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Data Centers Moving to “Sweat” Shops

December, 2014

What is really happening in the greening of the data center? We are not seeing orders of magnitude reduction of power consumption. We are not seeing the use of cleaner power plants. Evidently, engineers and other individuals working at Data Centers (DCs) will be increasingly making wardrobe changes from light jackets and slacks to shorts and sleeveless shirts. The expectation is that the standard operating mode for many DCs will be as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At least one major components vendor is working on chip sets, which will work more effectively under such conditions and actually, the permitted temperature for a server can normally reach 90°F (although it is usually advocated not to go beyond 77°F). Obviously, in moving in this direction, the cost of cooling a DC can come down substantially. However, what is not as recognizable is the extremely...

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ROADMs Instead of Metro 100G Systems?

March, 2015

At the OFC 2015 conference, one of the most highly respected network engineers in the business from Xtera Communications will be legitimately asking the question on a panel, “What on Earth is a ‘100G Metro System?’” Bill Szeto will be asserting that because 100G currently means a whole wavelength, there is nothing wrong serving the needs with just taking a 100-gig channel off of a ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer). In doing so, it would also take care of the potential problems with stranded capacity that would occur in mesh networks as we outlined in a previous blog article. Bill will also argue that a so-called 100G metro system would provide no...

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Monetizing Older Networks: An Overreach?

March, 2015

Although one of the most thought-provoking panels at OFC 2015 will be on the monetization of optical networks, which will include seasoned experts who are vigorously involved in building new revenue models, it is not easy to imagine the kind of cultural metamorphosis that would be required for incumbent service providers to change their long-standing, bureaucratic behavior. In addition, while it is only commonsense to switch from a model that requires a lengthy period of time to install a circuit with a long-term commitment to more of a cloud-driven, network-on-demand paradigm, in which files can be loaded for say, a couple hours to be analyzed, we have discussed the very legitimate structural...

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Google’s Surrender to Extreme Environmentalist Pressure – Hit to Optics

July, 2015

When it comes to defending its overwhelmingly dominant position on the Internet or in extracting the very last penny in its network cost, Google will play hardball with the best of them. Yet, when it has to do with the quite hyperbolic attacks of the company’s existence supposedly playing a role in destroying the earth, it has almost totally capitulated (partially for political reasons), dramatically increasing the pressure on other cloud players to do likewise. It appears to be a big reason that fewer and larger Data Centers (DCs) are being built by these huge enterprises, which will probably have a negative impact on the fiber optic industry. Many people in the world are genuinely concerned about the environment and will support reasonable changes to protect the planet. There are others who erroneously view any kind of technological advancement, especially in western...

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Xtera IPO an Act of Desperation?

November, 2015

Apparently, Xtera Communications’ desire to exit the optical business can no longer be characterized at all as graceful, but as somewhat frantic. There had been speculation in the industry that the supplier had even backed out on the idea of filing the S1, and then afterwards, it cut the terms of the IPO in half. There is no question that IPOs universally have been deferred lately as a result of market instability. Although Xtera has truly compelling technology that amply differentiates itself from other vendors, the lack of a sexy story will not necessarily endear itself to investors. Also, they will probably be wary when it comes to its presently high level of customer concentration. However, if it is able to amply demonstrate a need for its technology by a number of the hyperscale...

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