Arista completes 400G ZR interop testing in Microsoft's 120-km DCI testbed

March 1, 2021
The companies say the interoperability testing stands to accelerate 400G adoption for data center interconnect (DCI) applications.

Arista Networks (NYSE: ANET) on Feb. 17 announced successful interoperability testing between multiple 400G ZR optical transceiver suppliers over Microsoft’s 120-km open line system testbed. Arista says this multi-vendor testing sets the foundation for a healthy, interoperable, coherent optics ecosystem, providing customers with a multitude of options for building high speed data center interconnect (DCI) networks.

As explained by Arista's announcement of the successful testing:

400G ZR is an ideal fit for cloud service providers' next generation DCI networks as it addresses the need for interoperable, high-density and cost-effective metro capacity. With the same density as standard grey optics, the technology offers up to 25 Tbps of bandwidth in a single fiber pair by squeezing spectrally efficient coherent signals into standard QSFP-DD modules.
Next-generation routers with enhanced thermal management need to accommodate different 400G ZR vendors and are key to enabling a viable multi-sourced ecosystem. With the support of Arista's 7800R3 routing platforms, Microsoft’s transmission testing confirmed excellent optical and thermal performance over a variety of 400G ZR vendors.

Hacene Chaouch, distinguished engineer at Arista Networks commented, "We are very pleased with the demonstrated performance of the 400G ZR transceiver modules. Being able to seamlessly support modules from multiple 400G ZR vendors on our standard routing platforms constitutes a significant advancement in the DCI space."

The company notes its Arista 7800R3 routing platform is optimized for large scale cloud networks with up to 460 Tbps of capacity, combining 100G and 400G performance with comprehensive features for service provider, cloud WAN, content edge and data center interconnect (DCI) networks.

Jamie Gaudette, principal engineering manager of Microsoft’s Backbone Network unit concluded, “We are pleased with the progress on 400G ZR. Thanks to our collaboration with OIF, we’ve achieved multi-vendor interoperation and cost effective 400G transport, allowing Microsoft to offer more bandwidth to our customers and accelerate our data center expansion.”

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