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April 12, 2024

NTT Corporation

Successful demonstration of long-distance data center connections in the United Kingdom and the United States

IOWN APN connects data centers approximately100 km apart to confirm a low delay communications of less than 1 millisecond and its applicability of distributed real-time AI analysis

Tokyo — April 11, 2024 — NTT Corporation (NTT) and NTT DATA Group Corporation (NTT DATA) have demonstrated IOWN APN1 connections between NTT Group data centers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Two data centers near100 km apart in U.K. communicates via IOWN APN connection, and record a low delay of 1 millisecond or less, and realize a similar good performance in U.S. It makes multiple data centers functional as an integrated IT infrastructure logically equivalent to a single data center, and we demonstrated its applicability to distributed real-time AI analysis and the financial sector. We plan to conduct business demonstrations with customers and foster early deployment of our data center business with IOWN APN.

1. Toward global expansion of data center business using IOWN APN

Recently, due to carbon dioxide emission restrictions and land shortage, it has become difficult to build data centers in urban areas, forcing customers to build data centers in the suburbs. When connecting geographically distant data centers, the delay of communications between data centers can be very high, making it difficult to meet customers' needs for low delay connectivity.
 In such an environment, IOWN APN can connect data centers, and build an integrated IT infrastructure that allows urban and suburban data centers to be used as if they were the same data center. This enables customers to meet their needs in use cases where low delay is highly required, such as real-time AI analysis and in the finance sector. In addition, IOWN APN can provide the connection line by adding wavelength without installing new dark fiber, which can significantly reduce the time customer's service request and provision of connection line, and can quickly respond to customer requests.

2. Overview of the demonstration experiment

Two data centers, HH2 in Hemel Hempstead and LON1 in Dagenham, in the United Kingdom, and VA1 and VA3 in Ashburn, in the United States, were connected using NEC APN equipment to measure round-trip delays and delay jitter between the two data centers.

Data Centers Used for Demonstration Data Centers Used for Demonstration

Demonstrated Network Configuration Demonstrated Network Configuration

As a result of the demonstration experiment, both data centers were connected with delay of less than 1 millisecond and delay jitter of less than 1 microsecond at 400Gbps. In the U.K., the delay2 between data centers at the same distance as this demonstration exceeds 2 milliseconds.
 In addition, conventional networks with general Layer 2 Switch experience delay jitter of several microseconds to tens of microseconds.
 A major cloud service provider specified that the conditions under which data centers can be treated as the same data center are 2 milliseconds3, which is significantly lower than the delay expected for general cloud applications.

Delay Delay jitter
United Kingdom 0.893 milliseconds 0.035 microseconds
United States 0.062 milliseconds 0.045 microseconds

As a result, NTT DATA's data centers can be expected to be used globally by enterprise users as suburban data centers for real-time AI analysis processing and in the finance sector. For cloud operators, NTT DATA's data centers can be expected to be used globally to connect urban and suburban data centers as if they were the same data center.

3. Outlook

NTT and the NTT DATA, together with business units around the world, are planning joint demonstrations with customers in the financial sector and other use case areas for distributed data centers to launch businesses soon. Together with our customers, we will confirm that distributed data centers with IOWN APN connections can fully meet the requirements for actual business operations.

1IOWN stands for Innovative Optical and Wireless Network and is comprised of three components: the "All Photonics Network (APN)," which makes it possible to light not only networks but also terminal processing; the "Digital Twin Computing," which enables advanced and real-time interaction between objects and humans in cyberspace; and the "Cognitive Foundation," which efficiently deploys various ICT resources including them.
APN stands for All Photonics Network. By introducing new optical technologies from networks to terminals and chips, APN achieves ultra-low power consumption and ultra-high-speed processing, which has been difficult to achieve until now. By assigning wavelengths to each function on a single optical fiber, we can provide multiple functions that support our social infrastructure, such as information and communication functions such as the Internet and sensing functions, without interfering with each other.

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3Source URL: other window

About NTT

NTT contributes to a sustainable society through the power of innovation. We are a leading global technology company providing services to consumers and businesses as a mobile operator, infrastructure, networks, applications, and consulting provider. Our offerings include digital business consulting, managed application services, workplace and cloud solutions, data center and edge computing, all supported by our deep global industry expertise. We are over $97B in revenue and 330,000 employees, with $3.6B in annual R&D investments. Our operations span across 80+ countries and regions, allowing us to serve clients in over 190 of them. We serve over 75% of Fortune Global 100 companies, thousands of other enterprise and government clients and millions of consumers.


NTT DATA is a $30+ billion trusted global innovator of business and technology services. We serve 75% of the Fortune Global 100 and are committed to helping clients innovate, optimize and transform for long-term success. We invest over $3.6 billion each year in R&D to help organizations and society move confidently and sustainably into the digital future. As a Global Top Employer, we have diverse experts in more than 50 countries and a robust partner ecosystem of established and start-up companies. Our services include business and technology consulting, data and artificial intelligence, industry solutions, as well as the development, implementation and management of applications, infrastructure, and connectivity. We are also one of the leading providers of digital and AI infrastructure in the world. NTT DATA is part of NTT Group and headquartered in Tokyo. Visit us at nttdata.comOpen other window

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