Equinix Starts Testing Facebook-Designed Packet-Optical Switches, Known as Voyager

In joint cooperation with Facebook and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), Equinix is currently deploying and testing the Facebook-designed packet-optical switches, known as Voyager, inside two of its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers

Voyager is a combination of compute, switch, router and DWDM transport technologies. Preliminary results showed zero packet loss and significant overall cost savings due to this disaggregated hardware and software networking model. The initial testing of the Voyager open packet-optical switch took place in Equinix‘s SV3 and SV8 IBX data centers in Silicon Valley.

Announced in February 2016 at Mobile World Congress, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) was launched as a way for leading technology providers to develop new technologies and rethink approaches to deploying network architecture in order to support emerging 5G networking, IoT and virtual reality use cases.

equinox data centers california“The Open Optical Packet Transport project group within TIP is developing technologies in an open community approach with the goal to drive better and broader connectivity globally,” said Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, Director of Engineering, Facebook. “With Equinix’s leadership and support, the Voyager ecosystem will serve as a first ever white box for switching, routing and DWDM in the Wide Area Networks to exemplify a new way of open collaboration and innovation and has been contributed to the TIP community.”

The scale, agility and cost requirements of these new use cases cannot be satisfied by traditional hardware-centric network architectures, according to Equinix. By working as part of TIP, Equinix is helping to define the deployment, operational and support models for the new disaggregated and virtual networking infrastructure. Equinix will actively work with hardware and software networking vendors to create the ecosystem for this new, emerging networking model at Equinix.

“This emerging world of disaggregated optical networking will need a physical aggregation point where all the hardware and software can come together,” said Ihab Tarazi, CTO of Equinix. “With Equinix’s rich history in network and cloud neutrality, it makes perfect sense that Equinix be the place where CSPs, NSPs and the TIP hardware and software vendors can join together to deploy next-generation networks.  We are thrilled by the initial results of our tests and look forward to future collaboration and innovation with this exciting initiative.”