The dramatic transformation of service delivery to the cloud touches business users and consumers alike. Business services in the cloud have become virtualised and elastic. Evolving consumer services dominated by on-demand streaming services are now hosted in the cloud. The growth of mobile broadband and the development of the Internet of Things continue the transformation. But one thing remains the same: an ever-increasing expectation of quality.
Fibre Systems Autumn 2015
Global IP traffic has increased fivefold since 2010 and there is no reason to think that this growth will stop anytime soon. Attempts to keep pace with such capacity demands have seen a dramatic increase in optical cable installations and installed optical fibre counts, causing unprecedented levels of congestion in carrier duct infrastructure. Soon, the large traditional cables installed in these ducts will reach capacity exhaust but, due to the high cost of civil works, many operators will be reluctant to invest in new duct and cable infrastructure.
More new submarine cable capacity was deployed last year than the entire undersea bandwidth in service globally in 2011, according to market research firm TeleGeography. That astounding statistic represents international bandwidth growth of 44 per cent in 2014, to reach 211Tb/s. Wholesale carriers and private networks, particularly those of large content providers, continue to invest billions of dollars to upgrade the capacity of existing subsea cables and install new systems.
Multimode fibre has been the workhorse of data centre networks for many decades because it provides the lowest cost cabling system for high-speed connections between servers, switches and storage. Although the optical fibre is more expensive, the larger core size enables the use of cheaper transmitters based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which reduces the overall cost of the system.
Since products based on coherent super-channels hit the market in mid-2012, this technology has transformed the way that service providers deploy long-haul capacity. A super-channel is an evolution in DWDM technology in which multiple optical carriers, implemented on a single line card, are seen as a single unit of capacity, and are brought into service in one operational cycle. Super-channels take the spectral efficiency that is delivered by a coherent transponder and make it operationally scalable beyond 100Gb/s.
Thirty years ago, two entrepreneurs — one a specialist in chemical distribution and the other an expert in aerosol packaging — joined forces to form MicroCare, a company specialising in aerosols to clean electronics. Founders Chris Jones and Peter Clapp soon cemented their position in the industry with the development of the patented TriggerGrip dispensing system, which reduced the environmental impact of printed circuit board cleaning while minimising both labour and cost.
CableLabs is spearheading efforts to develop a proposal that uses coherent optics to dramatically boost the capacity of hybrid fibre coaxial networks, reports Andy Extance
Systems vendors are using intelligent software to squeeze more performance from optical networks. Pauline Rigby reports on developments at OFC 2017