University of Alabama chooses Adva Optical Networking gear

OCTOBER 8, 2007 -- ADVA Optical Networking has announced deployment of its FSP 3000RE in the new University of Alabama System Regional Optical Network.

OCTOBER 8, 2007 -- ADVA Optical Networking (search for ADVA) has announced deployment of its Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 3000RE in the new University of Alabama System Regional Optical Network (UAS-RON). The network provides the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research & Engineering Network (NREN) and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL, with 10-Gbit/sec connectivity to NASA's other facilities nationally, via UAS-RON and Southern Light Rail (SLR) links to the National LambdaRail (NLR) backbone. UAS-RON will also provide The University of Alabama System with more affordable commodity Internet connectivity, as well as access to NLR and Internet2 via SLR's Southern Crossroads (SoX) initiative.

The success of UAS-RON is the result of time and investment by multiple organizations:

  • The University of Alabama System has built an optical-fiber network that links the campuses in Birmingham and Huntsville, AL, to NLR's point-of-presence (PoP) in Atlanta, GA. The network also links the UAS campuses to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory PoP in Nashville, TN. UAS-RON will also eventually include a link from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa, AL. "UAS-RON will enhance the ability of researchers at any University of Alabama System campus to participate in the larger scientific community," said John Watters, director of enterprise technology, University of Alabama. "Plus, the network will eventually support high-quality, digital-video applications for telemedicine services and distance learning."
  • NREN provides its own fiber connection to UAS-RON in Huntsville, as well as capital and operational support for the network. "The network gives us a dedicated 10-Gbit/sec link to other NASA facilities across the United States," said Kevin Jones, NREN engineering group lead, NASA Ames. "This affords us unprecedented information-sharing and collaboration capabilities."
  • NLR has an agreement to link all NASA facilities nationally. "We were exploring options of how to connect NASA MSFC to National LambdaRail when we learned of The University of Alabama System's work with Southern Light Rail," said Tom West, president, NLR. "We decided it was best to all work together to achieve everyone's goals."
  • SLR, which provides universities and other research organizations in the south with access to NLR, designed the UAS-RON network, acquired the ADVA Optical Networking equipment and provided project management and operational support. "The research-and-education community has very demanding network performance and flexibility needs, as well as tight requirements in terms of operational expenditures," said Ron Hutchins, SLR's interim executive director and Georgia Tech's associate vice provost for technology and chief technology officer. "We found that ADVA Optical Networking had established an excellent reputation in this arena, and our experience with the FSP 3000RE in UAS-RON underscores the strength of their offering."

ADVA FSP 3000RE platforms are deployed in Atlanta, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Nashville. Multiple channels of data, voice, video, or storage application traffic can be transported along the same fiber strand via DWDM, and additional bandwidth and services can be deployed without physical expansion of UAS-RON.

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