Enterprise CIOs aren’t the only people who want great flexibility in their physical infrastructure. So do cloud data centre operators.

For them optical transport solution manufacturer Infinera Corp. is about to release a 2U-sized metro optical platform for providers that want to link data centres with high speed connections.

Better known for its chassis-sized DTN/DTN-X system for phone and cable companies, its upcoming Cloud Xpress is a stackable platform for independent data centre operators and Internet service providers who need to expand their infrastructure fast.

“They want a system that doesn’t look like a big chassis … but a rack and stack system that looks and feels like servers” said Mark Showalter, senior director corporate communications. “They want racks that have servers and storage and a box that fits in like a server and does the optical transport.”

The Cloud Xpress will be generally available in December, sold either directly from the company or through distributors. Globally Dimension Direct is one of them. Showalter wouldn’t disclose pricing.

Each 2U appliance delivers one terabit per second of input and output capacity– or 21 TBps in a 42U rack — with up to 500 gigabits per second (Gb/s) of line-side capacity and a mix of 10 gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 40 GbE and 100 GbE client- side interfaces.

“For the last decade 10 GB connections have been used between data centers,” Showalter said. “What we’re seeing now is the emergence of 100 GB optical technology being used in metro networks to interconnect data centers, making the connection much faster than they’ve ever been.”

The platform’s software also lets it to plug into existing cloud provisioning systems using open SDN APIs. Cloud Xpress appliances also consume half as much power as competitors, the company says.

Infinera’s target for Cloud Xpress are large data centre operators, Showalter said, as well as Tier II-sized providers.

Separately, the company said it’s enhanced the DTN-X platform with the introduction of the Infinera PXM, a packet switching module enabling highly-efficient packet-optical transport network architectures. The module enables service providers to reduce the number of router ports required to offer a portfolio of services based on Carrier Ethernet and MPLS.


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