Carriers, vendors, partner for 100GbE services development

NOVEMBER 18, 2008 -- Internet2, ESnet, Infinera, Juniper Networks, and Level 3 Communications have announced they have agreed to work together to develop and test emerging 100-Gigabit Ethernet technologies.

NOVEMBER 18, 2008 -- Internet2, ESnet, Infinera, Juniper Networks, and Level 3 Communications have announced they have agreed to work together to develop and test emerging 100-Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) technologies. The initiative will build on new technologies to create a 100GbE test bed on the Internet2 and ESnet networks with an operational network capability soon thereafter.

"Today, researchers have shifted from working in local laboratories to collaborating on a global scale. Massive data streams generated by this new environment are driving exponential growth in the networking needs of our community that could require 100GbE services by as early as 2010," said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of network services. "Together with our collaborators we are working to make 100GbE a reality so researchers will never be bound by their geographic location or bandwidth requirements."

In 2006, Internet2 announced an agreement with Level 3 Communications to deploy a new nationwide network, designed to seamlessly add capacity as Internet2 members' needs evolve. Internet2 and the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) also announced a partnership to build the next-generation of ESnet on the shared Internet2 infrastructure. Both networks have already experienced rapid growth and as global collaborations continue to expand to nearly every research discipline making the path towards 100GbE a natural next step.

"Scientific discovery today is highly dependent upon the ease of access to data. Current usage trends in areas like high-energy physics and climate change research indicate that researchers will soon begin to saturate the dedicated 10-Gbit/sec links deployed today. This important effort ensures our scientists will have the most advanced network capabilities in the next few years to make new breakthroughs that were previously unimaginable," said Steve Cotter, head of ESnet.

Jack Waters, chief technology officer of Level 3, added, "The research and education community continues to push the boundaries of networking. We are pleased to be supporting this exciting project, which leads the industry in 100GbE technology development."

"As our research and education customers require increasingly more network capacity to support their research projects, technologies such as 100GbE can help them scale their networks quickly and efficiently," said Opher Kahane, senior vice president and general manager of the High End Systems Business Unit at Juniper Networks. "We are pleased to be part of this groundbreaking initiative to develop 100 GbE technologies leveraging our T1600 core router."

Infinera plans to develop the 100GbE interfaces for the existing Internet2 and ESnet optical networks. "We are very excited to support Internet2, ESnet, and Level 3 as they move aggressively towards making 100GbE a fully operational reality," said Infinera chief technology officer Drew Perkins.

The development of standards for 100GbE is a key part of the process to support widespread cost-effective deployment of 100GbE technology. The IEEE is currently targeting mid-2010 for industry agreement on a 100GbE standard. The parties will support the effort to create a standard and look forward to implementing that standard.

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