Typical Scenarios for 400G Network: A Detailed Look into the Application Scenarios

Updated on Feb 3, 2023 by

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As the rapid increase in internet traffic and the connectivity demand in almost every sector around us has compelled the need for faster and faster data transfer speeds, the introduction of 400G solution has come as a game-changer. However, the implementation of a new solution is always an uphill task. The same is the case with 400G. In this write-up, we will go a step ahead and take a detailed look into the 400G interconnection application scenarios. They include:

  • Data Center Networking

  • Metro Integrated Bearer Network

To develop a better understanding, we will break down the scenarios further on the basis of what the scenario aims at and various aspects that are addressed via implementing a 400G solution.

Data Center Networking

Reasons for 400G Optics Evolution in Data Centers

A boom in the east-west traffic is one of the major reasons that induced the need for 400G optical module solution. The existing data centers can be segregated into traditional and cloud where the traditional ones manage north-south traffic whereas the cloud data centers manage the east-west traffic. This is a major reason behind the traditional data centers being replaced by cloud data technologies at a rapid pace.

Another important difference between the two is the use of optical modules, whereas traditional DCs use 10G low-speed optical modules. On the contrary, 100G high-speed optical modules are the mechanism for cloud DCs. Another reason worth mentioning is the services that primarily use cloud DCs are the ones with the utmost data transfer requirement like machine learning and AI. Increased east-west traffic calls for increased usage of optical modules over a single server.

Point-to-point Interconnections

Let’s describe some use cases for communication service providers (CSPs) that want to upscale their existing IP-optical networks to 400G. The figure shows the type of connection utilizing 400G coherent optics in the routers for point-to-point connections such as Data Center Interconnects. In the best-case scenario, CSPs will use pluggable 400G optics into 400GE router ports in a manner that doesn't require intermediate regeneration. 400ZR optics can be used for links up to 120km, and 400ZR+ can be used for links up to 500–750km. These point-to-point connections can also be used in broader range of applications by cable operators, mobile network operators, etc.

Point-to-point Interconnections

Metro Integrated Bearer Networks

Reasons for 400G Optical Solutions in Metro Integrated Bearer Networks

A rapid increase in the number of services being offered over broadband makes 400G optical solutions an ideal fit for handling the aggregation.

The introduction of mobile broadband services, 4K and high definition videos, internet of things, and internet of vehicles (IoV) have raised the bar for each key performance indicator for the bearer networks. This is because the amalgamation of low-latency with ultra-high bandwidth, multiple lane architecture, and enhanced reliability is too hard a task to manage for the 100G interconnection networks. This is why 400G optical solutions have gained so much attention.

What do the Metro Integrated Bearer Networks Aim at?

Performance and reliability requirements are quite upscaled for the bearer networks as compared to the data centers. This is because they aim for lower transmission costs, higher reliability, and long-distance transmission. Where data centers require interconnection ranging over 80m to 2 km, the requirement for a bearer network ranges between 10-80 kilometers.

A carrier bearer network has the same methods as available for data centers to achieve the desired goals. They include raising the baud rate, cutting the transmission cost via using higher-order modulation and using more lanes. As those scenarios have been covered earlier, we will go ahead and take a look at the use of more high-performance LAN Wavelength Division Multiplexing.

Metro Integrated Bearer Networks


400G networks, as well as optical solutions, are gradually replacing the existing frameworks with each passing day. We should have no doubt in it becoming the new norm in the days to come. There are a number of issues considering the specifications as well as the implementation. In this article, we took a deeper look into the application scenarios of 400G optical solutions and the convenience it brings for the data center networks as well as the metro integrated bearer networks. With the increase in the number of services over broadband, 400G optical solutions are surely going to take this industry by storm.

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