Fiber Optics For More Sustainable Data Centers | Corning

Data center sustainability begins with the infrastructure. Even the cables used can save energy, not just the data processing.

by Cindy Ryborz (Marketing Manager DC EMEA at Corning Optical Communications)

Digitalization and rapid data growth worldwide require highly efficient data centers that are often very resource-hungry. Building it in a sustainable and resource-saving way right from the beginning, the use of a fiber-optic network is an option.

Corning's fiber optic solution is designed to save space and offers optimized solutions, minimizing the number of transceivers and connections compared to traditional approaches and only requiring about a third of the space. In addition, product families such as EDGE™ and EDGE8® are modular and scalable to enable upgrades without the need to replace all the hardware components in a data center. For example, EDGE8 modules also fit into the housings of the EDGE series. The construction and toughness of the bend insensitive ClearCurve® fiber optic cables support a long-lasting and reliable use of the cabling infrastructure preventing downtimes.

The Green Mountain data center in Norway has been working successfully with our solutions for many years. In a former NATO bunker in a mountain near the town of Stavanger, 100 percent renewable hydroelectric power is used, and cooling is provided by the nearby fjord. The green aspect is supported by the lower energy consumption of the fibre optic links in relation to comparable copper links and the associated savings in cooling and air conditioning.

In Israel, Leumi Bank operates an underground data center. As one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world, it meets the highest security standards while saving infrastructure costs, for example in the number of patch cords deployed. The optical switches and network cards used consume less power than structures with copper cables, only 0.5 watts per port compared to 1-2 watts per port at 10G connectivity.

The port breakout module is also environmentally friendly. One easy way to efficiently use the available bandwidth is, among other things, the use of QSFP line cards that allow the aggregated mode of operation. This means, for example, to passively generate 4 individual channels with 25GBase-SR from a QSFP with 100GBase-SR4. As a result, both the port densities per rack unit and the associated energy requirements can be drastically reduced.