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.