Data Center Interconnect 

With rigid computing requirements in today's world, Data Center Interconnect is a necessity for businesses looking to synchronize their data centers. Data Center Interconnect (DCI) is the technology that links multiple data centers together, bridging the gap between data centers separated by various distances. From short range to mid-range to long range, DCI ensures that data centers always have the most up-to-date information and are synchronized no matter if they are located several miles apart, across a continent, or even on different continents. 

This technology is invaluable in today's networking landscape, especially when business operations are often globalized and scattered across multiple geographical locations and there is increased deployment of hybrid-multi cloud environments. The DCI market is a constantly growing market expected to reach $18.3 billion with a projected 13.9% CAGR in the next half decade.


Interconnecting data centers from different geographical locations has many benefits that are conducive to a modern networking framework. Some of the key benefits of DCI include:

Sharing resources

DCI enables businesses to aggregate data center resources and share these resources among the data centers. Linking together multiple data centers means these data centers are able to share tasks and balance their workloads. As such, the network can handle multiple workloads with greater efficiency and alleviate network strain. With proper resource allocation, network operators can vastly improve network performance. 

This can be particularly valuable in industries such as the medical field where clinical data needs to be quickly delivered and shared with medical professionals/patients to ensure that they have access to accurate medical information. It is also valuable in industries like the financial field, where users are often making many real-time digital transactions and banking institutions need access to financial records with great efficiency. 

Protect sensitive data

Data security is one of the key concerns for many organizations, especially those with access to sensitive data such as those in the aforementioned industries. DCI deploys encryption over various access layers to ensure that data is protected at all times. With DCI, organizations can have peace of mind knowing that they can transport critical assets that are protected via encryption.

Edge computing

In Edge computing, the processing and data storage is moved much closer to the end users or the source of the data. DCI is necessary to keep these edge data centers in-sync with the central data centers, optimizing the data transmission between them so that the compute at the edge is always on point for various applications.


As data requirements continue to grow, having the ability to elevate networks to meet these requirements is essential. With DCI, businesses are able to expand their network capacity and scale their network infrastructures to handle increasing network demands. 

Back up resources

Data must be backed up and accessible from data centers from different locations in case of data center failures or outages. DCI enables organizations to offload their data among various data centers. With data replicated at different data centers, organizations have access to back-up data should the need arise. Data replication is also necessary to ensure compliance with corporate rules and regulations in the aforementioned industries.

Network challenges

One of the key challenges to address when establishing DCI links is building optical transports that can handle the capacity and bandwidth demands of modern networks. In today's networks, a greater amount of data needs to be moved with greater efficiency and often over longer distances. With users needing access to compute, storage and content resources, the level of connectivity required for DCI can be taxing on optical transports with outdated network optics. 

Another challenge is addressing the costs of operation for DCI. Not only can the operational costs for DCI be relatively high, managing optical networks that are capable of fulfilling the demands of DCI is often laden with greater operational complexity. When building DCI, implementing optics that can simplify network management while circumventing the costs of maintaining high performance links is essential to building a sustainable DCI eco system. For many networks, the ideal solution in building a robust optical transport for DCI is the implementation of coherent optics. 

Coherent optics

Coherent optics are a perfect fit for DCI because their optical schematic can help networks carry greater amounts of data at longer distances. As discussed in our 400G ZR/ZR+ article, coherent optics utilize advanced modulation schemes instead of the NRZ (Non-return-to-zero) or PAM4 (Pulse amplitude modulation with four levels) amplitude modulation schemes used on other optics. Coherent optics can modulate three aspects of the light wave: amplitude, phase and polarization, which means they can transfer significantly more data in a single optical wavelength even over lengthy distances. 

Signal distortion and noise are often barriers for transmission links especially at longer distances. Coherent optics utilize advanced DSP (digital signal processing) techniques to mitigate these bottlenecks and ensure that the data can be properly transported from one data center to another. With these technologies, coherent optics packaged in compact form factors, can transport data at up to 800Gb/s in a single wavelength for a robust DCI link. Coherent optics can also deliver data to distances of 80 km or higher (using optical amplification) making them particularly suitable for long haul networks. Their versatility also makes them a great fit for shorter range, metro DCI networks.

Axiom solutions

Axiom offers a full lineup of coherent optics that are optimized for performance as well as solutions to fit any DCI application space. Our coherent optics are packaged in a way that is simple to use, scalable and tailored to each network's needs and has a proven track record for helping businesses build more reliable networks. Contact an Axiom representative to learn more about our selection of coherent optics, so we can help you build DCI links to keep your data centers in sync.