Traffic is growing. Fast. Escalating demands are straining overutilized paths between data centers, along the connections between key branch offices and their headquarters, within a campus network, or across regional and long-haul backbone routes.

The drivers behind the bandwidth may differ – it could be terabyte file size data sharing between research institutions, the shift of enterprise applications, storage and computing to the cloud, transmission of complex, high-resolution medical imaging between hospitals, evolving educational tools, or other high-bandwidth applications – but, the result is the same:  costly and complex upgrades. Once a scalability issue has been identified, traditional means of overbuilding capacity typically can’t solve the problem efficiently or cost-effectively.

These scalability challenges may seem insurmountable, but similar problems have been overcome in other industries by simply looking at the problem in a different way. Transportation had similar challenges with scalability. Moving bits of data from location to location is much like transporting people, and providing cost-effective ways for consumers to get from place to place via the fastest, least congested route has not been simple.

To solve the problem, new private transit and ride-sharing companies decided to approach transportation from a different angle. They took the concept of private car service and modified that model to scale and be available to everyone. They built new tools, processes, and vast networks of drivers, giving all riders a new, more efficient way to get from point A to point B. 

Now, rather than needing to struggle with bus routes, GPS directions, or finding a taxi off the beaten path, travelers can open an app, request a ride, and get picked up by a highly rated driver, often within minutes. It couldn’t be simpler. The entire process for securing transportation from location to location has changed forever. And, with any driver on the road potentially offering their services, it offers scalability beyond existing public transit offerings.

What if network operators could approach the problem of scaling network traffic from a different angle, and like the transportation industry, leverage a new way to easily scale capacity to meet growing traffic demand?

Unlike moving people, moving data is highly reliant on a massive network of existing infrastructure. However, rather than expanding and overbuilding costly, inflexible network infrastructure, what if there was a way to simply integrate a solution that optimized existing fiber facilities without impacting the existing infrastructure – an easy button for bandwidth scale. In fact, there is.

Looking at the problem of bandwidth scale in a different way, we see it isn’t so dissimilar to the exponential bandwidth growth data center operators experience across interconnects. Data center interconnects require efficient space, low power, massive bandwidth devices that can be set up as quickly and simply as a server, enable endless integration possibilities, and can be up and running in hours, not days.

New platforms built specifically for high-capacity interconnects offer incredible speed and massive density with never-before seen simplicity. These platforms offer high-speed transmission from 100G up to 400G per wavelength with a simple server-like operational model, giving operators a new, easy-to-use tool for increasing capacity. In addition, open APIs enable seamless integration into existing infrastructure. Enterprise, Government and R&E customers are applying these platforms designed for the data center and leveraging them in capacity-exhausted connections all across the network, increasing bandwidth across congested links in hours while saving tens of thousands of dollars.

Sometimes the best solution simply requires a fresh perspective on the problem.

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