October 05, 2013
Dark Fiber Week in Review
By Rory J. Thompson
The Dark Fiber network continued to grow this past week, as more and more proponents continued singing its praises.
Obviously, Fiber Channel technology, which has been around for more than two decades, has proved to be very useful in moving data from central servers to large storage systems. With the recent doubling of speed from 8 Gbps to 16 Gbps, it appears to have become quite a favorite with customers. That popularity seems to have translated into greater demand, greater sales and therefore greater revenue. Perhaps that’s why Michael Howard (News - Alert), co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics, appeared optimistic and painted a rosy picture for Fiber Channel ports.
“Cisco’s (News - Alert) 16G Fiber Channel ports are finally hitting the market, and we believe its customers’ pent-up demand for Fiber Channel inter-switch connection will help push 16G revenue past 8G by the end of 2013,” said Howard.
According to Cliff Grossner, directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics (News - Alert), 16G Fiber Channel switch revenue is expected to grow at a 46 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2017.
One city in Tennessee apparently agrees. Residents of Chattanooga will soon be able to enjoy blazing fast Internet speeds: while most consumers have a download speed of seven megabits per second, people in Chattanooga will be able to take advantage of download speeds of 100 megabits per second. This fast service is thanks to the new fiber service offered by EPB, a power company in Chattanooga.
There are also new products coming to market to support this growth. Ciena Corporation recently announced that its new packet networking solutions have been selected by communications provider Ritter Communications. The 5160 Service Aggregation Switch from Ciena will enable Ritter to address the surge in customer demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) wholesale transport and Internet services, and for addressing mobile backhaul needs of Tier 1 mobile operators.
In a statement, Greg Sunderwood, vice president of engineering, Ritter Communications said, "The 5160 specifically allows us to expand our regional core to accommodate the demand for higher bandwidth and 10G customer interfaces. We've been experiencing significant growth from our Ethernet Business Services as well as our Wholesale Transport and Internet Services, and this technology is a key factor in enabling us to continue to service this demand. The small form factors of the 5160 and 5142 allow us to expand quickly where needed and address the network's hot spots in a cost-effective manner. And since we can't sacrifice on quality of service, the OAM feature set is critical to delivering on our service level agreements to our customers."
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