| JULY 14-16, 2014

SURFnet adds 100 Gbps, ROADM, packet-optical transport via Ciena gear

SURFnet, which oversees the Netherlands’ research and education network, will upgrade its infrastructure with equipment from Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ:CIEN) to provide packet-optical transport and reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities as well as support for 100-Gbps transmission.

Ciena had supplied systems for the current generation of SURFnet’s 10G/40G fiber-optic backbone network, which supports more than 1 million education and research users in the Netherlands and provides connections internationally to research communities like CERN in Switzerland. SURFnet awarded Ciena a contract last December to upgrade the network with the new capabilities.

The systems house will provide its ActivFlex 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and ActivSpan Common Photonic Layer technology, both of which it acquired from Nortel (see "Ciena offers Nortel MEN integration insight"). However, the ActivFlex 6500 systems Ciena will provide will include its recently announced WaveLogic coherent optical processors (see “Ciena details WaveLogic coherent optical processors for 40G/100G”). The processors provide improved impairment mitigation and other efficiencies, including transmission over a single carrier as the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has prescribed. The original Nortel equipment transmitted 100 Gbps over a single wavelength, but used a pair of 50-Gbps subcarriers to do it.

“State-of-the-art networks are critical to supporting today’s e-Science applications. Advanced research requires collaboration within and across national borders and routinely involves petabytes of data being transferred between different facilities for analysis,” said Bram Peeters, head of network services at SURFnet. “Further upgrades of the network’s photonic capabilities will provide the bandwidth and flexibility required to support such activities and meet the requirements of the next phase of our GigaPort 3 project – called SURFnet7 – cementing the way for a new Ethernet layer.”

This is the second recent contract Ciena has received to upgrade a research and education network to 100 Gbps. The company announced a similar deal with Internet2 in the United States in March (see “Ciena, Internet2 partner on new national 100G network”).

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