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Business Hosting Provider LeaseWeb to Invest almost $800K in DWDM Technology

November 04
13:59 2008

Web Host NewsAmsterdam – LeaseWeb, one of the world’s top-20 hosting providers, is going to intensify the existing optical fiber links in its hosting network by investing in optical DWDM (Dense Wavelength, Division Multiplexing) technology. This will allow LeaseWeb to create additional capacity and redundancy in the network’s backbone. The investment will cost almost $800,000.

DWDM is a technology that intensifies the use of underground optical fiber links by bundling different colors of light through color lasers. Instead of one color or 10 Gigabit Ethernet, DWDM technology makes it possible to combine up to 40 colors or 400 Gigabit Ethernet on the existing optical fiber. This will initially provide LeaseWeb’s optical fiber infrastructure with an additional capacity of 400 Gigabits per second (Gbps), which can easily be increased to 1,200 Gbps.

The investment in DWDM is part of a bigger investment plan for LeaseWeb’s new core-hosting network. Based on Cisco’s showpiece CRS-1 (Carrier Routing System), the new network will be interlinked by means of 300 kilometers of optical fiber in the Amsterdam region. A total of 10 optical fiber links will each travel different paths, via the mesh protocol, to locations in Amsterdam Zuidoost, Amsterdam Science Park, Schiphol-Rijk and Haarlem.

LeaseWeb uses the optical fiber infrastructure in the Amsterdam region for interconnections with carriers, Internet exchanges and the four different datacenters used by LeaseWeb, including the CO2-neutral EvoSwitch (www.evoswitch.com) datacenter. Special redundancy modules in the DWDM equipment will increase the new network’s capacity. In the event of an optical fiber breakage, e.g. due to excavation works, the technology will automatically select an alternate optical fiber path for the links.

“DWDM is a fairly expensive technology,” says Bastiaan Spandaw, network architect for LeaseWeb. “But it significantly improves the scalability of our network instead of continuously having to add new cables. What’s more, DWDM is relatively easy to implement. It’s simply a matter of installing the DWDM equipment in our core datacenter locations at EvoSwitch, Telecity and Nihkef, and then switch our existing connections.”

The DWDM equipment will be supplied by MRV Communications Inc. through Dutch distributor Dataman International. To ensure that the technology is properly maintained and managed, LeaseWeb recently had six of its engineers attend a three-day training course provided by manufacturer MRV and distributor Dataman.

A 800,000-dollar investment in DWDM technology is a substantial amount, but the investment is necessary to secure LeaseWeb’s ability to implement its corporate philosophy in the future. “Many of our clients want to be able to grow quickly when they need to,” says Con Zwinkels, LeaseWeb’s managing director. “It does not make any difference whether these are growth needs of Corporate enterprises, or Internet startups with growth needs in the area of streaming hosting. In order to be able to quickly meet those needs on an ad-hoc basis, our philosophy is that we always maintain twice as much bandwidth capacity in our network as our clients use. We are currently experiencing strong growth in bandwidth demand. DWDM will allow us to meet this demand for bandwidth at all times.”

Earlier this year, LeaseWeb invested a substantial amount in two Cisco CRS-1 devices. The investment in these two Cisco devices cost almost $2.4 million. The two CRS-1 devices (non-stop devices) have been delivered and are currently being programmed.

The Cisco CRS-1 devices will be assigned a crucial role in the new hosting network. They will play a central role in coupling all datacenters in LeaseWeb’s network with the outside world. The current twenty Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches will have to give up that role and their task will be reduced to transporting clients’ Internet traffic internally across the hosting network. LeaseWeb specifically opted for two Cisco CRS-1 devices because they will provide the best uptime guarantee. This will make LeaseWeb’s network more hierarchical, with fewer cross links, and this also offers significant advantages in terms of network management.

About LeaseWeb
LeaseWeb (www.leaseweb.com) is an international provider of hosting solutions that is primarily geared towards the professional market. The company is among the top-20 hosting providers worldwide and its services include collocation, dedicated servers, webhosting, server virtualization, streaming, and domain name registration. LeaseWeb is the proprietor of a first-class network that offers a bandwidth of more than 210 Gbps, spanning four datacenters in the Amsterdam region. LeaseWeb is also present via Internet exchanges in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Frankfurt, New York, Vienna, Stockholm, Warsaw, Zurich, Prague and Madrid. This way, LeaseWeb enables companies around the world to create and continue their online presence in a simple and affordable manner. Founded in 1997, LeaseWeb now manages more than 15,000 servers. LeaseWeb’s clients include Starbucks, Royal Joh. Enschedé, WIGE MEDIA AG, 123Video.nl, zaplive.tv, OGD, Relatieplanet.nl, MijnAlbum.com, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Twenga.com.

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