I just finished a quick trip to Arlington, VA and Philadelphia, PA to participate in two events: TIA Data Center Workshop and 7x24 Exchange Delaware Valley Chapter Meeting. Both had excellent discussions about the role of optics in the data center.
The panel I moderated at the TIA Workshop had representatives from Microsoft, Google, Dell and Sumitomo. The discussion brought home to me the fact that there is a large gap between the needs of the small, medium and even large enterprise data center and the needs of Internet Data Centers. The chart below, that was provided by Dell, tries to summarize the point.
The diversity of data center needs will continue to broaden over the next five to ten years so the IEEE is trying to address this in its Ethernet standards development. Data rates like 2.5G, 5G, 25G and 400G are now being considered in order to address both ends of the market "spectrum." Pun intended.
At the 7x24 Exchange Delaware Valley meeting, I discussed this trend and more from our recent study on data center optics. Here is a link to a copy of the presentation.
More to come later on trends in data center optics.