Everything You Need To Know About Data Center Interconnect (DCI)

July 31, 2023

There are an estimated 8,000 data centers worldwide,1 so chances are your business owns or connects to at least one – and likely more. However, data centers don't exist in isolation. They connect to other data centers, enabling companies like yours to send data wherever it needs to go.

Analysts expect data generated worldwide to reach 180 zettabytes by 2025.2 That's a lot of data to handle. Optimizing connectivity between data centers in the coming years will be vital. In this blog, we're exploring data center interconnect (DCI): what it does, why it's important for data center operators, and how it can benefit your business.

What Is Data Center Interconnect?

Data center interconnect technology connects multiple data centers, allowing them to share resources and operate as a single, integrated system. DCIs establish a fast, secure, and reliable connection between two data centers or more, regardless of distance. By connecting data centers, organizations can leverage their combined resources and computing power to quickly adapt to changing network traffic demands.

Here's a high-level overview of how DCI works:


The DCI network interconnects data centers by establishing a connection between their respective networking infrastructures. This can be achieved with physical connections, such as fiber optic links, or virtual connections using protocols like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) tunnels.

Data Transmission

Once the data centers are interconnected, data transmission can occur. Companies can exchange data, applications, and services across the DCI network in various formats, including file transfers, database replication, or real-time communication protocols.

Resource Sharing

DCI platforms share resources between interconnected data centers, so organizations can allocate resources and workloads across the data centers based on factors like demand, performance, or proximity.

Management and Orchestration

DCI networks require efficient management and orchestration, which allows administrators to configure, monitor, and control the network from a central location. Network management systems provide visibility into network performance, troubleshooting issues, and more.

How Is DCI Used?

DCI technology moves data between data center facilities, which benefits many industries around the world. Leveraging DCI helps hospitals meet clinical needs to grow operations and provide optimized patient care. In fintech, DCI provides banks with the networking infrastructure they need to support a wide range of digital products, from real-time payments to open banking and beyond.

As more organizations move their IT resources to multi-tenant and public clouds, DCI connectivity from enterprise data centers and cloud providers will grow in tandem.



What Are the Benefits of DCI Technology?

Data center interconnect technologies offer several benefits for businesses, including:

Operational Simplicity

Data center interconnect platforms are designed to help organizations streamline operations with centralized management and simplified infrastructure. Instead of managing each data center separately, IT teams can treat interconnected data center facilities as a single system. And because data center interconnect services consolidate the connectivity between data centers, businesses no longer need to manage separate point-to-point connections or complex routing configurations.

Improved Performance

Since DCI shares computing resources and workload distribution across multiple data centers, businesses can improve performance by dynamically allocating resources based on demand. Administrators can easily move and balance applications across data centers, as well as apply quality of service (QoS) and other policies for optimal performance.

Seamless Scalability

As data and computing demands increase, companies using DCI can quickly add additional data center locations to the interconnected network. DCI lets organizations scale their network infrastructure by expanding computing capacity and accommodating growing workloads – without disrupting operations.

Data Security

DCI allows organizations to implement encryption protocols to secure data transfer and sharing between facilities. Access controls and authentication mechanisms like two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) are also used to ensure that only authorized people and devices can send or access data via the DCI network.

More Flexibility

With DCI technology, IT teams can move data between data centers as needed to ensure it's accessible from multiple locations. This flexibility allows organizations to leverage data analytics, distribute workloads, and optimize data storage based on regional needs or compliance requirements. DCI also provides seamless data access to authorized users anywhere, allowing companies to support a work-from-anywhere environment.

Cost Optimization

Data center interconnect technology promotes optimized data center designs. Interconnecting data center locations reduces the need for duplicate hardware, software, and other physical infrastructure components, resulting in a more cost-efficient solution for procurement, maintenance, and operational expenses.



What Are Performance-Optimized DCI Solutions?

Traditional DCI solutions struggle to deliver high-capacity connectivity due to scalability and distance constraints. Performance-optimized DCI solutions can transport more across any distance with programmable interfaces that allow companies to fine-tune individual application capacity. They often incorporate packet optimization techniques, including packet compression and data deduplication, to improve the network throughout and reduce bandwidth utilization. Lastly, these solutions also optimize the data center footprint for improved service density and reduced power consumption.

Considerations for DCI Networks

DCI networks require several key components to maintain reliability and efficiency. Here are some of the essentials:

Scalable Connectivity

Scalable, high-speed connectivity is essential for accommodating large volumes of data transfer between data center facilities. This typically involves using a fiber optic connection, which offers sufficient bandwidth to handle the anticipated data traffic. Additionally, the network infrastructure should be flexible enough to support increasing bandwidth demands as your data requirements grow.

Redundant Architecture

DCI technology demands a reliable and redundant architecture to ensure continuous connectivity. Your business can achieve this by implementing redundant networking components such as routers, switches, and links. Redundant power supplies, backup systems, and failover mechanisms can also help mitigate the impact of equipment failures or network disruptions.

Efficient Traffic Management

Effective traffic management and load balancing are necessary for a DCI environment to optimize resource utilization and transfer data efficiently. This involves implementing traffic engineering techniques, QoS mechanisms, and intelligent routing protocols to distribute traffic and prevent congestion.

Reduced Footprint

While reducing the footprint isn't a strict requirement for DCI networks, many companies prefer it due to the cost savings and efficiency it provides. A compact DCI network design requires less space, resulting in lower construction, power, and cooling costs and allowing for easier scalability and future expansion.

Open APIs

DCI networks often benefit from open APIs, which allow networking systems from different vendors to communicate and work together seamlessly. Open interfaces facilitate interoperability between components, such as routers and switches, for smooth network management, so you can avoid vendor lock-in and select the best technologies for your needs.

Trust eStruxture for Data Centers That Give You More

Many organizations struggle to connect their data centers effectively and securely, especially as data and network traffic increase. Luckily, you have an alternative to costly data center construction and maintenance costs: colocation.

At eStruxture, you can connect to a vibrant ecosystem of network and cloud service providers with our carrier-neutral, secure colocation data centers. With 15 facilities spanning over 760,000 square feet across Canada, we can help you get the data center capacity, performance, and flexibility your business needs to run modern enterprise applications. Get in touch today to learn more.




  1. https://techjury.net/blog/data-center-statistics/
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/871513/worldwide-data-created/

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