Iceland upgrades connectivity to the outside world

A 700% increase in available bandwidth to mainland Europe furthers Icelandic datacenter hopes
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

For Iceland to have long term success in the country’s drive to become a first tier datacenter location they will need more than just a favorable climate and inexpensive, renewable power sources. Regardless of how green and cost effective the country is for datacenter operations there is one significant hurdle that the climate can’t overcome. You still need to be able to connect your datacenter to the rest of the world.  And an island well out in the ocean (over 1000 km to the nearest part of the United Kingdom) doesn’t naturally lend itself to easy connectivity.

The submarine cable connectivity is the key to providing the kind of bandwidth that can make or break the future plans of the country to become a datacenter powerhouse, and Ciena Corporation and Farice have announced plans to significantly upgrade DANICE, the submarine cable that connects Iceland to mainland Europe, terminating in Blaabjerg, Denmark.

Currently consisting of four fiber pairs with a carrying capacity of 5.1 Tbits/second the new hardware implemented in early 2013will start with Ciena’s 40G coherent transport technology and the ultra-long distance 100G wavelengths. The technology will scale to be able to support 8,8 Tb/s on a single fiber, an 80% increase over the current bandwidth supported across all four existing links. This incresase in bandwidth will mean that the four pairs will now be able to support data traffic at a maximum of 35.3 Tb/s, almost a seven fold increase.

The cable upgrades will also impact the endpoints with  Farice’s POPs in using Ciena’s Geomesh optical solution to mesh the international cable connections into the local network, simplifying end-to-end network design and alleviating many of the issues with the traditional methods of tying together fiber and copper networks.

This massive increase in available bandwidth will help to make Iceland a more attractive site for datacenter and remote storage and backup options.

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