Today's networks tend to get in the way of efficient information delivery. They can be notoriously frustrating because capacity is usually available only in static chunks, resulting in bandwidth either sized much higher than demand requires, creating inefficiency, or over-running at peak usage, resulting in outages or unavailability.
In the near future, this mismatch in supply and demand will be remedied by scalable systems that can take full advantage of the fiber. For example, Ciena has demonstrated the ability to successfully light 1970s-era experimental fiber laid by British Telecom (BT) with 100G wavelengths. More recently, Ciena's WaveLogic 3 Coherent Optical Processors powered BT's long-distance testing of 800 Gb/s super channel on its core fiber network. If today's coherent optical technology can achieve this performance over 40-year-old fiber, and over fiber considered not good enough for 10 Gb/s, future generations should have no problem achieving scalability.
It is likely that the equivalent of Moore's Law, which continues to drive exponential compute and storage advancements, will also occur with network speeds. In addition, the integration of packet with optical means network scalability for ethernet will keep pace with optical. If the industry has gone from 2.5G in 1993 to 400G and 800G in 2014, with 1Tb on the horizon, scalability to multiple-terabit networks will likely be common by 2034.
During the early 1990s, visitors to a trade show clicked on a hyperlink and used the Internet to connect to over 600 servers. It was called the World Wide Web and stunned the users with the simplicity of the operation and how easy it was to get information. Of course, today we can connect to more than 690 million servers, and the Web is woven into the very fabric of our lives. It was the dawn of a new era in technology.
Which of today's technologies are now similarly positioned to revolutionize our work and interactions? Cloud computing is signaling that we are again at the dawn of a new era, and the network will drive the way we use the cloud in much the same way as the browser transformed the Internet.
Today the cloud is bound by the network. To truly realize the full potential of cloud computing, network connectivity must be as accessible and user-friendly as the Web made the Internet. In this slideshow, network specialists from Ciena take a closer look at the networking elements that are driving a new era of cloud computing.