400G for Edge DCIs with 400ZR

By Eugene Park | Posted on August 1, 2019

Rapidly growing content demand is pressuring carriers, cloud providers, and traditional data center operators to boost the bandwidth of the data center interconnects (DCIs) that link their facilities. The Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts an estimated 4.8 billion global Internet users to be accessing content from an Internet comprised of 28.5 billion networked mobile devices and connections by 2020. Emerging applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G wireless, and ultra-high-density (8K) video are also poised to intensify demand.

To address the need for higher DCI bandwidth requirements to meet this growing demand, the optical networking industry began working on a solution known as the 400ZR implementation agreement, with a goal to combine optical line-side fiber capacity with the benefits of client-side solutions.

Spearheaded by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), 400ZR aims to deliver accessible 400 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) Ethernet links for edge DCI applications. The 400ZR implementation agreement addresses edge-DCI applications with link distances targeting 80 km to 120 km and can be implemented in pluggable 400Gbps optical transceiver module form-factors used for client optics.

The primary 400ZR use case is to apply the technology to DCI edge networks.

The 400ZR standard leverages the reach and capacity benefits of coherent optical technology, while challenging the industry to implement the technology in compact pluggable module form-factors such as QSFP-DD and OSFP.

We recently published a market backgrounder that reviews the industry drivers behind the development of 400ZR, the key benefits of the technology, and a product-development roadmap for bringing 400ZR transceivers to market. It also provides a few predictions on how the technology could potentially change the industry. Check it out to learn more and let us know what your predictions are.

Read the White Paper