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FROM THE

PROGRAMME COMMITTEE

DATA CENTERS AND NEW TECHNOLOGY AT SUBOPTIC

Whatever Next? BY LYNSEY THOMAS

W

hen the Programme Committee sat down to agree the theme for SubOptic 2019 the subsea industry was in a clear state of flux. Since SubOptic in Dubai many new systems had been planned and were either in the water, being manufactured or under contract. The vast increase in demand from the hyperscalers was driving not only an increase in cable build activity but also in technological advancement, predominantly by necessity. What exactly that necessity is depends on who the purchaser is, but across the board buyers are looking for diversity, low cost per terabit and small lead times. Whether that comes packaged in an SDM or C+L design, a traditional cable type, a high fibre count cable or even one with a non-copper conductor very much depends on the specific drivers within each individual company. The increased diversity in the types of purchasers within this market is pushing development to the max. The needs of those selling capacity are very different to those keeping it for their own use, the growth rates are disparate and the requirement for fibre pair ownership, vs. spectrum or capacity impacts not only the technical design but the commercial model.

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SUBMARINE TELECOMS MAGAZINE

Furthermore, the end points of subsea systems are changing. Data Center connectivity is becoming increasingly common with subsea systems stretching across the land. The Programme Committee saw that SubOptic needed to address this massive change in the market place and the theme for 2019, ‘To the Beach and Beyond – Rethinking Global Networks’, reflects that perfectly. We have aimed to create a program which addresses the needs of those growing at a large scale and those perhaps with a slower demand rate, but who are still looking to benefit from the new technology developments and commercial models. Tim Stuch is leading the Program Topic; ‘Networks of the Future’, which will encompass the next steps for capacity and network technology and the future role of traditional operators, amongst other key issues the industry is facing. Bernard Logan’s Program Topic; ’Commercial and Funding’, will delve into the new funding models that are being adopted by the industry, another aspect of our market which has seen huge change. The SubOptic 2019 theme sits comfortably within this ‘Data Centers and New Technology’ issue of STF maga-

zine and writing this article has made me think about how the increased ties between the subsea and the Data Center markets have affected the subsea industry both directly and indirectly. Previously demand was very much transaction based, bandwidth requirements were (originally) driven by the number of phone calls that occurred and forecasting was a case of predicting how many more ‘transactions’ were likely to occur. Routing was based on linking population centers. Nowadays the routing designs of systems are heavily based on the location of Data Centers i.e. places with low cost power, suitable space, Government support and good connectivity opportunities. The latest MAREA cable is a perfect example, strategically located to link into the Northern Virginia (“Datacenter Alley”) area. Demand is driven by other factors, such as mirroring, and by traffic modelling which is vastly different as DC traffic inherently expands into all available space. The high diversity requirements of certain parties have in some ways reduced the need for high reliability in system design. An owner with many diverse cable routes on offer between two Data Centers has less pressure on

Profile for Submarine Telelecoms Forum

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SubTel Forum Magazine #103 - Data Centers and New Technology  

Featured articles: -Data Centers by Derek Webster -Extending the Subsea Network to the Data Center by Erick W. Contag -3 Questions with Chr...