Arista confirms ‘400G ZR’ optical transceiver interoperability with Microsoft

Feb. 18, 2021
The demonstration, conducted over Microsoft’s 120-km open line system testbed, is an important step toward deployment of the QSFP-DD modules in data center interconnect (DCI) applications, according to the company.

Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET) says it has successfully demonstrated interoperability among what it termed “400G ZR” optical transceivers from multiple vendors (and which a source at Arista later confirmed means 400ZR). The demonstration, conducted over Microsoft’s 120-km open line system testbed, is an important step toward deployment of the QSFP-DD modules in data center interconnect (DCI) applications, according to the company.

Arista notes that DCI routers with enhanced thermal management will need to accommodate such 400G modules from multiple sources to create the multivendor environments that network operators increasingly prefer. Thus, the demonstration leveraged Arista’s 7800R3 routing platforms in Microsoft’s transmission testing lab. The tests “confirmed excellent optical and thermal performance over a variety of 400G ZR vendors,” according to Arista.

"We are very pleased with the demonstrated performance of the 400G ZR transceiver modules,” commented Hacene Chaouch, distinguished engineer at Arista. “Being able to seamlessly support modules from multiple 400G ZR vendors on our standard routing platforms constitutes a significant advancement in the DCI space."

“We are pleased with the progress on 400G ZR,” added Jamie Gaudette, principal engineering manager of Microsoft’s Backbone Network. “Thanks to our collaboration with OIF, we’ve achieved multi-vendor interoperation and cost effective 400G transport, allowing Microsoft to offer more bandwidth to our customers and accelerate our data center expansion.”

[Note: This article was amended with the confirmation that the transceivers were 400ZR devices. A paragraph speculating that "400G ZR" could imply the devices were designed for performance beyond 400ZR specifications was deleted.]

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