Data Center Networks: Meeting the emerging requirements for capacity, cost, energy consumption and reach

Sunday 09:00-18:00

David Plant, McGill University, Canada
Yikai Su, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Sylvie Menezo, CEA-LETI, France
Dimitris Apostolopoulos, National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Data centre traffic is surging with sustained annual growth rates as high as 25% expected by 2020. Deployment of photonic technologies for rack-to-rack communication is leading to faster and greener system implementations. From the network perspective, new, flatter network architectures, along with optical switching, are being advocated in order to boost efficiency.

Moreover, as silicon photonics has made its way into data centers with the PSM4 parallel 4 X 25Gbps as a cost effective solution below 500m, WDM is considered as a possible solution to meet near future datacenter requirements in terms of performance, cost and power consumption. TEC-free transceiver solutions are key for these applications that require 70°C and even higher operating temperatures but further developments on Silicon Photonics or III-V technology are required.

Furthermore, to date switching has been performed by electronic switches but with the ever increasing data capacity, the back planes of the electronic switches seem to impose limitations on data transfer speed, interconnect density and power requirement. Combined with electronic switches, optical switching may be able to handle large traffic of coarse granularity with high speed, large capacity, low latency and low power consumption.

Finally, to effectively apply these technologies and network concepts, an SDN control and orchestration framework is necessary inside and across data centres. From a system perspective, optical interconnects are bound by stringent cost ($/Gb/s) and energy targets (mW/Gb/s) that add up to -and dominate- technological feasibility aspects. Scaling systems with conventional NRZ modulation cannot meet the overall requirement matrix, spurring research into new topics such as high-order modulation formats, channel equalization, forward-error correction and multiplexing.

This workshop will highlight the latest achievements in datacenter network architectures, switching technologies for datacenters, optical interconnection systems, and modules for intra and inter datacenter connectivity. The workshop is divided into four complementary sessions:

Session 1.  Network and system challenges in the exascale cloud datacenter era

Moderator: Dimitris Apostolopoulos, NTUA, Greece

Chongjin Xie, Senior Director, Chief Optical Network Architect, Alibaba, USA
“Scalability of Optical Technologies for Growing Exascale Datacenters”

Katharine Schmidtke, Sourcing Manager, Optical Technology Strategy, Facebook, USA
“Increasing datacenter bandwidth: A network or a technology issue?”

Loukas Paraschis, Senior Director, Sales, Cloud and Content, Infinera, USA
“Transport Innovations in Next-Generation DCI Networks”

Richard Pitwon, Photonics group leader, Seagate, UK
“Proliferation of system embedded photonic interconnect in exascale data centres”

Panel discussion (30 min approx.)

Session 2. Silicon based WDM transceivers for transmissions between and across data centers?

Moderator: Sylvie Menezo, CEA-LETI, France

Dr. Karen Liu, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, KAIAM Corp. USA
“Optimizing wavelength parallelism in advanced data center transceiver”

Radha Nagarajan, CTO optical group, INPHI, USA
“Switch Pluggable Silicon Photonics PAM 4, DWDM Modules for 4Tbit/s, >80km Inter-Datacenter Links”

Dr. Yu Tanaka, Senior Researcher, PETRA, Japan
“Silicon-photonics-based WDM technologies for short reach interconnection”

Geza Kurczveil, senior member of Large-Scale Integrated Photonics (LSIP) Group at Hewlett Packard Labs
“High-temperature operation and control of multi-channel heterogeneous light sources on silicon”

Panel discussion (30 min approx.)

Session 3.  Optical switching devices and technologies for datacenters

Moderator: Yikai Su, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Topics to cover: Optical switching devices, fast switching devices, enabling technologies (Si photonics, MEMS, III-V, LCOS, PLC) and optical switching architectures

Po Dong, Nokia Bell Labs, USA
““Silicon photonic devices for optical switching””

Ken-ichi Sato, Nagoya University, Japan
“Large scale switching devices and systems for datacenters”

Siyuan Yu, University of Bristol, UK
“III-V devices for optical switching”

Xiaolu Song, Huawei, China
“Optical switching and interconnection for power efficient data centers””

Panel discussion (30 min approx.)

Session 4. Intra- and inter- data center transmission systems: Choices and challenges

Moderator: David Plant

Qunbi Zhuge, Ciena, Canada
“Software defined coherent technologies for inter-datacenter networks”

Stephane Lessard, Ericsson, Canada
“Datacenter Networking for 5G applications”

Elad Mentovic, Mellanox, Israel
“Intra- Datacenter Challenges; System Perspective”

Neal Bergano, TE Connectivity, USA
“Undersea cable networks: moving massive amounts of data around the world”

Panel discussion (30 min approx.)