Through the Eyes of an Industry Icon: The Future of Optical Networking
A few years ago Network World called out 20 people who made the greatest impact on today’s technology industry. Len Bosack, CEO of XKL was one of them. In an interview last month at the Data Centres Europe conference, Len briefly reflected on his years as a founder of Cisco, shared his goals and vision for his new company, XKL LLC, and gave a glimpse into the presence and future of fiber optic technologies.
XKL designs and manufactures fiber optic data transmission equipment. Len’s main goal when founding XKL was to simplify the design and operations of fiber optic networks and he feels this goal has largely been accomplished: XKL has designed equipment that can be smoothly integrated into the existing system of routers and switches of a typical mid-size ISP or enterprise data network.
Len was also asked about the future of data center connectivity and fiber optic networking. He sees a growing importance of connectivity for data centers since they can’t compete successfully without reliable dark fiber connectivity. It is essential that data centers are carrier neutral, and that there are no physical or economic barriers to customers accessing the final yards of dark fiber.
Running fiber optic networks at about 10G per carrier has been dominating the markets today, largely because it’s convenient and economical. Buyers are still wary about the 40G technology because of initial deployment problems at its inception. But the next big stop is 100G transmission. There is definitely interest from users, but wide-spread availability and affordability may be delayed until around 2015. Integrated standards issues need to be overcome, test networks built out and the cost per bit per second is still high. As far as the technology is concerned, XKL can no doubt deliver: It has recently developed a 100G DWDM universal starter kit. And, as another blink into the future, economical 25G per carrier transmission may be on the horizon. Look out for related news on XKL’s website later this year at www.xkl.com!