NOVEMBER 14, 2022

Wiring the Planet: Scaling Meta’s Global Optical Network

The first half of the talk will highlight the expansive global fiber network that is being built and managed by BBE. We will first highlight the submarine fiber optic systems that we are building to connect the globe. We are working on over 25 submarine fiber network builds but will highlight just a few. Bifrost and Echo will be shown which are the first to directly connect the US and Singapore and will support SGA, our first APAC data center. The vast 2Africa project will be discussed, which is both the world’s largest submarine cable network and has the potential to connect the largest number of people, 3 Billion. We have established a series of firsts in the submarine fiber world and are driving new innovations which are transforming the industry. The connection of our submarine networks to our terrestrial backbone will be shown and how this network interconnects our data centers. Next, we describe how we design and build the hierarchies of the optical transport layer built on top of those fiber paths. We have to model and inter-operate multiple hardware types, from multiple vendors, across multiple technology generations, to achieve maximum utilization of our fiber. The scale of network growth means that we continuously deploy the latest generation of high-performance transponder systems onto our network, but each additional generation imposes an operational (support) tax which can only be mitigated by focusing on automation for both configuration and maintenance (e.g. software upgrades). Finally, we will discuss our approach to provisioning capacity on this network, our solutions for distributed provisioning and monitoring of this global fleet of hardware, and our approach to diagnosing and remediating network failures. This, as well as the design challenge described prior, requires us to maintain a suite of in-house software systems, without which operating at our scale would not be possible.

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