Fields of Fiber

    Data Center Networks: Software Managed Fiber Connections

    Posted by Bill Miller on Dec 7, 2016 1:28:32 PM
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    MelvilleQuote_sm.pngDay 2 was the longest expo day of the week, and it also featured a joint presentation by M.H. Raza, Fiber Mountain CEO and Rudy Montgelas, Sr. Technologist, Legrand. A broad audience enjoyed the presentation – which shared the title of this post – and learning more about the Fiber Optic market, Glass Core and some fiber history and trends.

    Rudy presented a profound quote, “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” – Herman Melville! One audience member did recall this is the author of the novel “Moby Dick”. Rudy presented the drivers of today’s data center’s need for fiber networks which needs to support all our favorite applications, tremendous growth in connected devices and our need for immediacy in response times. Together, a connected infrastructure becomes the foundation of data centers that provide agility, modularity and scalability. As networks move to software-based architectures the data center gains accurate real time documentation, ultimate in scalability, error-proofing, remote real time visibility and monitoring, automation of network re-configurability, and optimization of power and cooling for switching equipment. Introducing the Glass Core.

    4pmFiberQuote.pngRaza then took center stage and asked, “It’s 4 pm… do you know where your fiber connections are?” Raza pointed out that you may know where your kids are but not necessarily your fiber connections! The data center is evolving, as structured cabling is now 74% fiber and 26% copper. I call this, “fiber is the new copper,” which makes for good tradeshow and conference talk! Consider that webscale and hyperscale data centers are close to 100% fiber today. Single mode fiber has a projected 6% CAGR by 2020, and there is increase in 24 fiber MPO/MTP connections driven by density and bandwidth demands. Raza suggested the audience take-away from the presentation, “Fiber of the future will be: Managed and Dynamic”. This is our mantra!

    With the growth of higher density connections and cables and the explosive growth in data centers, unmanaged fiber is simply unacceptable. The management and traceability of these increasing density and speed of connections is required.

    Enter the software-managed Glass Core, which forms the new architecture and foundation that delivers fiber, agility, modularity and scalability. Direct connections rather than router connections increase manageability and performance. Central orchestration provides real time visibility, path traceability and automation. On day 3 at the event in the expo, stop by the Legrand mock data center (across from #416) or the Fiber Mountain booth (#256) to see how it all works.

    As easy as 1, 2, 3: Physical Support + Glass Core + Fiber Connectivity!

    Survey Question

    Each day in our booth we are asking visitors a survey question. Day 2 we asked, “What is most important to your data center’s future development: Connection density, Automation or Visibility?” As with our day 1 question, we had a very strong response to this and in fact led to longer discussions and demonstrations for many visitors. Those who took the time received a Starbucks gift card and will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card after the show, which we will write about, on this blog.

    The responses covered a wide range of answers depending on the role of the person, but over 70% of the responses are looking for increased automation for both reducing human error and optimization of data center resources. Connection density and visibility split the remaining responses. Connection density was mentioned as a second to many of the automation responses. The discussions with visitors generated excellent talking points to learn more about each data center’s pain points from the perspective of the person’s role within the data center.

    A new question will be asked today and we will summarize responses in the next blog post.


    The Fiber Mountain team looks forward to success with our new partners and customers who are adopting the Glass Core approach as part of their migration plan and for new data center designs! Today we have our third survey question of the week and booth visitors can see the Glass Core in operation at either the Legrand mock data center booth or Fiber Mountain booth #256.

    Learn More about the Glass Core

    Topics: data center, Optical Fiber, Gartner