(The Hosting News) – Underlining Europe’s position as a leading research hub, scientists and academics will benefit from seamless, faster data sharing across the continent through a series of new, leading edge network initiatives.
European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and DANTE, the organisation that on behalf of Europe’s NRENs has built and operates the GÉANT pan-European network are working closely together to prepare for the deployment of high speed 100 Gbps connections across their networks. This will enable closer collaboration on vital projects in critical areas such as climate change, energy, food security and medical and genetic research.
The need for higher capacity is being driven by a fundamental shift in how researchers work together, with a massive increase in data sharing combining with new projects and the digitisation of research methods across all sectors driving demand. As well as projects in areas such as radio astronomy, high-energy physics and medical research, increasingly disciplines such as the arts rely on technology and networking to collaborate together.
Following deployment of 40 Gbps links, the backbone GÉANT network is currently undergoing a major procurement that will see capacity on key routes upgraded to 100 Gbps in 2012. A collaborative taskforce that brings together DANTE and NREN partners from across Europe is helping co-ordinate this activity, drive end-to-end connectivity and share experience and knowledge amongst the research networking community.
As well as GÉANT, the national networks serving Germany (DFN), France (RENATER), the United Kingdom (JANET), the Netherlands (SURFnet) and Nordic countries (NORDUnet) have all invested in high speed trials and implementations, enabling their users to benefit from a step change in bandwidth that will see speeds increase by up to a factor of ten.
“The dramatic increase in research collaboration and new ways of working are leading to forecasts of a coming explosion in data and traffic,” said Matthew Scott, General Manager, DANTE. “Europe’s NRENs and DANTE are consequently working together now to put in place the end-to-end infrastructure and services to ensure our 40 million users can collaborate seamlessly in the future, reinforcing Europe’s research leadership.”
In Germany, DFN has worked with key suppliers to evaluate 100 Gbps technology as part of preparations for the next generation of its X-WiN technical platform. Under typical operating conditions, data has been transmitted along a 447 kilometre network at speed of up to 100 Gbps. A final, intensive 18 hour test saw 735 terabytes transmitted – the equivalent of sending nearly 1.2 million CDs or 160,000 DVDs.
French NREN RENATER is testing 100 Gbps network technologies using dark fibre alongside its existing 10 Gbps optical circuits. Following extensive lab testing between August and December 2010, field deployment trials on this 100 Gbps network took place without any impact on traffic. This included the heavy data transmissions between CERN and IN2P3 in Lyon, which carries the vast traffic loads from the Large Hadron Collider for onward distribution to scientists around the world. Beyond this major test with a single DWDM equipment, RENATER proved successfully the compatibility of 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps technologies between different vendor hardware on a single optical fibre. In both cases, the filling efficiency was proved to be well above 95%.
JANET, the UK NREN conducted extensive production testing in 2009 and 2010 using 100 Gbps technology. It is now running its production traffic over four separate 100 Gbps connections on the JANET backbone.
The Dutch NREN, SURFnet, operates three 40 Gbps optical connections and has successfully demonstrated a 100 Gbps connection between Amsterdam and Hamburg to connect to the NORDUnet network. Furthermore, SURFnet operates three 40 Gbps connections between Amsterdam and Geneva to connect to the LHC at CERN. SURFnet successfully completed demonstrations of multi-domain 40 Gbps Alien Wave Network connections over 1050km between Amsterdam and Copenhagen, using PM-QPSK technology, and over more than 4300km between Amsterdam, CERN and Copenhagen, using ULH technology, as presented at the TNC2011 during May in Prague. SURFnet will introduce 100 Gbps transmission over the 1650km of fiber between Amsterdam and Geneva during the second half of 2011. These achievements clearly show that SURFnet’s network is capable of meeting the increased bandwidth demands of its users and research partners within the Dutch research community and abroad.
NORDUnet, the NREN that covers the Nordic region has carried out extensive lab testing at 100 Gbps speeds. In May 2011 it will run a full 100 Gbps production test between Stockholm and Copenhagen, a distance of 866 km. As part of the GÉANT 100 Gbps taskforce, NORDUnet will use this experience to benefit the entire European networking community.
GÉANT is the high speed pan-European communication network dedicated to research and education. In combination with its NREN partners, GÉANT creates a secure, high speed research infrastructure that serves 40 million researchers in over 8,000 institutions across 40 European countries. Operating at speeds of up to 40 Gbps, GÉANT is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-gigabit network dedicated to research and education. Building on the success of its predecessors, GÉANT has been created around the needs of users, providing flexible, network services that transform the way that researchers collaborate. GÉANT is at the heart of global research networking through wide ranging connections with other world regions, underpinning vital projects that bridge the digital divide and benefit society as a whole.
Co-funded by the European Commission under the EU’s 7th Research and Development Framework Programme, GÉANT is the e-Infrastructure at the heart of the EU’s European Research Area and contributes to the development of emerging internet technologies. The project partners are 32 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE. GÉANT is operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe’s NRENs. For more information, visit www.geant.net
DANTE is a non-profit organisation, coordinator of large-scale projects co-funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to plan, build and operate advanced networks for research and education. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT, which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in the other regions to one another and to GÉANT. DANTE currently manages projects focussed on the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific and central Asia regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, TEIN and CAREN projects respectively. For more information, visit www.dante.net.