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High Capacity Low Latency DCI Solution

Reliable and Economically Sound Data Center Connectivity

At a Glance

Company: CERN
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Industry: Nuclear Research

Challenge: To install a cost-effective reliable connection between two data centers: the central office and a remote disaster recovery site.

Solution: PacketLight deployed the 10G DWDM transponder solution, providing a 10G throughput rate in a compact 1U chassis, which allows simple upgrades using pluggable XFPs.

Success: CERN received a cost-effective low power consumption optical transport network with line protection and remote control and monitoring capabilities.


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva Switzerland, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centers for scientific research. Its business is basic physics - finding out what the universe is made of and how it works.

Founded in 1954, it was one of Europe’s first joint ventures. The CERN Laboratory sits across the Franco–Swiss border and has 20 member states.

At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of nature.

The Challenge

CERN was searching for a connectivity solution between two data centers: the central office and a remote disaster recovery site.

The challenge was to create a low latency optical 10G network to connect the two sites. The proposed solution had to be compact, reliable and carrier grade, yet economically feasible.

In addition, the network had to be flexible for future upgrades or introduction of additional sites to the network, without disruption to traffic.

The Solution

PacketLight Networks, in partnership with Infractive, a France-based VAD, provided CERN with a flexible, carrier grade DWDM solution.

PacketLight’s PL-1000 10G DWDM Transponder carrier grade solution gave CERN a 10G throughput rate in a compact and easy-to-configure 1U chassis with the possibility to easily upgrade the network, using pluggable XFPs.

PacketLight was selected thanks to the solution’s compact size, intuitive operation and comparitively low cost. The PL-1000-based solution provided CERN with 8 channels of 10G services at each site, expandable up to 16 10G channels.

Additional services can easily be introduced without interrupting already functional services, by connecting XFPs at each site or adding devices to the network (stackable 1U chassis).


The PL-1000 10G DWDM Transponder’s low latency and low power consumption further reduced CERN’s operating costs and maximized return on investment.

By selecting PacketLight’s active WDM solution, CERN received an optical transport network which they were able to remotely control and monitor, a dedicated optical supervisory channel (OSC) and optional line protection.