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Data centers are experiencing an exponential increase in the amount of network traffic that they have to sustain due to cloud computing and several emerging web applications. To face this network load, large data centers are required with thousands of servers interconnected with high bandwidth switches. Current data center networks, based on electronic packet switches, consume excessive power to handle the increased communication bandwidth of emerging applications. Optical interconnects have gained attention recently as a promising solution offering high throughput, low latency and reduced energy consumption compared to current networks based on commodity switches. This paper presents a thorough survey on optical interconnects for next generation data center networks. Furthermore, the paper provides a qualitative categorization and comparison of the proposed schemes based on their main features such as connectivity and scalability. Finally, the paper discusses the cost and the power consumption of these schemes that are of primary importance in the future data center networks.