Colt to deploy OpenZR+ modules as part of 400G IQ Network upgrade effort

May 27, 2021
The upgrades move Colt along the path towards a Routed Optical Networking architecture, Cisco says.

Colt Technology Services is undertaking an upgrade to 400G support within its global IQ Network alongside Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO). The upgrade will see the adoption of 400G OpenZR+ coherent pluggable modules within Cisco 8000 routers and implementation of Segment Routing MPLS throughout the network. The upgrades move Colt along the path towards a Routed Optical Networking architecture, Cisco says (see "Cisco revamps IP over DWDM with Routed Optical Networking").

Launched in 2016, Colt’s IQ Network links more than 900 data centers across Europe, Asia, and North America. It includes more than 29,000 on-net buildings, a number that continues to grow. To keep pace with increasing requirements, Colt is upgrading the fiber network, including adoption of Acacia Communications’ 400G OpenZR+ coherent optical modules plugged into Cisco 8000 hardware. The optical transceivers will support long-haul inter-metro connections at reaches greater than 200 km. (For more on OpenZR+, see "OpenZR+ MSA Group releases first specification.") Use of the pluggable optics will help converge IP and optical layers and thus streamline network operations and reduce the number of network elements.

Meanwhile, the use of Segment Routing MPLS software capabilities will further simplify the network and provide the control necessary to support stringent service-level agreements (SLAs). The new capabilities should be available to customers this September, according to Cisco.

Colt has worked with Cisco to upgrade the IQ Network for the last several years (see "Cisco upgrades enable Colt IQ Network to deliver high-bandwidth connectivity"). “Colt is committed to ensuring its network is at the forefront of technological innovation, and this latest investment is the next step in our network optimization strategy, as we continue to leverage next- generation optical and packet technologies,” commented Vivek Gaur, vice president – network engineering for Colt. “Over the last couple of years, Colt and Cisco have built a strategic relationship centered on innovation, and we’re excited to continue to push boundaries for our customers and the industry. We know the requirement for ultra-high bandwidth services is increasing. With Cisco’s technology in specific layers of our network, we’ll have a scalable and efficient packet core network that fulfills the connectivity demands of our customers across the globe.”

“The internet is now an integral part of critical national infrastructure and must be continually reimagined to help transform the way we live. Colt is helping accelerate this as one of the first network providers to leverage the full capability of 400G OpenZR+ coherent pluggable optics in data center interconnect for metro and long-haul applications,” said Adam MacHale, vice president of EMEAR Service Provider, Cisco. “We look forward to continuing our exciting journey together with Colt and unleashing the full power of Routed Optical Networking technologies.”

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