Internet2, ESnet take 100-Gbps coast to coast

Administrators of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the Internet2 research and education network say they have completed the world’s first transcontinental deployment of 100-Gbps technology.

Administrators of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the Internet2 research and education network say they have completed the world’s first transcontinental deployment of 100-Gbps technology. The new high-speed fiber-optic network uses Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, which supports the 100-Gbps speeds via dual-polarization quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection.

The network now has a transmission capacity of 8.8 Tbps. The high-speed connections link New York, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Sunnyvale, a distance of nearly 4000 miles.

“This new coast-to-coast capacity represents the first major milestone in completing the nation’s most advanced platform for network-based innovation,” said Rob Vietzke, executive director of network services for Internet2. “Prior innovations from the research and education community have given us the Internet itself, the worldwide web, and social networking. We can only imagine what the major new capabilities of this new network might enable in a classroom, research lab or health clinic.”

Exponential growth in scientific research traffic from research labs and universities has provided the main catalyst for the upgrades to the ESnet and Internet2 infrastructures. Internet2’s network will also extend to support community anchor institutions including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges, and public safety organizations as part of its United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project.

ESnet – managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) – is a national network that connects thousands of DOE Office of Science researchers at more than 40 different U.S. laboratories and supercomputing facilities and links them to research partners around the world.

“The global science community’s needs for managing data are exploding in scope and complexity requiring a fundamental shift in the way we provide networking. By 2015, we anticipate that ESnet will carry 100 petabytes of traffic per year – and this volume will continue to grow driven by research fields like high energy physics, climate research and genomics,” said Steve Cotter, ESnet department head. “The DOE’s Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) was created to re-establish America’s global leadership in ultra-high capacity networking and to build the most sophisticated platform for accelerating U.S. science discovery in this age of data intensive research. Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in ensuring this vision is realized.”

The Advanced Networking Initiative is supported by DOE’s Office of Science.

Earlier this year, Berkeley Lab announced an agreement with Internet2 for ESnet to share capacity for its new 100-Gbps network being built as part of ANI. The network will first be built as a prototype to connect DOE’s three unclassified supercomputing centers as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point (MAN LAN) in New York. By the end of 2012, ESnet will transition the network to production and deploy 100-Gbps connections to link DOE Office of Science sites. Through the agreement, Internet2 is also providing dark fiber to ESnet for a nationwide experimental network test-bed.

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