workshops II

ONDM 2019

23rd Conference on Optical Network Design and Modelling
May 13-16, 2019
Athens, Greece

Workshop II: Optical Intra- and Inter- Data Center Networks

Data Centers (DCs) are the hubs of our content-centric Internet. The proliferation of fifth generation (5G) mobile and cloud applications, video distribution, and the emerging Internet of Things is bringing data center traffic on a steep growth reaching 25 percent annually. This soaring traffic demand is outpacing progress in network infrastructure, which generally follows Moore’s law, threatening a capacity crunch inside the data center. The largest portion of this traffic concerns communications between servers and storage inside the Data Center, exacerbating the challenge.

More generally, the new services must store and process massive amounts of data through advanced, interconnected computing resources and storage devices. The very diverse requirements of these services in terms of processing, storage, communication bandwidth, delay, mobility, etc., drive the need for a combination of a large number of distributed micro Data Centers  as well as both centralized and remote mega-size DCs scaling up to hundreds of thousands of server and storage modules. In view of this, high-speed communication across Data Centers is also key.

To address these challenges and take advantage of potential benefits, there is a clear need for novel architectural approaches, network solutions, and technologies to interconnect the distributed computing and storage resources, both within a DC and between DCs, referred to as intra- and inter-DC networking, respectively.

Optical networking plays a key role in meeting these requirements by offering high-capacity, energy-efficient, and flexible connectivity between DCs. Also, optical switching is gaining momentum as a potential path for gracefully scaling intra-data center networks, due to its inherent speed, energy efficiency, and transparency to bit rate and protocol. Having established itself in long-haul communication networks, the technology is now being advocated for deployment not only between data centers, but also inside them. Introduction of optical switching in the Data Center has proven to be a nontrivial task due to the idiosyncracy of optical switches that differ from their electronic counterparts, and practical deployment stumbles on the following challenges.

This Workshop will comprise a set of invited presentations addressing some of the key challenges in the context of intra- and inter- DC networking, overviewing the current technical challenges and proposing novel optical networking architectural approaches, solutions and technologies that make optical networking a key technology enabler.


  • Manos Varvarigos (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
  • Nikos Pleros (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)


  • Richard Pitwon, “Bucking the Trend in Data Centre Optical Interconnect”, Resolute Photonics.
  • Kostantinos Tokas, C. Spatharakis, I. Patronas, P. Bakopoulos, G. Landi, K. Christodoulopoulos, M. Capitani, A. Kyriakos, M. Aziz, R. Pitwon, D. Gallico, D. Reisis, E. Varvarigos,E. Zahavi, H. Avramopoulos, “The NEPHELE project: An end-to-end demonstration of a mini Datacenter Network applying fast optical switching with dynamic resource allocation”.
  • Loukas Paraschis(1), Harald Bock(2), Parthiban Kandappan(1), Bernd Sommerkorn-Krombholz(2), Joao Pedro(3), Abhinava Sadasivarao(1), Sharfuddin Syed(1), Jeff Rahn(1), Paul Doolan(2), and Biao Lu(1), “System Innovations in Inter Data-Center WDM Transport Networks”, Infinera Corporation, (1)Sunnyvale USA, (2)Munich Germany, (3)Lisbon Portugal.
  • Nikolaos Chrysos, “Three Ls one I and many Ps: A Low-cost, Low-latency Interconnect for Low-power Processors”, ICS-FORTH.
  • George Kanellos, “Quantum secured optical networking for distributed edge Data Centres and Mobile Edge Compute clusters”, University of Bristol.
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