Online Calculator Provides TCO for 400 Gb/s Data Center Links


A web-based tool for helping customers estimate the total cost of 100 and 400 Gb/s connectivity in their data center is coming soon from Nexans Data Center Solutions. It will join the existing calculator developed for 10 and 40 Gb/s.  The 400G Calculator considers such variables as distance, number of segments and transceiver prices to calculate potential savings afforded by various combinations.

The calculator, based on tools used by Nexans with individual customers to examine their entire link, will be available free of charge online. Click here to use the calculator.

Rakesh Sambaraju, Applications Engineer

“We’re taking a holistic approach to performance, cost, and logistics in the network,” says Rakesh Sambaraju, Applications Engineer for Nexans.

“Traditionally, companies have looked at the cost of components like cable and transceivers independently when they make a specification decision. We encourage our customers to look at all the parts of a transmission link as a system,” says Rakesh. “In this way, you can examine different scenarios, exploring performance and price, and weighing the benefits of a cabling infrastructure change vs. gaining performance in optics.”

For companies planning to install 400 Gb/s data center connectivity, for example, there are several options. Transceiver architectures for singlemode optical fiber connectivity can be put in two broad categories: one based on parallel optics where multiple lower speed signals are transmitted via independent fibers, the other based on wavelength division multiplexing over multiple optical fiber channels.

“The choice of optical fiber transceiver has a big impact on the total cost of the link,” Rakesh explains. “Decisions made solely based on the cost of optics may not result in optimized cost effectiveness. We believe that a total link cost, which considers all the components of the link, gives the clearest picture.”

By comparing these two architectures with respect to their power budget, total cost of ownership (where the cost of cable, connectivity, and transceiver is considered), and the cost of a link in terms of dollars per gigabit per second ($/Gb/s), designers, installers, and project managers can gain valuable insight into the TCO of deploying 100 and 400 Gb/s links—vital information for choosing the right optical fiber architecture.

The calculator is just one part of Nexans’ “Own the Link™” strategy for helping customers simplify Layer One specifications.

“When you source your transceivers, cabling, and connectivity from a trusted partner like Nexans, you Own the Link,” Rakesh says. “That’s how we describe this approach.”