Data Center POST interview with Fady Masoud, Principal, Cloud Solutions Marketing Infinera
By Contributing Editor Anthony Hidalgo
Fady’s area of expertise focuses on the architecture and requirements of next-generation optical networking infrastructure. During his more than 23 years in the telecommunications industry, Fady has held various positions in the optical networking domain at Nortel, Ciena and now Infinera. He started as a hardware test engineer on the first OC-192 (10 Gbps) systems and then as a Systems engineer on optical metropolitan products, all combined with hands-on field experience. Fady holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Laval University (Quebec City, Canada) and a master’s degree in systems technology (simulation of optical networks) from the Superior School of Technology (Montreal, Canada). He has written numerous publications, including books on next-generation optical networking including OTN, Data Center Interconnect (DCI), Coherent Optical Networking, evolution strategies to cognitive networking and many other key topics.
With ITW 2019 approaching rapidly, we sat down to chat with Fady about how Infinera solves its clients’ problems clients problems and what’s on the horizon for the company.
Data Center POST, Anthony Hidalgo (DCP-AH) Question: Why don’t you tell our readers about Infinera
Fady Masoud, Principal of Cloud Solutions Marketing at Infinera (I-FM) Answer: The demands for data center interconnect are evolving, requiring more capacity, more flexibility and more automation. Infinera is delivering the next generation of DCI platforms that is sled-based (mix-n-match of muxponder sleds and photonic sleds), 600G/wavelength and 38.4 Tb/s per single fiber as well a feature-rich set of automation capabilities to help data center operators (ICP, telcos, CNPs and others) seamlessly evolve their DCI projects to the new era.
Operators are striving for the perfect balance between cutting-edge technology and cost, constantly evaluating investment utilization, operational efficiency and network agility. That means access to affordable agility is becoming more and more relevant—and we continue to evolve our solutions to address each aspect of that balancing act as we serve our customers’ needs in the quickly changing connectivity landscape.
DCP-AH Q: To what do you attribute to Infinera’s success?
I-FM A: A fast innovation track and record-breaking technologies. For example, XT-3300 powered by ICE4 has set two world records in spectral efficiencies, while the new sled on the Groove G30 platform demonstrated 600G/wavelength over a live network over 250 km distance – way farther than any other competitor. We also stand out from the pack through our vertical integration, customer-focused approach and our clear vision on where data center interconnect will be in the years to come.
DCP-AH Q: What milestones did Infinera achieve in the past year and how will these developments help your company keep up with the demands of the quickly growing and ever-changing telecommunications industry?
I-FM A: Infinera’s innovation is leading to new records in optical performance as well as in automation and intelligence:
- Two new industry records set by the XT-3300 powered by ICE4
- 6.21 bits/Sec/Hz, 6,644 km, 16QAM, 26.2 Tb/s, MAREA cable from Virginia Beach (USA) to Bilbao (Spain)
- 4.5 bits/Sec/Hz, 10,600 km, 8QAM, 18.2 Tb/s, Seabras-1 cable from NYC (USA) to São Paulo (Brazil)
- Longest transmission (250 km) of a 600G wavelength in a live Tier 1 network using the new sled on the Groove G30 – 2.5X the closest competitor (100 km)
- Only commercially available compact disaggregated platform to support client/line AND photonic Sleds (mix-n-match) in a compact 1RU
- Only DCI platform to demonstrate autonomous intelligent transponder (AIT) technology that autonomously adapted transmission parameters such as modulation schemes, minimizing network cost and maximizing performance, including total fiber capacity throughput and spectral efficiency based on real-time network conditions
- Lowest power consumption of 0.16 W/G
These innovations enable us to execute on our promise of “Instant Bandwidth,” ultimately achieving the goal of pairing optical transmission flexibility with intelligent and predictive automation that enables instant bandwidth from the core to the edge. This helps deliver an instantly scalable, self-optimizing network that dynamically adapts to the demands of applications while reducing the total cost of operations.
DCP-AH Q: You and your team certainly have something to be proud of. What are you most looking forward to accomplishing over the next year?
I-FM A: As announced in March 2019, Infinera will soon be introducing its sixth generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE6). This innovation will further raise the bar of scalability, optical performance and automation delivering 800G/wavelength, second generation of Nyquist sub-carriers, second generation of Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS), 80 Tb/s on a single fiber pair as well as many new automation features to pave the way toward cognitive networking. ICE6 will power different platforms in the Infinera portfolio to provide high performance and automation end-to-end. With trends such as 5G, self-driving cars and streaming game platforms raising the stakes—straining and even overwhelming networks—Infinera is constantly pushing forward to improve data center interconnect in order to ensure those applications are supported. That includes exploring ways software-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can create a new cognitive network capable of adjusting to numerous variables without human intervention – or errors.
DCP-AH Q: What do you think is the greatest challenge in the industry and how are you working to overcome it?
I-FM A: Greatest challenges:
- The relentless demand for bandwidth over a limited infrastructure is maxing out optical networks. That leads operators to deploy more boxes and fibers or over-engineer the network more CAPEX/OPEX.
- Complex architectures are slowing down the addition of new capacity and the activation of new services, as well as driving up operating costs. This leads to increased vulnerability of losing business to competition as well as increased operational spending, leading to OPEX spending spiral.
- Flat revenue growth, increased CAPEX and steep price erosions forces operators to reduce profit margins to stay competitive. A reduction in bottom line limits business growth and negatively impacts profitability.
How we’re overcoming these challenges:
We’re leveraging the most advanced optical Innovations in our optical engines to provide:
- Unmatched Scalability: for example, ICE6 will deliver 800G/wavelength, dual channel 1.6 Tb/s module, 2nd generation of Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) on 7 nm DSP, 2nd generation Nyquist Subcarriers, C+L Band (80 Tb/s per single fiber)
- New service economics and a new competitive edge through vertical integration driving down total cost of ownership, matching CAPEX and service revenue through service-ready capacity, new services on existing infrastructure (e.g. 400GE), and fast service activation and broader service portfolio as a competitive edge
DCP-AH Q: What would you like to accomplish at ITW 2019?
I-FM A: Infinera is a customer-focused company, working in close partnership with its customers and other partners to deliver the most value to the industry. We look forward to events, such as ITW, as an opportunity to deepen those customer relationships as well as learning about innovations from our peers and partners in the industry.
DCP-AH Q: Thanks so much for sharing these insights about the work Infinera does with our readers and for chatting with us, Fady. Fady and the Infinera team will be attending ITW 2019 in Atlanta from June 23-26, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency and Marriott Marquis hotels. To learn more about Infinera visit www.infinera.com.
Infinera is a global supplier of innovative networking solutions that enable carriers, cloud operators, governments and enterprises to scale network bandwidth, accelerate service innovation and automate network operations. The Infinera end-to-end packet-optical portfolio delivers industry-leading economics and performance in long-haul, subsea, data center interconnect and metro transport applications. To learn more about Infinera visit www.infinera.com, follow us on Twitter @Infinera and read our latest blog posts at www.infinera.com/blog.