Data centers on four wheels – redefining connectivity

Dieter Will
Car dashboard with virtual icons

As we approach the 4th mobility revolution at the speed of light, the digital transformation is being pushed in multi-dimensional directions and connectivity is facing unprecedented challenges. Key topics of the 4th revolution of mobility include:   

  • Autonomous driving
  • Mobility as a service 
  • Internet of things 
  • Massive data growth
  • Open and global DevOps partnerships 

Just one of these future mobility concepts will take us into new territory. Autonomous driving and connected cars are set to break all records for data generation, processing, transmission and security. 

According to Google, a single car will generate a gigabyte of data per second. With an average of 114 hours behind the wheel per anno, that means every driver generating between half and one terabyte. In Germany, for example, which has over 45 million cars currently on the roads, up to 1 zettabyte will be generated annually. This will outnumber today’s data generation and processing in data centers in Germany by a factor of 2 and will grow steadily with the addition of trucks and drones. 

Collaboration will be key

In order to master the speed of innovation for these new services, market leaders will need to join forces and resources. The task of advancing the development of fully automated and driverless vehicles – as well as all the related mobility services that entails – is simply too big for a single entity to tackle alone.

By combining the development of software and algorithms with the total vehicle expertise of the world's leading manufacturers and adding in the systems and hardware expertise of the world's biggest suppliers, partner ecosystems will be able to generate a crucial competitive advantage, while also enhancing sustainability. 

Maximum speed on the data highway

To leverage synergies, eco-partners will need to open their on-premises IT resources and integrate the dynamics and scalability of the cloud. This will provide all partners involved with highly scalable IT resources on demand. What it will also do is push the bottleneck to the network. 

The world’s biggest car manufacturers and their strategic automotive subsystem suppliers have reacted immediately. They have begun to upgrade their data center interconnection capacity between their on-premises data centers, adding energy-efficient and highly scalable colocation data centers as well as building huge, future-proof data pipes to the their nearest cloud hub. We’ve seen tenfold capacity increases between on-premises and colocation data centers, whereas the capacity to and from the cloud has increased by a factor of several thousands. 

And for CIOs, who have long been pushing for this open collaboration involving all areas of vehicle expertise, it’s the start of a new area of digital collaboration. Engineers are now making use of open and transparent DevOps processes involving interworking along the entire value chain of mobility as a service. 

Smart data management

A smooth transfer and evaluation of the collected data can only be achieved by bandwidth-saving and cost-efficient solutions in data management. Even a new 5G mobile communications standard will not be able to offer the required capacity. That‘s why smart data management technology is making use of data lakes, bundling data from the vehicle to the data center and driving multi-cloud connections.  

If car manufacturers and their strategic automotive subsystem suppliers want to move quickly, then they need to quickly remove the bottleneck of their backend network. 

Only dedicated dark fiber and DWDM equipment will properly eliminate the logjam and address the ever-increasing hunger for capacity. That’s the only way to satisfy the needs of mobility services demanding lowest latency at highest scalability, multi-transmission protocols and maximum data security.  

The road ahead

At ADVA, we’ve steered the way for more than a quarter of a century with our industry-leading optical transmission platform. Our technology has always supported legacy as well as cloud-based IT services, including first-to-market offerings with qualification for IBM, Broadcom and Dell server and storage applications.

As data security is a top priority for all our customers, we provide the most versatile and fully integrated encryption technology in optical networking. Our ConnectGuard Optical™ physical-layer security solution is approved by the German Federal Office for Information Technology and NATO and compliant with Common Criteria.

We’ve also been busy breaking multiple industry records with our FSP 3000 TeraFlex™ terminal. It can transport 1.2Tbit/s of data over a single channel and deliver 7.2Tbit/s in a 1RU chassis. It also features highly advanced capabilities such as fractional QAM modulation that ensures complete control over modulation format, symbol rate and channel grid. That means significantly more capacity or extended reach across any infrastructure as well as lowest cost-per-bit.

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