The concept of data centers is not new as it has been around since the late 1950s with the first passenger reservations system, namely SABRE (Semi-Automated Business Research Environment), automating one of American Airlines key business areas: quickly and reliably handling airline reservations.
Today, data centers are proliferating around the globe with Internet content providers, communications service providers, carrier-neutral providers, financial institutions, governments, large enterprises and many others investing billions of dollars in them for offering cloud-based services.
Three of the main data center operator types are communications service providers, Internet content providers and carrier-neutral providers. Each of them have specific business models and objectives with rich inbound/outbound connectivity being a key asset.
Long-haul Data Center Interconnect (DCI) refers to the optical connection that transports traffic flow from data center to data center (inter data center connection, as opposed to intra data center connection). Long-haul DCI is enabled by high-capacity optical links, whether subsea or terrestrial.
Internet content providers are not telcos and, as such, are not interested in optical networking equipment designed for telcos and their operational practices and constraints. Furthermore, networks interconnecting data centers significantly differ from their telecom counterparts.
The insatiable growth in DC traffic is very significantly impacting not only hardware and software but also optical backbone network topology and architecture. Leveraging the convergence between terrestrial and subsea equipment, more efficient end-to-end networks can be implemented.