Windstream Deploys CloudXpress in Chicago

Folks, good news today, for a couple of reasons which I’ll illustrate after the PR recap. First, the immediate news:…

Sunnyvale, Calif. – April 12, 2016 – Infinera, provider of Intelligent Transport Networks, and Windstream (NASDAQ: WIN), a leading provider of advanced network communications, announced the deployment of the Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide pre-provisioned high speed connections between data centers in Chicago. As a leading provider of large bandwidth transport solutions, data center interconnect represents a significant revenue opportunity for Windstream. The Cloud Xpress enables Windstream to efficiently serve its data center interconnect customers with hyper-scale density, operational simplicity and low power consumption.

With its initial Cloud Xpress deployment in Chicago, Windstream is connecting two data center locations within the Lakeside Technology Center at 350 East Cermak. This deployment illustrates the value of a highly integrated, compact data center interconnect solution that is extremely simple to deploy and manage, even in relatively short reach applications.

The Cloud Xpress enables Windstream to leverage Infinera’s unique photonic integrated circuit technology to support up to one terabit per second (Tb/s) of input and output capacity in just two rack units. With its small form factor and low power consumption, Cloud Xpress delivers a full 500 gigabit per second (Gb/s) super-channel of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) line-side bandwidth over 150 kilometers (km) without additional multiplexers or amplifiers, and up to 600 km with an amplified line system. Cloud Xpress also enables efficient scaling with simple provisioning and open interfaces to plug into existing cloud provisioning systems using open software defined networking (SDN) application programming interfaces (APIs). Instant Bandwidth allows the activation of WDM bandwidth in 100 Gb/s increments with a few clicks of a mouse enabling rapid scale to meet continued customer demand.

“We selected the Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide data center interconnect services to our customers because it is an extremely simple and highly scalable plug-and-play solution,” said Art Nichols, Vice President of Engineering Architecture & Planning at Windstream. “Windstream is working actively with Infinera and several other key technology partners to employ SDN for creation and management of optical services across its metro and long-haul transport network in 2016.”

“With our initial deployment of Cloud Xpress, we are able to meet the growing bandwidth needs of our customers needing connectivity to high demand Internet Exchange facilities like 350 Cermak,” said Joe Scattareggia, Senior Vice President of Sales for Windstream Carrier Solutions. “Cloud Xpress delivers the space savings, low power and high bandwidth required to serve our wholesale and enterprise customers with optical networking solutions at bandwidths up to 100 Gb/s.”

“To meet the tremendous growth in bandwidth and data demands, Windstream is continuing its commitment to investing in network and technology enhancements – such as the deployment of Cloud Xpress in the Chicago market – bringing tremendous benefits to our customers,” said Chris Nein, Windstream regional president. “Cloud Xpress allows us to meet the unique needs of our customers by quickly and incrementally scaling and expanding bandwidth capacity on demand, ultimately building a foundational, world-class technology ecosystem required for continued business growth and success.”

“We are pleased that Windstream continues to invest in Infinera’s Intelligent Transport Network solutions,” said Bob Jandro, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Infinera. “With the Cloud Xpress, Windstream accelerates its network service delivery to its data center interconnect customers. We look forward to greater adoption of Cloud Xpress as the company expands its data center interconnection initiatives.”

Infinera introduced the Cloud Xpress family in 2014 delivering a cloud-optimized WDM solution to cloud service providers, Internet content providers, Internet Exchange service providers and other large-scale data center operators. The Cloud Xpress family offers customers the choice of 10 gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 40 GbE and 100 GbE client interfaces to meet their specific requirements.

Beyond the obvious bolding of highlighted items above, I’d like to point out the additional significance of this news release.

  1. This is 350 E. Cermak:…

World’s Largest Data Center: 350 E. Cermak

The Lakeside Technology Center (350 East Cermak) is a 1.1 million square foot multi-tenant data center hub owned by Digital Realty Trust. Originally developed by the R.R. Donnelley Co. to house the printing presses for the Yellow Book and Sears Catalog, 350 East Cermak was converted to telecom use in 1999, and today it is one of the world’s largest carrier hotels and the nerve center for Chicago’s commodity markets, housing data centers for financial firms attracted by the wealth of peering and connectivity providers among the 70 tenants.

  1. This is what it looks like from the inside:

Visit the Chicago Data Center, Hub of the Internet

Eventually we reached the proper cage and scanned through again to reach the servers my friend had to work on. Each cage can cost $100,000 a year to rent depending on size and comes loaded with fiber optic cables, telephone lines, and power lines tied up in neat bundles. The noise coming from the Data Center can be a bit overwhelming but after awhile you get used to it.

The amount of power needed to keep the data center running has got to be astronomical. Power cables flow into every cage and we really were in the middle of the biggest internet hub out in the Midwest.

  1. This is what was said in the PR:

Windstream is connecting two data center locations within the Lakeside Technology Center at 350 East Cermak. This deployment illustrates the value of a highly integrated, compact data center interconnect solution that is extremely simple to deploy and manage, even in relatively short reach applications.

When you take a look at the cage picture from #2 above you’ll understand why #3 is pretty important.

  1. This is what was not said in the PR:…

Juniper Networks Inc. said its results for the March quarter would disappoint, as it faced weaker demand and unfavorable timing of customers’ adopting its products.

On a day when Juniper issued a warning for its first quarter citing weaker demand for their products, we have Infinera highlighting a deployment example for one of their products, currently in hot demand.

Point being, we’re not seeing any sort of warning for Infinera on Q1 guidance. In fact, from the press release above, and the recently issued statement on OFC last week (…) we’ve been receiving information that tells us quite the contrary.



Thanks for that Kevin,

Yes, thanks for keeping us apprised.