How much data can a fiber carry? Facebook and Nokia are pushing it

Facebook and Nokia have found a way to push a lot more data through a submarine cable across the Atlantic, which could help the social network keep up with the growth of video and virtual reality.

On a 5,500-kilometer (3,400-mile) cable between Ireland and New York, the companies tested a new technique developed at Nokia Bell Labs for increasing the efficiency of fiber-optic cables. They say it comes close to the absolute limit for sending bits over a fiber.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said VR is the future of social media. If it is, then the networks that link consumers and data centers will have more data than ever to carry. Higher resolution video also is increasing the burden on networks. For example, Netflix recommends subscribers have at least a 5Mbps broadband connection to stream HD video and 25Mbps for Ultra HD (4K) streams.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

How much water do Apple’s thirsty online services need?

How thirsty is your Apple Music collection? How much water gets used up when you send an email through iCloud? Not a great deal, but the truth is the data centers that drive services like these are incredibly thirsty creatures.

Drop by drop

Every online photo, all those Apple Maps requests, Siri interrogations, FaceTime chats, Apps downloads and iMessage exchanges all use drops of water.

In most cases the data servers enabling all these Apple services are kept cool by pumping water through the systems.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing