Research networks light up 100G North Atlantic ring

Internet2, NORDUnet, CANARIE, and SURFnet, four research and education (R&E) network organizations from both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, say they have completed a collaborative 100-Gbps fiber-optic network, called ANA-200G, that spans the North Atlantic.

Internet2, NORDUnet, CANARIE, and SURFnet, four research and education (R&E) network organizations from both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, say they have completed a collaborative 100-Gbps fiber-optic network, called ANA-200G, that spans the North Atlantic.

The new network enables R&E users to transfer data between North America and Europe at speeds that were previously only possible within the continents, the organizations say.

"Research and education are worldwide endeavors, with teams collaborating on single 'big science' projects across the globe. Likewise, leading R&E networks from around the world also partner on a global scale to jointly advance the state of the art for the benefit of the networks' users," said Dave Lambert, president and CEO of Internet2. "With this major milestone in ANA-200G, we deliver on an important pathfinder [project] for a novel global network architecture for R&E that is just as robust as each of our domestic capabilities."

The brand new 100-Gbps ring enables clear channel 100-Gbps data transfers for R&E between researchers in the United States and Northern Europe. This "opens up a new era for today’s most advanced research, enabling scientists to take advantage of the ongoing wave of data being constantly created by sensor networks, research instruments, and people," according to the press release.

ANA-200G is a redundant 100G ring spanning the North Atlantic between four open exchange points. The ring nature of ANA-200G, without single points of failure, protects against an outage in the individual 100G transmission paths. In this respect, ANA-200G builds on the success and the lessons learned in the pilot phase that started in June 2013 and ended last month, and was called ANA-100G (see "R&E networks demonstrate 100-Gbps transatlantic connections at TERENA Networking Conference").

The open exchange points that play a pivotal role in ANA-200G are MAN LAN in New York City, WIX in Washington, DC, NetherLight in Amsterdam, and GÉANT Open in London. At these exchange points there is an open connection policy, enabling anyone to connect to the exchange fabric (with permission from the link owners, of course).

The ANA-200G members say they welcome other R&E networks to join the collaboration, and that discussions with other organizations are underway.

Demonstrations of ANA-200G will take place this week at the SC14 supercomputing show in New Orleans.

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