Ciena unveils its Waveserver data centre interconnect platform

Created June 23, 2015
Technologies and Products

Ciena has detailed its Waveserver optical transport platform for the burgeoning data centre interconnect market. Data centre operators require power-efficient platforms that can scale to significant capacities over metro and long-haul distances.

The Waveserver stackable platform delivers 800 Gig traffic throughput in a 1 rack unit (1RU) form factor: up to 400 Gigabit of client-side interfaces and 400 Gigabit coherent DWDM transport.

For the client-side interfaces, a mix of 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit interfaces can be used, with the platform supporting the latest 100 Gig QSFP28 optical module form factor. On the line side, Ciena uses two of its latest WaveLogic 3 Extreme coherent DSP-ASICs. Each DSP-ASIC supports 16-quadrature amplitude modulation (16-QAM), equating to 200 Gigabit transmission capacity.

A rack can accommodate up to 44 Waveserver stackable units to deliver 88 wavelengths, each 50GHz wide, or 17.6 Tbit/s of capacity. Up to 96 wavelengths, or 19.2Tbit/s, is supported on a fibre pair. “We could add flexible grid and probably get closer to 24 or 25 Tbit/s,” said Michael Adams, vice president of product and technical marketing at Ciena.

The Waveserver platform also comes with software that allows data centre managers to engineer, plan, provision and operate links via a browser. More sophisticated users can benefit from Ciena’s OPn architecture and a set of open application programming interfaces (APIs). “We are going down the path of opening the platform to automation,” said Adams.

The global data centre interconnect market grew 16 percent in 2014 to reach $US 2.5 billion (€2.2 Bn) according to market research firm, Ovum. Almost half of the spending was by the communications service providers whereas the Internet content providers spending grew 64 percent last year.

“We are well engaged with a variety of Internet content providers,” said Adams. “We will be in trials with many of those folks this summer.” General availability is expected in the third quarter.

In May, Ciena announced it had entered a definitive agreement to acquire Cyan. Cyan announced its own N-Series data centre interconnect platform earlier this year. Ciena says it is premature to comment on the future of the N-Series platform.

By Roy Rubenstein   

See also

Press release: Ciena’s New Waveserver Platform Tackles Scalability, Space and Automation Challenges in Data Center Interconnect

Ciena blog: Ciena’s new Waveserver: a dream machine for data center interconnect

Gazettabyte: Ciena’s stackable platform for data centre interconnect


This article was written
by Roy Rubenstein

is the editor of and has been researching and writing about the telecom and semiconductor industries for over 20 years.