Merit Network targets education and research market with upgrade

JULY 20, 2009 -- Merit Network, a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan's public universities, has deployed equipment from ADVA Optical Networking to meet the changing needs of higher education and the research users.

JULY 20, 2009 -- Merit Network, a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan's public universities, has deployed equipment from ADVA Optical Networking (search Lightwave for ADVA) to meet the changing needs of higher education and the research users.

Merit's 10G core network was recently upgraded to operate ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 platform to improve the capabilities of the 770-mile fiber-optic ring that stretches from Detroit to Chicago with connections in Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. The new ADVA Optical Networking technology enables Merit to configure multiple high-speed connections, each carrying 10 Gbps worth of data on a wavelength, using only a single pair of fibers.

Merit also has deployed Raman amplifiers on the network to reduce the number of amplification sites that it needs to span the state. The change saves the non-profit organization and its members thousands of dollars in installation and service costs, ADVA Optical Networking asserts.

Scientists at public universities in Michigan are utilizing Merit's high-speed network for global research projects. For example, physicists at the University of Michigan are currently using Merit's network as part of their work on the ATLAS Experiment, which conducts trials on the world's largest particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider, located near Geneva, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, University of Michigan astronomers are using their Merit connection to coordinate information from giant radio telescopes around the world. By collecting and analyzing data from multiple locations, they are learning more about black holes and other space phenomena than ever thought possible.

In addition, Merit Network provides advanced connectivity for Michigan's research and education community to the Internet2 Network. Internet2 is a consortium of universities, corporations, government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning that operates a nationwide next-generation network in support of research and education. ADVA Optical Networking is a corporate member of Internet2.

"Merit is committed to advancing the research capabilities of our university members," said Don Welch, president and CEO of Merit Network. "ADVA Optical Networking technology maximizes capacity over fiber, allowing our members to move huge data sets without impacting our packet switched network. That translates to better performance for lower costs. As we continue to facilitate high-end research applications that span the globe, ADVA Optical Networking offers us the technology to provide our members the performance they need."

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