Deployment of disaggregated WDM systems moving beyond webscale DCI: Dell’Oro

The popularity of disaggregated WDM systems is growing, with the technology now making its mark in applications other than webscale data center interconnect (DCI), according to Dell’Oro Group. A new report from the market research firm states the expanding use cases for disaggregated WDM platforms led to a 142% year-over-year growth in sales of such systems in the first quarter of this year.

The popularity of disaggregated WDM systems is growing, with the technology now making its mark in applications other than webscale data center interconnect (DCI), according to Dell’Oro Group. A new report from the market research firm states the expanding use cases for disaggregated WDM platforms led to a 142% year-over-year growth in sales of such systems in the first quarter of this year.

“Small form factor, disaggregated WDM systems were developed for the hyperscalers,” said Jimmy Yu, vice president at Dell’Oro Group. “And for a long period of time, they were the only large purchasers. However, now we see a growing number of buyers that include cable operators and wholesale carriers. We think this is just the start of a good thing and expect demand for these disaggregated systems will continue to grow at a hyper-scale rate.”

Disaggregated WDM systems reached an annualized revenue run-rate of $800 million in the first three months of this year. Dell’Oro projects the run rate will exceed $925 million for full-year 2018. Ciena and Infinera currently have enjoyed the most success in this niche, with a combined market share of approximately 60% for the trailing four quarters ending in 1Q18.

The figures come from Dell’Oro Group’s “Optical Transport Quarterly Report,” which offers tables delineating manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices, and unit shipments (by speed, including 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps, 200 Gbps, and 400 Gbps). The report tracks DWDM long-haul terrestrial, WDM metro, multiservice multiplexers (SONET/SDH), optical switches, optical packet platforms, and data center interconnect (metro and long haul).

The Dell'Oro findings echo earlier reports of growing interest in disaggregated platforms among service providers (see "More service providers making decisions on disaggregated optical network systems").

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