Raising the Bar with AFL Hyperscale: Clients Expect Better Service, Shorter Lead-Times

LEESBURG, VA — Robert Dennelly is the Director of Product Line Management & Engineering at AFL Hyperscale, which creates and delivers scalable and innovative network infrastructure solutions. A global leader in fiber optic technology, AFL Hyperscale brings together over 70 years of design and manufacturing expertise to create next generation, end to end connectivity solutions for all data center, telecom and enterprise networks. With offices worldwide, AFL Hyperscale is well-positioned to offer dedicated local support on a global scale. Using a consultative approach, they bring responsiveness, innovation, and scalability to the forefront of their solutions with the aim of innovating network connectivity forever. AFL Hyperscale will be a sponsor of CAPRE’s Seventh Annual Washington D.C. & Mid-Atlantic Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Summit, and we connected with them for a Q&A about their mission, customers, and perspective.

CAPRE: Thanks for chatting with us today, Robert. We’re looking forward to seeing you on September 10 in Leesburg. Please share with our readers a bit about AFL Hyperscale and your value proposition.

Dennelly: We’re focused on hyperscale customers and large colocation providers who often house hyperscale customers as well. We see a tremendous need for fiber optic technology by our customers. We’re trying to bring a complete end-to-end solution, starting with very high-count fiber optic cable that comes into very large data centers. We’re providing all of the connectivity and distribution to take that very high fiber optic cable from the entrance facility to the spine of the data center, out to the leaf, and then out to top-of-rack switching.

CAPRE: Tell us more about the solutions you offer your customers.

Dennelly: There’s a lot of different management and patch panel solutions that we offer our customers, based on the way they decide to deploy and utilize the fiber optic cable. We also have a lot of interest from our customer base to be able to deploy applications that are going to support 40-gig, 100-gig, and in 2020, 400-gig applications. There’s been a lot of collaboration with us and our clients to figure out the best way to deploy those types of data rate speed based on the architecture they’re utilizing in their data center.

CAPRE: What are you seeing lately in Northern Virginia?

Dennelly: The Northern Virginia area is definitely an area of focus for us, because there are a lot of hyperscale customers operating in that region. They have their own data centers and they also utilize colocation companies to provide more customized service to their clients. In North America, it’s probably our most active region, and it’s the strongest region for our customers.

CAPRE: What are you looking forward to about CAPRE’s upcoming Mid-Atlantic Data Center Summit?

Robert Dennelly, Director of Product Line Management & Engineering, AFL Hyperscale

Dennelly: We always welcome the opportunity to collaborate with customers and others in the industry that are working on different technologies. We’re very interested, of course, in hyperscale and how things are changing in Northern Virginia. But we’re also interested in talking to people that are involved with 5G technologies and trying to understand how the products that we bring to the market can enable that new technology that’s starting to be deployed out into the marketplace.

CAPRE: Where is the market heading from the AFL Hyperscale vantage point?

Dennelly: One of the things that we see on our side is more activity happening with colocation companies, and hyperscalers moving into colocation sites, and using those facilities to provide very close service to their clients — being able to onboard clients quickly, to provide low latency applications. That’s one of the things that we’re seeing. We also see that, even in the hyperscale market, the growth is still very strong. And there continues to be growth in the hyperscale footprint, so that’s encouraging from our perspective.

CAPRE: What are you hearing from customers? Why are they picking up their phones to call AFL Hyperscale?

Dennelly: There are a couple of things that they’re interested in talking to us about. Interestingly enough, probably first and foremost is service. They want better service. Our customers indicate that we provide them with excellent service, but they’re interested in us providing even better service, with shorter lead times. That’s one of the few points in our industry – there’s a constant need to squeeze down the delivery time for products. People contact us about that.

CAPRE: What about on the tech side? What specific solutions are they ringing you up about?

Dennelly: They’re also interested in deploying higher-strand count fiber between their data centers on a campus. They’re looking at, is there a way to make the cable smaller and easier to install, that allows them to get up and running faster? For outside plant cable, that is higher strand counts, smaller size, and quicker and easier installation.

The third thing they’re coming to us is that a lot of them are planning to make the jump to 400 gig in certain parts of their data centers. and they’re trying to figure out the best way to make that transition as they implement new transceivers and switching gear – what kind of connectors are the best way of making that jump to the next realms – from 100 gig up to 400 gig?

CAPRE: What’s the bottom line for AFL Hyperscale as you prepare for the second half of 2019?

Dennelly: We’d like to stress that AFL Hyperscale is a company looking at fiber optic technology as a way to enable the hyperscale market. We’re always trying to innovate to provide a better performance higher density, and better service for our industry. How can we enable the hyperscalers to continue their technology journey of providing higher bandwidth and lower latency for their clients?

CAPRE: Got it. We’ll see AFL Hyperscale in Leesburg!

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