Huawei Aims High with the OptiXtrans DC908 DCI Platform Launch

Emir Halilovic – Principal Analyst

Summary Bullets:

  • Huawei launched its new DCI platform – the OptiXtrans DC908 – at Huawei Connect in Shanghai, re-entering the highly contested DCI market with a compelling product.
  • The OptiXtrans DC908 features leading platform capacity and density, as well as support for electrical and optical modules in the same box, making it applicable for a wide range of use cases.

Huawei has already gained traction in the growing DCI market with its OSN902 platform. However, its new DC908 product represents a much more ambitious entry into the DCI market fray.

The OptiXtrans DC908 combines several technical characteristics that make it a compelling choice for customers looking for a DCI solution, including:

  • Per-RU throughput capacity of 4.8 Tbps, matching the density of leading platforms in the marketplace;
  • Support for wavelength speeds of up to 600 Gbps (with 800 Gbps speeds on the roadmap);
  • A rack-mountable 2RU form factor with depth of under 600mm, making it suitable for deployment in both IT and ETSI racks;
  • Support for both a high-capacity discrete coherent solution as well as cost- and power-optimized CFP2-DCO pluggables on the line side;
  • Maximum 48 Tbps capacity per fiber pair using extended C-band;
  • Class-leading power consumption of 0.13W/GB;
  • A combination of electrical and optical modules on the same platform, making DC908 efficient in smaller deployments by removing the need for a separate optical line system;
  • The choice of an AI-powered Network Cloud Engine (NCE) management and control system or a simpler element management system, depending on customer preferences.

Taken together, the set of features and capabilities designed into DC908 make it a very strong competitor for all compact modular use cases except for the lowest-capacity DCI connections, where more compact solutions, such as Infinera’s 1RU Groove G30, can be more efficient. Also, the DC908’s technical characteristics should be viewed in the context of rapidly changing DCI market conditions. Like Huawei, competing vendors like Ciena or Infinera are working on their 800G-capable coherent solutions, which will power the next crop of DCI platforms. Huawei’s OptiXtrans DC908 is expected to be generally available in Q4 2019.

To compete for market leadership and build a significant revenue stream in the DCI market, Huawei will need to deliver its solution with the promised characteristics, on time, and support the platform with a steady stream of upgrades and feature releases. It will also need to market its solution efficiently to all potential users, from enterprises to hyperscale cloud service providers.

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