One of the fastest networks ever built is set to come online this month thanks to $62 million in federal stimulus money. The superfast 100-Gbps Ethernet link will run over a span of dark fiber owned by Level 3 Communications and connect Department of Energy research centers in Illinois, California and Tennessee. The network, which will rely on the Internet2 research consortium for connectivity and routers from Alcatel-Lucent subsidiary LGS Innovations, is designed to enable researchers to conduct more accurate real-world simulations of phenomena such as climate change and particle physics.
“Since 1990, our traffic has grown by a factor of 10 every 47 months on average,” explained Steve Cotter, ESnet department head. “We are in the age of observation right now in science. All of these scientific instruments and experiments are collecting significantly more data than they ever have in the past. This data needs to be stored … and moved around. We’ve been using this 10 Gigabit network … but we knew that if we didn’t start planning now for a 100 Gigabit network, the demand would overwhelm us.”
The 100G ESnet upgrade was funded through the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package in February 2009.
“We received stimulus funds to build this 100G network with the intention of doing two things. One was accelerating the deployment of 100G so that the equipment manufacturers didn’t shelve the technology on fears that there wouldn’t be demand. … The other reason they gave us the money was to build a next-generation network test bed and to fund network research,” Cotter said.
Costing an estimated $62 million, the 100G network will link three DOE research centers: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It also will connect with a key Internet exchange point in New York for connecting to research networks overseas.
Note: IEEE ComSocSCV has had 2 meetings on 100G transmission including 40/100G Ethernet in Oct 2010 and 100G Ethernet/OTN/CEI in July 2011. Presentos may be downloaded free from the Archive section of our web site: www.comsocscv.org