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Lumen Unveils Optical Interconnection Ecosystem with High-Profile Collaborators

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DENVER, June 14, 2023 — Lumen Technologies has launched a network interconnection ecosystem, ExaSwitch, that the enterprise telecommunications leader said will enable organizations with high bandwidth needs to route their traffic dynamically and quickly between networks without third-party intervention. 

“Large network backbones no longer need a physical location to connect,” said Andrew Duggan, CTO of Lumen Technologies. “Instead, optical switching will be used to establish high-capacity optical links between metro sites.” 

Lumen created the platform in collaboration with Google and Microsoft. ExaSwitch platform participants use a self-service portal to configure and “turn up” connectivity with other participants — much faster than they can with current technology, according to Lumen. Connections are set up in 400G increments and can be consumed on demand in 100G increments, with each site capable of up to 25.6 Tbit/s of optical cross connects.

Participants will have the ability to connect their edge sites, data centers, and central offices in major markets to gain diversity and save costs on cross connects.

Behind the scenes, an ExaSwitch administrator installs optical hardware at the preferred location for each participant, who can choose their own fiber source for connecting into ExaSwitch. When two participants agree to connect, they can join quickly through self-provisioning, or an API portal driven and managed by the administrator. The real-time capacity deployment allows them to easily order, modify, and delete services as needed, Lumen said.

Lumen is acting as the administrator for the initial deployments, and the company is currently operating the ExaSwitch platform in Chicago, Dallas, and Virginia. Lumen, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and an additional, unnamed large cloud provider are among early adopters.

Published: June 2023
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
BusinessFiber Optics & CommunicationsdatanetworkInternetopticalcloudISPinterconnectioncontentstreamingLumen TechnologiesGoogleMicrosoftAzureOneCloudAmericas

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