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ADVA Optical Networking’s FSP 3000RE supports grid computing and high-bandwidth distance learning at University of Arkansas


First phase of Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (AREON) links university to Internet2 and National LambdaRail

January 15, 2007 - Mahwah, New Jersey, USA; and Martinsried/Munich, Germany - ADVA Optical Networking today announced that the University of Arkansas has deployed the ADVA Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 3000RE to link to state, regional, national and international research-and-education infrastructures. The Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (AREON) will support revolutionary, high-bandwidth applications such as grid computing and high-definition TV for distance learning.

The first phase of the network, completed recently, connects the main University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville to Internet2 and National LambdaRail, the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortia. One of the first applications of the new capability will be to connect University of Arkansas students to a Louisiana State University class on high-performance computer clustering in the spring 2007 semester using uncompressed high-definition TV. Subsequent phases of AREON will expand statewide to connect ten additional universities in Arkansas.

“AREON immediately enables our state’s participation in the international research-and-education community and helps our universities offer programs not possible without a high-performance communications network. Eventually, we think it will also serve as a tremendous economic-development resource for Arkansas and facilitate, for example, the extension of world-class healthcare into our most remote, rural communities,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said. “It’s impossible to foresee all of the possible positive ramifications of AREON for our state, but certainly this is a project that I believe is critical to the future of Arkansas.”

AREON currently supports services of speeds up to 10Gbit/s, initially deployed over a fiber route 187 miles in length, with an additional 1,000 miles planned over the next year. The ADVA FSP 3000RE Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) system accommodates the simple, cost-effective addition of new services or more bandwidth as required by university researchers or other network users. With DWDM, different types of network application traffic can be assigned different wavelengths of light in the color spectrum. The ADVA FSP 3000RE combines (“multiplexes”) the outgoing traffic from the University of Arkansas for transport across a single optical fiber pair and separates (“demultiplexes”) incoming traffic back to their respective devices. Because the different wavelengths of light are engineered to not interfere with one another, applications of different protocols can be transported simultaneously across optical fiber. The ADVA FSP 3000RE can support up to 40 10Gbit/s application channels, allowing the future expansion of AREON without the physical installation and cost related to adding optical fiber to a network.

“The FSP 3000RE is so well-established in the academic community that we felt very confident in partnering with ADVA Optical Networking for backbone transport,” said David Merrifield, University of Arkansas associate director for computing services. “In addition, the FSP 3000RE afforded us unmatched flexibility in provisioning services and proved very cost-efficient in terms of both initial price of the system and ongoing expenses associated with factors such as maintenance, space and power consumption. Plus, with the ADVA Optical Networking system, we can make a seamless upgrade to ROADM (reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexing) functionality when we are ready.”

ADVA Optical Networking offers the world’s first commercially available, multi-degree (ROADM) functionality, which enables all-optical, remote switching of wavelengths via software control, without the time and expense incurred with truck rolls. This means that the University of Arkansas, for example, could link with global partner networks dynamically across AREON for research projects as the bandwidth is needed. The FSP 3000’s Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) control plane would automate setup of new service by remotely triggering tiny mirrors etched into integrated circuits to switch very high-speed telecommunications signals (up to 40Gbit/s) through DWDM channels.

“We have successfully deployed innovations such as DWDM, ROADM and GMPLS into research-and-education, healthcare and commercial networks across the United States and abroad,” said Brian P. McCann, chief strategy and marketing officer with ADVA Optical Networking. “We look forward to ongoing cooperation with the University of Arkansas to leverage the unprecedented power and flexibility of optical networking for AREON’s specific needs.”


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