed, we have discussed the very legitimate structural defects that would frighten executives away from moving in such a direction. Nevertheless, maintaining the status quo is also out of the question for these well-established carriers and seeking the ...

Read More

Convoluted 20/80 Rule in Data Center Optics

April, 2015

Actually, it is probably a lot closer to a 90/10 relationship in which there is unbelievable amount of attention given to high-end optical development spurred on by a small number of mega-Data Center (DC) operators, which may not represent much higher than 10 percent of the total DC infrastructure market. At least the dot-com bubble initially came about with a legitimate bandwidth driver – the Internet. This time we have a cloud bubble based on relatively limited volume being promoted by a tiny minority of people in the industry with a vested interest including from small optical component vendors – of course, in some cases, being funded by those large end-users. The hype surrounds the new cloud model supposedly being a game changer, and that it will result in a ramping up to higher optical speeds quickly in the next few years. There is also the assertion that the different set of econom ...

Read More

Juniper’s Impulsive BTI Acquisition

February, 2016

Regardless of a news report of a very low purchase price for BTI Systems, and despite Juniper Networks’ contention about the acquisition “not [being] a new strategy,” the move is actually a watershed moment for the corporation, and it does not seem to reflect its historic reputation for investments in a deliberately thoughtful manner with regard to the long-term ramifications of such a purchase, as it is based more on short-term expediency to try to satisfy Wall Street investors now. There is a huge difference between “developing optical interfaces…on [its] routers” and delving totally into the optical systems space, which Juniper has previous avoided because of its lack of comfort level in getting too far beyond the IP piece. In addition, while the vendor’s assertion that the buyout will be quite targeted in “captur[ing] what [it] believe[s] are very significant market inflection points ...

Read More