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What is DCI or Data Center Interconnect?

What is DCI or Data Center Interconnect?

Data Center Interconnect or DCI refers to high speed connectivity to connect two or more data centers.  But, to fully understand DCI one must first understand Data Centers.  Data centers are the heart and the brains of the internet in our cloud connected world. Data centers host applications and store the data for the Internet and cloud-based services. Without data centers, we would not have instant and consistent access to the information and applications that we all enjoy and expect today – even as we travel to different destinations across the country or across continents.

There are thousands of data centers around the world.  A single city can have numerous data centers. In fact, the city in the world with the largest number of data centers is London with over 300.

Now obviously Data centers need to be connected to end users through service provider networks – like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Orange. But data centers also communicate and transfer large amounts of data amongst themselves. Think of Netflix. Netflix has numerous deployment locations around the world to serve local communities. When they release a new video – it is distributed across a myriad of data centers.

This same process is also used for business services. Take Infinera as an example. We use cloud-based solutions for our email, file sharing and video conferencing.  Our data is replicated and stored at multiple data center locations including in the countries or cities closest to our offices. DCI provides the high-speed inter-data-center connections necessary to rapidly transfer mass amounts of information to ensure content consistency across all locations.

As you can imagine, DCI traffic is one of the fastest growing segments in our networks. In order to keep up, DCI utilizes the latest high speed optical transmission technologies such as coherent optical networking and Dense Wave Division Multiplexing – which are two topics that we address in other videos.

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  • DCI connects 2 or more data centers together
  • DCI is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry
  • DCI allows data to be replicated and moved to improve performance
Published on: January 20, 2022