Data centers connect to other data centers.

Data Center Interconnect  (DCI) is the technology that connects two or more data centers together  over short, medium, or long distances using high-speed packet-optical  connectivity. It connects your routers and servers to each other or to  multi-tenant data centers, so you can get your users and data to the right  cloud applications and services. It’s a broad concept that comprises  connectivity solutions across different layers of the network. DCI can be built  from the optical layer, with packet-optical technology, or the packet layer,  with switches and routers. It can be part of managed service provided by an  operator, or it can be a solution you build yourself.

DCI plays a critical role in meeting the exploding needs for data  and insatiable demand for cloud-based services and content. As a result, DCI  solutions are evolving to meet new requirements for ultra-high capacity,  massive scalability, power efficiency, and management simplicity to make  interconnecting data centers faster, easier, and more cost-effective. New DCI-optimized  products have changed the solution landscape. This document describes how these  new products are being used to simplify the DCI network.

How DCI is being  used and rolled out

DCI technologies move content to,  from, and between data centers. The technology is at work in many industries  around the world. It can help hospitals meet rigorous business and clinical  needs and prepare for growth. In fintech, DCI technologies provide the  networking infrastructure banks need to support traffic for a full range of  digital products, from digital money transfers to real-time payments, and open  banking via APIs.

DCI is also a necessary  ingredient for sharing data with third-party providers and financial exchanges  that are part of a bank’s digital services ecosystem.
Enterprises are just starting to move their IT resources to both  multi-tenant and public clouds. As this trend accelerates, DCI connectivity from  enterprise data centers and between cloud data centers will grow in lockstep.

How DCI changes  the game

Research shows that the growth of data centers will continue to  increase over the next several years. In 2019, just the construction of data  centers is forecast to be a $22.73  billion market. In addition, Forrester  Research predicts the public cloud market, a key driver for data center  growth, will reach $191 billion one year later, in 2020.
That’s a lot of data centers to connect. And DCI-optimized networking  will be the method of choice to make sure the data you need is in the right  place when you need it. Here’s what it offers


  • Simple  operations and quick turn-up: Designed for operational simplicity, the  right DCI platform enables hassle-free, rapid scalability. With support for  various interfaces, modulation schemes, and deployment scenarios, including the  option to run over existing photonic lines, the simple operations and quick  turn-up available with DCI helps streamline operations, business performance,  and each customer’s experience.
  • Openness and  programmability for easy automation with back-office tools: Common  management interfaces and industry-standard APIs built into modern DCI solutions  enable you to automate labor-intensive manual tasks to reduce errors from  repetitive operations.
  • Peace of  mind for traffic growth: High capacity and seamless scalability—to  multiple terabits of capacity—help you meet traffic growth requirements for the  foreseeable future without massive injections of CAPEX or network disruptions  due to bandwidth exhaust.
  • Reduced  recurring/operating costs: Optimized designs with low power consumption  and compact footprints allow you to reduce electricity, cooling, and real  estate costs.

How Ciena helps

Ciena’s DCI solutions leverage field-proven coherent optical  processing technologies to carry mission-critical traffic. These technologies  are trusted by customers around the world and across various industry segments.  Globally, Ciena has deployed more than 100 million kilometers of coherent  networking solutions, which is equivalent to 130 round trips to the moon.  Ciena’s reputation for delivering highly reliable networks enables data center  operators to eliminate worries about network failures and capitalize on high  availability as a competitive differentiator.

Recognized as the leader in DCI by Ovum in April 2016, Ciena  combines best-in-class optics and web-scale IT to deliver massive capacity and  programmability while providing power and space efficiency—all in a way that is  simpler to use, scalable, and tailored to each customer’s needs.