An internet data center is structured in a layered format, with rows of servers within multiple racks, and each server and rack connecting through a switch. These rack switches then connect to each other, and ultimately to the service provider’s network. The connections between these top-of-rack switches, and to the service provider’s network, are increasingly done with higher‑capacity optical networking technology. Legacy copper cables can carry signals at distances adequate to meet most needs within an enterprise or internet data center at speeds up to about 1 gigabit per second. However, at speeds of 10 gigabits per second and above, the signals sent over copper cables experience increasing attenuation and dispersion over distances common in large internet data center environments, making copper much less effective as a transmission medium. According to a 2013 Infonetics report, 10 gigabit ethernet enterprise port shipments in 2012 were 14.7 million and are projected to grow to 110.6 million in 2017, representing a 49.7% CAGR.
In recent years, a number of leading internet companies such as Amazon.com Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corporation have begun to adopt more open internet data center architectures, using a mix of systems and components from a variety of vendors, and in some cases designing their own equipment. For these companies, compatibility of new networking equipment with legacy infrastructure is not as important, and as a consequence, these companies are more willing to work with non‑traditional equipment vendors. Non‑traditional equipment vendors generally permit companies to source optical modules from any vendor, thus creating an open and growing opportunity for optical device vendors.
- SFP, SFP+, and QSFP+ modules
- Data Rates from 1.25G to 100G
- Ethernet & Fibre Channel & Sonet/SDH