Thursday, 03 November 2016 12:46

Equinix, Facebook collaborate on packet-optical network solution

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Global data centre and interconnection company Equinix is collaborating with Facebook and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to deploy and test the Facebook-designed packet-optical switches, known as Voyager, inside two of its international business exchange data centres.

Equinix says Voyager is the first step in Facebook and Equinix’s development of the “next-generation network ecosystem for hardware and software”, and builds on a previous announcement to provide Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), Network Service Providers (NSPs) and enterprises with “an optimal environment to push technology boundaries and develop next-generation interconnection solutions”.

Equinix says it will continue to work with Facebook and other vendors to include TIP-based hardware and software in their architectures as they deploy inside Equinix and develop the TIP ecosystem.

Announced in February this year at Mobile World Congress, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) was launched as a way for leading technology providers to develop new technologies and rethink approaches to deploying network architecture in order to support emerging 5G networking, IoT and virtual reality use cases.

Equinix chief technology officer Ihab Tarazi said: “This emerging world of disaggregated optical networking will need a physical aggregation point where all the hardware and software can come together.  With Equinix’s rich history in network and cloud neutrality, it makes perfect sense that Equinix be the place where CSPs, NSPs and the TIP hardware and software vendors can join together to deploy next-generation networks.  We are thrilled by the initial results of our tests and look forward to future collaboration and innovation with this exciting initiative.”

Initial testing of the Voyager open packet-optical switch was carried out in Equinix’s SV3 and SV8 IBX data centres in Silicon Valley and the company says preliminary results showed “zero packet loss and significant overall cost savings due to this disaggregated hardware and software networking model”.

Facebook director of engineering, Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, says, “The Open Optical Packet Transport project group within TIP is developing technologies in an open community approach with the goal to drive better and broader connectivity globally. With Equinix’s leadership and support, the Voyager ecosystem will serve as a first ever white box for switching, routing and DWDM in the Wide Area Networks to exemplify a new way of open collaboration and innovation and has been contributed to the TIP community.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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