Google to Light 6th Undersea Cable in Which It has Ownership Interest
Google is working with Facebook, Pacific Light Data Communication and TE Subcom to build the first direct submarine cable system between Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The move highlights changes in the way global wide area network capacity is created and supplied.
The Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) will have 12,800 km of fiber and an estimated cable capacity of 120 Tbps, making it the highest-capacity trans-Pacific route, a record currently held by another Google-backed cable system, FASTER.
The project represents the sixth submarine cable in which Google has an ownership stake, joining the ranks of the Unity, SJC, FASTER, MONET and Tannat projects. The new network is expected to be operational in 2018.
Though data center traffic is a fraction of end-user traffic or traffic within single data centers, intra-data-center traffic has the fastest growth rate, at about a 32 percent compound annual growth rate.
In addition to cloud computing and cloud-based apps, video, mobile users and Internet access now drives wide area network capacity demand.
Those apps and functions now drive “in the data center” traffic, long haul and metro traffic growth. In fact, wide area network traffic, though growing robustly, is not growing as fast as “within the metro” demand.
Metro-area traffic likely surpassed long-haul traffic in 2015, and will grow nearly twice as fast as long-haul traffic from 2014 to 2019.
The higher growth in metro networks is due in part to the increasingly significant role of content delivery networks, which bypass long-haul links and deliver traffic to metro and regional backbones.
Content delivery networks will carry over half of Internet traffic by 2019. Globally, 62 percent of all Internet traffic will cross content delivery networks by 2019 globally, up from 39 percent in 2014.
Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will exceed traffic from wired devices by 2019. By 2019, wired devices will account for 33 percent of IP traffic, while Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 66 percent of IP traffic. In 2014, wired devices accounted for the majority of IP traffic at 54 percent.
Though there has been a mix of “carrier-purchased” and “enterprise private networking,” the current trend in the WAN market includes a higher mix of “owned” networking by big app providers such as Facebook and Google.