Internet2 and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) have put the finishing touches on their transcontinental 100G network.
Taking advantage of the coherent optical technology on Ciena's (Nasdaq: CIEN) 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, the new 8.8 Tbps network is equipped with 100 Gbps optical backbone connections.
To date, Internet2 and ESNet have made connections operational in eight markets, including New York, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City and Sunnyvale, spanning a distance of nearly 4,000 miles.
While the two providers serve slightly different clientele, what's driving them to upgrade their networks to 100G is the ongoing growth in scientific research traffic by U.S. research labs and universities.
Seeing itself as a community member, Internet2's network will also support other community anchor institutions including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges and public safety organizations via its U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project. Managed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), ESnet is a national network that connects the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science researchers at more than 40 different U.S. laboratories and supercomputing facilities and links them to other global research partners.
This latest announcement is the culmination of an agreement Internet2 and ESnet made to share capacity on the Ciena platform being built as part of the Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI). As part of the agreement, Internet2 is also providing dark fiber to ESnet for a nationwide experimental network test-bed.
Initially, ANI will be used as a test network to connect DOE's three unclassified supercomputing centers as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point (MAN LAN) in New York. At the end of 2012, ESnet will make the network into a production network with 100 Gbps connections that connect the DOE Office of Science sites.
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