Colt unveils 400G-capable routed optical networking for IQ Network

28 May 2021 | Melanie Mingas

Cover

Colt Technology Services' is transforming its IQ Network with hardware and software innovations that offer 400G capability.

Colt is deploying Cisco 8000 hardware alongside 400G OpenZR+ pluggable coherent technology and Segment Routing MPLS throughout the network, as it moves towards Cisco’s Routed Optical Networking solution.

From September, it will provide enriched high bandwidth and software-defined connectivity for customers globally and, as part of the initiative, Colt is turning to Acacia’s 400G OpenZR+ technology for long-haul inter-metro connections that are greater than 200 kilometres.

“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 optimisation strategy, as we continue to leverage next- generation optical and packet technologies”, says Vivek Gaur, VP – network engineering, for Colt.

“Over the last couple of years, Colt and Cisco have built a strategic relationship centred 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 fulfils the connectivity demands of our customers across the globe.”

Launched in 2016, today the IQ Network connects more than 900 data centres across Europe, Asia and North America’s largest business hubs, with more than 29,000 on net buildings and growing. Colt's partnership with Cisco dates back to 2019 when the two started work to evolve the network from 100G to 400G.

The combination of Cisco’s 8000 hardware and Acacia’s 400G OpenZR+ pluggable coherent optic, converges IP and optical networking layers for scalable architecture that deliver cost efficiency and reduce space and power usage in data centres and colocations.

Segment Routing MPLS offers software capabilities which further simplify the network and provide fine-grained control for supporting stringent SLAs.

Adam MacHale, VP of EMEAR service provider, Cisco said: “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 centre interconnect for metro and long-haul applications. “We look forward to continuing our exciting journey together with Colt and unleashing the full power of Routed Optical Networking technologies,” MacHale added.