Driving up network speed, reducing cost, saving power, expanding capacity, and automating management become crucial when you run one of the world’s largest cloud infrastructures. Microsoft has invested heavily in optical technology to meet these needs for its Azure network infrastructure. The goal is to provide faster, less expensive, and more reliable service to customers, and at the same time, enable the networking industry to benefit from this work. We’ve been collaborating with industry leaders to develop optical solutions that add more capacity for metro area, long-haul, and even undersea cable deployments. We have integrated these optical solutions within network switches and manage them through Software Defined Networking (SDN).
Our goal was to provide 500 percent additional optics capacity at 10x reduced power, a fraction of the previous footprint at a lower cost than what’s possible with traditional systems. Microsoft chose to ignore the chicken and egg problem and create a demand for 100 Gbps optics in a stagnant ecosystem unable to meet the demands of cloud computing. In this blog, we explain the improvements we’ve made and where we’re boldly heading next.