100G Transceivers In Data Center Interconnect

Updated on Jul 20, 2022 by

100G Transceivers

With the expansion of cloud computing and data centers, enterprises require more rapid and high-capacity cloud solutions. They are also seeking enhanced data center connectivity to boost their operational efficiency. As an essential part of network transmission, 100G transceivers play an important role in data centers. Therefore, it's necessary to take a deep look at the 100G transceivers in data center interconnect.


What Is Data Center Interconnect?

Data Center Interconnect (DCI) usually refers to a technology that links two or more data centers together. DCI technology can cover different transmission distances, from cities to underwater, offering many choices for businesses.

Generally, there are two kinds of data center interconnect: intra-data center interconnect and inter-data center interconnect. The former means connection within the data center, while the latter refers to the connection between data centers with a transmission distance from 10km to 80km or over 80km.

DCI shows its advantages in several ways. For instance, DCI enables high-secure data transfer while also supporting multiple connection types, which provides enterprises with great flexibility. Now, as internet traffic grows, DCI is becoming increasingly important in enterprise business upgrades and infrastructure expansion.

data center interconnect


Things to Consider in Data Center Interconnect

A lot of things that enterprises must consider when deploying data center interconnect like distance and location etc. And those factors also affect their choices for transceivers; therefore, enterprises should make decisions based on their actual needs.

  • Distance: DCI applications may vary for different data transfer distances. For example, if you locate data centers in the same city, you do not need to choose a network link with a maximum length of 80km. Generally, for metropolitan areas, it's better to choose 100G ZR modules, which support up to 80km transmission distance. As for those metro areas within 80km, 100G DWDM transceivers will be a better choice.

  • Capacity: The capacity of data transfer is another important factor affecting DCI. With businesses increasing, enterprises also increase their requirements for higher bandwidth. The 100G coherent optical modules over a single wavelength can greatly increase the capacity of DCI. In addition, coherent optics also expand the available spectrum from the C-band to the L-band, doubling the capacity per fiber and improving the utilization of wavelength.

  • Speed: Apart from transmission distance and capacity, enterprises also pay a lot of attention to speed. As data center traffic explodes, enterprises have to choose high-speed data transmission to catch up with the demand. With the growth of the 100G transceiver family, data transmission speed increases, enhancing network efficiency and performance for enterprises.

  • Density: If a data center features higher density, it may support a large capacity of data transmission, thus better meeting the needs of increasing data traffic flow. For example, when 100G transceivers change from CFP to CFP2 and CFP4, the modules become more integrated and dense. This improves network equipment, saving space and cost in data centers.

  • Power Consumption: When deploying data centers, enterprises should never underestimate the role of power consumption. With so many optical transceivers on the backboards of data centers, companies should carefully consider the power concumption of them. Generally, 100G QSFP28 modules can transmit at different distances with low power consumption, saving energy and reducing heat.

  • Cost: For most enterprises, a cost-effective solution should be given top priority. Since optical transceivers are deployed in any layer of data centers, enterprises should pay more attention to their upfront cost during data center deployment. In most cases, the cost of transceivers is proportional to transmission distance. Enterprises can also ask third-party optical module suppliers for help, thus achieving high-performance and cost-effective network connectivity.


100G Transceivers Applications in DCI

100G transceivers can be used within and between data centers and the solution may also vary depending on different situations. Following are two common data center application scenarios with 100G transceivers.

Spine-leaf Data Center Network Architecture

In spine-leaf data center network architecture, 100G transceivers are used as a bridge from the aggregation layer to the core layer. In most cases, the closer to the top layer of the architecture, the greater the data transfer capacity. For small data center interconnects for short distances, 100G DR modules will be a better option for their cost efficiency and suitable transmission capacity. As the picture shows below, 100G optical modules and cables are used to achieve 100G spine-leaf data center connectivity.

Spine-leaf Data Center Network Architecture

The Modern Highly-Interconnected Data Center

For modern highly-interconnected data centers, high-speed and large-capacity transmission is of great importance. 100G ZR modules allow for a direct connection up to 80km without needing complex open line systems. They are great for metro area networks and big businesses. Besides, the 100G coherent optics are an ideal solution for over 80km transmission, which can achieve a 100G high capacity data center interconnect.

100G ZR transmission



To sum up, with a huge 100G transceivers family, 100G transceivers are playing an increasingly important role in DCI, which also provides companies with a variety of DCI options. Enterprises should choose a suitable solution based on the actual requirements like data rate or distance.

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