Interconnecting Data Centers

Unanswered Question
Jun 28th, 2010

How are data centers typically interconnected?

I  know this is a loaded question with many different variables, but I am  looking for a semi-high level explanation.

Lets say  that the 2 data centers are connected through some fiber mux solution,  like CWDM or DWDM, etc, what network device is the fiber mux usually  connected to? In other words, what is the tap-off point?

Is  it the data center's core switches? Or is there a WAN Edge distribution  layer that hangs off the core that these fiber muxes would be plugged  into? It can be both either, right?

Can someone kindly  elaborate on different inter-connectivity models? You can talk about different facilities that can be used, different tap-off points in each data center....etc etc

Thanks!

PS, I know there are documents and if you have one, great, BUT can you please elaborate a bit on your own from your own real world experiences?

I have this problem too.
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ex-engineer Tue, 06/29/2010 - 02:09

I thought this question would generate a lot of interest and responses..

spremkumar Tue, 06/29/2010 - 04:27

Hi

I have seen scenarios where the connectivity is being used for various requirements like storage,data replication and normal fall back.

It depends on the requirement which actually translates the end devices which will be connected to the CWDM or DWDM devices.

Both CWDM or DWDM will give you a fiber link as an output mostly in SC formfactor and it depends on each vendors as well as the bandwidth you are availing using these devices.

As i said in the beginning you can connect the output (fiber) from the WDM devices onto your network devices or storage devices.

regds

Edison Ortiz Tue, 06/29/2010 - 14:18

Lets say  that the 2 data centers are connected through some fiber mux solution,  like CWDM or DWDM, etc, what network device is the fiber mux usually  connected to? In other words, what is the tap-off point?

The answer is, it depends. Sometimes, the provider has a CPE device that terminates this connection and a fiber or copper connection is given to the customer. There are times, the customer has its own WDM device terminating this connection. More often, you find the former as the chosen topology due to cost.

Is  it the data center's core switches? Or is there a WAN Edge distribution  layer that hangs off the core that these fiber muxes would be plugged  into? It can be both either, right?

Ideally, you don't terminate WAN circuits at the Core Layer. For a hierarchal design, a WAN layer is necessary here. Again, the answer depends on the available budget.

Regards

Edison

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