October 12, 2011
Oct. 12 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Internet2 have activated transcontinental 100 Gbps links using coherent technology. The network, which uses Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, now has 100 Gbps optical backbone connections operational between New York, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Sunnyvale spanning a distance nearly 4,000 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 world-wide 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."
In July 2011, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Internet2 announced plans to build one of the world's fastest and most advanced scientific networks on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (ESnet).
Berkeley Lab has received $62 million in funding to create the Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) in order to develop a 100 Gbps prototype network between DOE's supercomputing centers to facilitate research and experimentation around this new technology. The prototype network is a key step to the DOE's vision of an eventual 1 terabit wavelength network to connect DOE facilities. Part of the ANI funding was also used to create a high-performance reconfigurable testbed where researchers and industry can test advanced concepts in networking and develop new protocols. Under the project, ESnet and Internet2 will build and operate the 100 Gbps ANI prototype network using one of the first national-scale deployments of 100 GigE. Internet2 will use fiber from Level 3 Communications' network. ESnet will also have the option to access 4.4 terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity for the ESnet ANI network using Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. The ESnet ANI prototype network will initially connect three DOE unclassified supercomputing centers: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in Tennessee, and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in Illinois, as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point (MANLAN) in New York.
During the prototype phase, the network will be used for applications and networking research, including connecting the Magellan cloud computing resources at NERSC to ALCF, and the Acadia project, which will develop network interface controller (NIC) hardware and device-driver/protocol-specific software for host and gateway systems operating at 40 and 100 Gbps. The prototype network will also serve as a platform for building out technologies leading to an eventual 1-terabit per second wavelength network.
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