Lumen Technologies today announced a new network interconnection ecosystem called ExaSwitch™, created in collaboration with Google and Microsoft. This platform empowers organizations with high bandwidth needs to route their traffic dynamically and quickly between networks, and without third-party intervention.
“The days of slow, legacy cross connects are over; ExaSwitch is the future of network interconnections,” said Andrew Dugan, Chief Technology Officer, Lumen. “Large network backbones no longer need a physical location to connect. Instead, optical switching will be used to establish high-capacity optical links between metro sites. And it’s so much more than just internet peering; it’s an on-demand network connection for quickly deploying needed capacity across all types of data traffic exchanges.”
This ExaSwitch project was created by the initial participants to route traffic between large internet and cloud networks. Early adopters include Lumen, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and an additional large cloud provider. The ExaSwitch ecosystem will continue to strengthen as additional participants join, making it easier to automate, scale and manage capacity between the members.
“We like the ease, speed and cost efficiency of performing interconnects to network partners directly from our main sites,” said Steve Walter, Global VP of Network Operations, Google. “ExaSwitch provides an agile, on-demand platform using proven technology that achieves that.”
“Creating a geographically distributed yet automated interconnection platform creates so many options to improve connectivity, resiliency, and speed to add capacity on to one’s network,” said Frank Rey, Partner, Azure Networking, Microsoft. “We are pleased at the opportunity ExaSwitch has to change the interconnection ecosystem.”
How it works
The ExaSwitch administrator will install optical hardware at the preferred location for each participant, who will choose their own fiber source for connecting into ExaSwitch. When two participants agree to connect, they can join quickly through self-provisioning, or an API portal driven and managed by the administrator. The real-time capacity deployment allows them to easily order, modify and delete services as needed. Lumen is acting as the administrator for the initial deployments.
- Participants use a self-service portal to configure and turn up connectivity with other participants much faster than they can now.
- Connections are set up in 400G increments and can be consumed on demand in 100G increments, with each site capable of up to 25.6 Tbps of optical cross connects.
- Participants will have the ability to connect their edge sites, data centers and central offices in major markets to gain diversity and save costs on cross connects.
“The ExaSwitch optical switching platform is an innovative on-demand ecosystem for automating, scaling and managing high-value interconnect services,” said Courtney Monroe, VP of Telecommunications Research for IDC. “It is poised to disrupt legacy manual platforms, as well as the way enterprises, and the IT ecosystem interconnect, procure and manage interconnectivity.”