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Networking Leaders Announce Initiative to Develop 100 GbE Services


Internet2, ESnet, Infinera, Juniper Networks and Level 3 Communications Part of Groundbreaking 100 GbE Initiative to Address Vast Bandwidth Needs of Scientific Research and Other Advanced Applications

AUSTIN, Tex.-Internet2, ESnet, Infinera, Juniper Networks and Level 3 Communications today at the annual SC08 conference announced they have agreed to work together to aggressively develop and test emerging 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) technologies. The initiative will build on fresh-from-the-laboratory technologies to create a 100GbE testbed on the Internet2 and ESnet networks with an operational network capability soon thereafter.

This joint development effort brings together the technical leadership of Level 3 Communications, Infinera, and Juniper Networks, as well as ESnet and Internet2’s unmatched experience supporting research communities with the most demanding networking requirements. The initiative highlights the leadership of these organizations in ensuring the research and education community has the networking capacity and speed they need to drive advancements in fields such as high-energy physics, telemedicine and climate research.

“Today, researchers have shifted from working in local laboratories to collaborating on a global scale. Massive data streams generated by this new environment are driving exponential growth in the networking needs of our community that could require 100 GbE services by as early as 2010,” said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of network services. “Together with our collaborators we are working to make 100 GbE a reality so researchers will never be bound by their geographic location or bandwidth requirements.”

In 2006, Internet2 announced an agreement with Level 3 Communications to deploy a new nationwide network, designed to seamlessly add capacity as Internet2 members’ needs evolve. Internet2 and the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) also announced a partnership to build the next-generation of ESnet on the shared Internet2 infrastructure. Both networks have already experienced rapid growth and as global collaborations continue to expand to nearly every research discipline making the path towards 100 GbE a natural next step.

“Scientific discovery today is highly dependent upon the ease of access to data. Current usage trends in areas like high-energy physics and climate change research indicate that researchers will soon begin to saturate the dedicated 10 Gigabit per second links deployed today. This important effort ensures our scientists will have the most advanced network capabilities in the next few years to make new breakthroughs that were previously unimaginable,” said Steve Cotter, head of ESnet.

Jack Waters, chief technology officer of Level 3 added, “The research and education community continues to push the boundaries of networking. We are pleased to be supporting this exciting project, which leads the industry in 100GbE technology development. Level 3’s continued commitment to network investment provides a highly reliable and scalable infrastructure, which will be integral in testing and developing a viable 100GbE services platform.”

In support of the development, Juniper Networks plans to leverage its industry-leading T1600 core router. As the only 100 Gbps-ready core router available today, the T1600 provides unparalleled investment protection and a seamless migration path to 100 Gbps. With 100 Gbps of capacity per slot, the T1600 ensures Internet2 and ESnet can quickly and easily deploy 100 Gbps interfaces as they migrate to the T1600 platform.

“As our research and education customers require increasingly more network capacity to support their research projects, technologies such as 100 GbE can help them scale their networks quickly and efficiently,” said Opher Kahane, senior vice president and general manager of the High End Systems Business Unit at Juniper Networks. “We are pleased to be part of this groundbreaking initiative to develop 100 GbE technologies leveraging our T1600 core router.”

Infinera plans to develop the 100 GbE interfaces for the existing Internet2 and ESnet optical networks. Infinera has been a leader in 100 GbE technology for several years. Two years ago, at SC06, Infinera collaborated with Level 3 to demonstrate the first pre-standards implementation of 100 GbE services over a live network and continues to demonstrate the capability in a variety of forums.

“Infinera optical systems lead the industry in bandwidth and scalability, and we are very excited to support Internet2, ESnet, and Level 3 as they move aggressively towards making 100 GbE a fully operational reality,” said Infinera chief technology officer Drew Perkins.
The Move to Standards

The development of standards for 100 GbE is a key part of the process to support widespread cost-effective deployment of 100 GbE technology. The IEEE is currently targeting mid-2010 for industry agreement on a 100 GbE standard. The parties will support the effort to create a standard and look forward to implementing that standard.


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