ProLabs: edge data centres are all about location, speed and connectivity

JOHANNESBURG – July 28, 2021– Data centre operators need more storage, computing power and higher bandwidth to connect more devices. On top of these needs, they have a requirement to reduce the time it takes to get data to and from their customers.

 This is according to ProLabs, a global leader in optical networking infrastructure. ProLabs is distributed in sub-Saharan Africa by Networks Unlimited.

ProLabs notes that the result of these forces outlined above is the development of the edge data centre, also known as edge computing. To some degree, data centre operators have reached the limits of what can be done in large, centralised locations. Therefore, operators are creating new architectures for their data centres, and edge data centres are the result. Minimising latency of data to and from the customer and the core network are key drivers along with the following customer requirements as they:

  • Are closer in proximity to the end users.
  • Are smaller than traditional data centres.
  • Run a more limited set of applications required for the local user community.
  • Share operational overhead as a distributed node of larger data centre organisations.
  • Cache frequently used content.

These new architectures deliver three fundamental requirements, including faster processing speed, lower latency, and increased bandwidth. These mandates require edge data centres to be built upon optical networks of two types:

  • The local optical network within the data centre and the right transceivers, cables and racks for connecting servers to switches and storage.
  • The high-speed optical links, typically Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM), that connect the edge data centre to the customer and to other service providers.

The types of transceivers required for these two functions are very different and each is a technical domain within itself. ProLabs has the technical expertise, transceivers, DAC and AOC cables, plus related equipment to supply any need within the data centre and for long reach WDM links.

Using optical networks to build the right architecture for servers, switches and storage within the building as well as the high-speed connections to the core network provides the foundation that edge data centres need to deliver the latest applications. Some of these applications include:

  • Real time – examples are AR/VR, IoT, connected cars, telemedicine.
  • Data collection/analytics/AI – data from thousands of points is collected and analysed.
  • Compliance – copyright enforcement, geofencing, fulfilling local data privacy laws.
  • Network function virtualisation – moving applications from local appliances to the cloud.

“ProLabs specialises in understanding how the optical network delivers value for edge network operators,” says Alkesh Patel, SVP EMEA & India from ProLabs, “and has already delivered significant volumes of optics to some of the largest data centres in the world.  Whether it is coherent optics for backbone links or 10G to 400G transceivers within the data centre, ProLabs provides a wide range of high quality networking devices to allow you to expand and grow your existing data centre or to create an entirely new one.”

About ProLabs


ProLabs is a leading provider of optical networking solutions. For over two decades, it has delivered optical connectivity solutions that give customers freedom, choice, and seamless interoperability. It serves a diverse range of industries including enterprises, governments, and the largest worldwide service providers.

By championing higher standards for technology and service, ProLabs is changing the mindset of data centre and service providers the world over. It supplies solutions that are 100% compatible in form and functionality across 100 OEM manufacturers, covering more than 20,000 systems and platforms. For more information, please visit www.prolabs.com.

About Networks Unlimited

Networks Unlimited is a value-added distributor, committed to empowering African businesses through innovative technology solutions. Our focus includes the world's leading security, networking, storage, enterprise system management (ESM) and cloud technologies. As a company, we are dedicated to taking our partner ecosystem to new heights. We support our partners through operational excellence, a competitive pricing strategy and strong focus on education, with the view of investing in long-term relationships. We work with competitive, resilient businesses, who are leaders in their field of excellence.

Our offerings include a portfolio of products highly regarded by Gartner, such as Altaro, Attivo Networks, Cofense, Fortinet, F5, Hitachi VantaraNETSCOUT, NVIDIA, ProLabs, RSA, Rubrik, SentinelOne, SevOne, Silver Peak, Tenable, Tintri and Uplogix.


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