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US-Irish partnership deploys 'innovative' transatlantic link

03 Nov 2015

100G-plus "America Europe Connect" optical network to offer multi-city access and flexibility for booming markets.

Digital Realty Trust, San Francisco, Ca, US, a data center solutions developer, is partnering with Aqua Comms Limited, Dublin, Ireland, a provider of scalable, subsea network solutions, to deploy its new transatlantic fiber optic system, America Europe Connect (AEConnect).

AEConnect is a new subsea cable system offering a diverse trans-Atlantic route spanning more than 5,400 km connecting New York with the West Coast of Ireland. This will include deep water branching units for future landing station connectivity. In addition to the trans-Atlantic segment, the system supports metro networks, data center interconnectivity (DCI) and access to all of the major data centers in Dublin, Ireland, as well as linking through to Wales and London, UK.

The AEConnect link is currently expected to be available in Digital Realty's data center at 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, by the end of 2015, and the company plans to expand availability to its two other New York facilities. The subsea cable features the latest technology of 130 Gbit/s by 100 Gbit/s per fiber pair, which will provide low-latency connectivity from New York to London and beyond into Europe.

Market opportunity

Anthony Rossabi, Senior VP & Managing Director, Telecommunciations, commented, “Digital Realty's combination of Manhattan locations creates a market-leading opportunity for data center and colocation services in the New York metropolitan area. With AEConnect linking New York and London, we will offer enterprises, carriers and mobile operators access to private network bandwidth between two of the largest commercial centers in the world."

AquaComms says AEConnect is part of “the new generation of subsea cable systems”, connecting New York and London, which represent an update on systems built nearly 15 years ago. It is expected to significantly improve connectivity between North America and Europe, taking advantage of the latest software-defined network (SDN) technology to provide global data centers, cloud-based networks and content providers with low-latency and high-reliability solutions.

Greg Varisco, Chief Operations Officer at AquaComms, added, "We are excited about this collaboration as Digital Realty's global footprint and range of open solutions will allow us to meet the continuously increasing demand for reliable, high-capacity connectivity. Digital Realty offers cutting edge data center solutions in the New York metropolitan area and beyond, which will allow our customers to extend existing networks and expand into new markets."

Packet optical

AquaComms is also deploying Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, powered by WaveLogic 3 Extreme coherent optics, to provide 100G services between the cable’s key points of presence. Growth in data traffic across the Atlantic, between now and 2021 is forecast to be 41% CAGR according to TeleGeography.

The new link will provide connectivity for global data centers, cloud-based networks, financial services and content providers, such as international DCI for Equinix, the provider of carrier-neutral data centers and internet exchanges. The design will allow the use of advanced modulation schemes such as 8QAM and 16QAM that provide greater spectral efficiency and reach.

About Digital Realty

Digital Realty supports the data center and colocation strategies of more than 1,000 firms across its secure, network-rich portfolio of data centers located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Digital Realty's clients include domestic and international companies of all sizes, ranging from financial services, cloud and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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