"Business is undergoing significant change recently; in regard to technology, the transformation is clearly discernible. One seemingly universal trend related to business and technology is organizations’ growing demand for bandwidth to support the data-intensive initiatives that fuel their business and success. As corporations continually search for more data transmission capabilities, many choose to partner with colocation bandwidth providers to outsource some of the duties related to acquiring sufficient resources.
The observed rise in demand for bandwidth has set many other developments in motion. Specifically, leading research firm Global Industry Analysts recently released two reports that highlight how increasing demand for more high-speed bandwidth is spurring additional market growth for optical fiber cables and active optical cables. In particular, fiber cabling has been rising in prominence for use in the data center cabinet within enterprise network architectures, making it a more integral part of data center infrastructure and highlighting its bandwidth benefits in addition to its other well-known advantages of long-distance connectivity.
“Modern day economies, individuals and businesses have become increasingly dependent on uninterrupted global data connectivity,” GIA stated in its report. “With demand for bandwidth growing rapidly, there is an ever-rising need for fiber optic interconnectivity to support the growing data traffic. Most of the present-day transoceanic Internet traffic is transmitted through submarine cables, owing to the high level of efficiency in transmission through submarine cables, as against satellites.”
Organizations utilizing colocation facilities and services will likely not be surprised to learn that GIA found that European countries and the United States have been “at the forefront of submarine cable system development due to the escalating bandwidth consumption.” However, moving forward, most of the market growth will occur in developing markets such as Africa, Brazil, China and India.
Bandwidth Demand, AOCs and the Data Center
GIA’s other report noted that recent and continuing advancements in fiber optics technology has led to dramatically increasing demand for better performing Active Optical Cables (AOCs), especially from data centers.
“Data centers represents the largest end-use application in the global active optical cable market,” the GIA report stated. “A key factor driving demand from data centers include increasing bandwidth speeds, which are expected to touch 100 Gbps by 2018. However, AOC market in data centers are currently limited to facilities that look to optimize the existing infrastructure to provide higher data rates. Nevertheless, the market for AOCs in data centers is expected to increase with the introduction of big data application in the coming years. In addition, AOCs are steadily gaining prominence in non-data center applications such as in consumer electronic devices.”
There are many notable trends impacting data center and network architecture today, including the growing preference for data center consolidation with the use of virtualization technology and robust software capable of freeing up valuable data center space. As the trend toward software-defined everything has progressed, virtualization technology has continually improved so that negative affects that such consolidation would have on bandwidth capacity has been substantially mitigated. This means that companies looking to reduce their hardware investments are demanding new types of managed services to assist with the process, and this has essentially driven the emergence of offerings like dynamic bandwidth capable of facilitating cloud connectivity.
One of the biggest barriers to boosting bandwidth is the legacy cables and networking architectures that many organizations and even some colocation hosting providers have in place. Nonetheless, many businesses today are attempting to remodel their infrastructure to take advantage of new technologies and gain the resources necessary for remaining competitive. Regardless of which steps a company takes to update its data center infrastructure, any virtualization or software-defined environments that are established will need to have sufficient bandwidth to meet the needs of its users.
ZColo Zayo Ramps Up Bandwidth Offerings
Partly in response to the rising bandwidth demand, interconnection-focused colocation provider zColo recently announced that it was ramping up its offerings in Europe and the U.S. As a leading provider of bandwidth infrastructure services, Zayo Group rightfully recognized the business opportunity to cater to rising data center demands and introduced its 100G wavelength platform in the U.S. the expansion of the platform to Europe will be taking place during the remainder of this year and the first half of 2014.
“This route is deployed and ready for immediate implementation by European customers with high bandwidth connectivity needs,” said Alastair Kane, vice president of Zayo Europe. “The European 100G deployment includes the latest optical technology which provides the fastest commercially available IP services to Internet and content companies.”"