Caltech taps Ciena for dynamic lightpath provisioning

JANUARY 22, 2008 -- Caltech has selected the Ciena's CoreDirector Multiservice Optical Switch for use in its multi-national research networking efforts, including the U.S. Large Hadron Collider Network (U.S. LHCNet), which interconnects large research facilities throughout the U.S. and Europe.

JANUARY 22, 2008 -- The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has selected the Ciena Corp.'s (search for Ciena) CoreDirector Multiservice Optical Switch for use in its multi-national research networking efforts. Caltech is the driving force behind the U.S. Large Hadron Collider Network (U.S. LHCNet), a network that interconnects large research facilities throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has been chartered with designing and managing implementation of the network to support distributed scientific computing and research.

The U.S. LHCNet network interconnects the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland with key access points in Amsterdam, New York (32 Avenue of the Americas), and Chicago, IL (Starlight). Onward connections to research facilities throughout the U.S. involve the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)'s Science Data Network; the Internet2 network; and National Lambda Rail (NLR).

With the help of Ciena's CoreDirector platform, Caltech says it can dynamically set up and seamlessly manage the transfer of multiple terabytes of data from CERN to the Fermilab and Brookhaven DOE laboratories. Those labs host the U.S. Tier 1 Centers, which support the high energy physics research efforts of more than 1,000 physicists at more than 80 U.S. universities and labs taking part in the LHC program.

"In managing the implementation of U.S. LHCNet, we were looking for the easiest and most efficient way to optimize bandwidth utilization while connecting sites across vast distances," explains Harvey Newman, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology. "Ciena's CoreDirector platform has a rich set of features that allow for Layer 1 and Layer 2 Ethernet lightpath switching, making complicated optical network connections easier to accomplish by automating dynamic provisioning. We are also working on integrating the CoreDirector functionality with some of our distributed monitoring and control software to further support our scientific collaborations on a global scale," he reports.

In this multi-service environment, Ciena's CoreDirector switching system is integral to enabling interconnection within the global research networking community and supporting distributed scientific computing and research, say Ciena representatives. The platform will also contribute to the advancement of intelligent control plane-based automation for optical networks, including dynamic lightpath signaling and routing capabilities.

"The deployment by Caltech further demonstrates Ciena's intelligent control plane capabilities, which have been proven in networks worldwide to flexibly automate the discovery, configuration, dynamic provisioning, and restoration of high-bandwidth optical networks," adds Steve Alexander, chief technology officer at Ciena. "Given the support CoreDirector provides for dynamic provisioning of high-bandwidth connectivity, it is ideal for enabling research initiatives between geographically separate locations in support of high-performance computing and networking applications."


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