LeaseWeb, a well known web hosting company, just announced that it plans to invest in optical DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology to enhance the current optic fiber links in its network. LeaseWeb architect Bastiaan Spandaw remarks that while DWDM is a rather costly technology, it will greatly improve the network’s scalability and efficiency. Even more, DWDM is fairly simple to implement into an existing infrastructure. According to Spandaw, the task is as easy as installing the necessary equipment into the core of LeaseWeb’s data center and then switching their existing connections.
By leveraging the technology, LeaseWeb will be able to create added redundancy and capacity into the backbone of the network. Echoing Spandaw’s sentiments, the investment will be rather inexpensive, costing the provider an estimated $800,000. So how does DWDM technology work? It intensifies the utilization of optical fiber links underground by bundling a spectrum of light through color lasers. Rather than using a single color or 10 Gigabit Ethernet, the technology enables a combination of up to 400 Gigabit Ethernet or 40 colors on an existing optical fiber. This implementation will provide the LeaseWeb network with an additional 400 Gigabits per second, a robust capacity that can be easily increased by up to 1,200 Gbps.
The DWDM investment is actually a part of a more elaborate plan for a new LeaseWeb hosting solution. Based on the Cisco CRS-1 (Carrier Routing System), the new infrastructure will be interconnected by optical fiber of 300 kilometers in the Amsterdam region. LeaseWeb plans to use 10 links which will utilize mesh protocol to forward data to locations in Amsterdam Science Park, Amsterdam Zuidoost, Haarlem and Schiphol-Rijk. This infrastructure already provides internet connections for several of LeaseWeb’s facilities including its CO2-neutral data center, EvoSwitch. If there happens to be an optical fiber breakage due to something such as excavation work, DWDM technology will automatically choose an alternate route for the links to travel.
Indeed, the investment in DWDM technology is very steep, but according to LeaseWeb managing director Con Zwinkels, such an implementation is necessary to secure the provider’s ability to utilize the philosophy into the future. Zwinkels says that clients need the flexibility to grow whether they are involved in a thriving corporation or internet startup business. In order to meet these needs, LeaseWeb’s philosophy is to always maintain at least twice the amount of bandwidth in the network as it clients to compensate for excessive use; something that can easily achieved with DWDM technology.
LeaseWeb is a prominent international web hosting company and among the top 20 providers in the world. Geared for professional hosting solutions, it houses four data facilities in the Amsterdam region with internet exchanges in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, New York, Prague, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich. This extensive infrastructure enables companies throughout the world to run their businesses in an efficient and affordable manner. One can only assume that the implementation of DWDM technology and additional bandwidth capacity will further cement the company’s position in the web hosting industry.