Ixia verifies 10-Gigabit Ethernet transcontinental network

24 October 2003 Geneva, Switzerland Lightwave -- CERN, SURFnet, the University of Amsterdam, and Carleton University have selected Ixia equipment to successfully validate what they claim is the world's first transcontinental 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) WAN PHY network.

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24 October 2003 Geneva, Switzerland Lightwave -- CERN, SURFnet, the University of Amsterdam, and Carleton University have selected Ixia equipment to successfully validate what they claim is the world's first transcontinental 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) WAN PHY network.

The network consists of two major components: A SURFnet OC-192 lambda between Geneva and the StarLight facility in Chicago via Amsterdam, and another OC-192 E lambda from StarLight and Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, provided by CANARIE, Canada's not-for-profit Internet organization dedicated to the development of next generation networks, and Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO), a not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors that includes leaders from the fields of education, research, and business.

The test utilized Ixia's 10-GbE WAN PHY traffic generation and analysis capability to verify the full wire-speed 10-GbE performance of this transcontinental network. The Ixia test equipment was deployed at the endpoints of the 10-GbE link in Ottawa and Geneva. The sophisticated performance requirements of this network validation also relied on the IXIA 100's traffic generation and analyzer with its integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) capability, which made it possible to establish real-time, sub-microsecond, precision one-way latency measurements from end to end.

"The IxiaItest gear enabled us to saturate the 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection. This would have been impossible by only using PCs," contends Catalin Meirosu of CERN. "The possibility of synchronizing via GPS units located thousands of kilometers away and the accuracy of the one-way latency computation was key to our tests. We were impressed by the Ixia hardware and software stability during the one month of practically continuous operation within the testbed," she adds.

The results of the test are an important milestone in exploring the high-speed distribution of data from CERN's new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, scheduled to become operational in 2007. Once complete, CERN's Grid computing technology will involve the collection of millions of gigabytes of data per year to be used by physicists in hundreds of institutions located around the world.

The setup was first tested for 90 hours using IXIA 400T traffic generators configured with 10-GbE WAN PHY load modules. This equipment proved the stability and raw performance of the network by transporting 365 TBytes of raw data without any bit errors or packet loss. The main test configuration consisted of the two Ixia 10-GbE WAN PHY interfaces connected to Force10 switch/routers that were, in turn, connected to the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Optical Platforms equipment. The Ixia traffic generators were also used for determining the underlying performance of the trans-European part of the transatlantic lightpath by connecting directly to the DWDM gear. Once the network was characterized, high-speed servers equipped with 10-GbE network interface cards were connected on both sides to test file transfer capabilities.

Network expertise and third party validation was provided by Cortex Networks in Ottawa for the test configuration and execution.Th 135431

The test utilized Ixia's 10-GbE WAN PHY traffic generation and analysis capability to verify the full wire-speed 10-GbE performance of this transcontinental network.
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