On February 26, 2021, Internet2 deployed its first 800 Gbps single-carrier optical circuit between Phoenix and Tucson, AZ as part of its Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) program.
This milestone marks the first 800G native link to be deployed by a U.S. research and education network. The optical circuit leverages a 102 Ghz carrier generated by a single Ciena Waveserver 5 transponder at each endpoint.
On February 25, 2021, the Internet2 project team completed the upgrade of all Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) to flex spectrum on all east-west long-haul routes nationwide. Additionally, the majority of the optical fiber was upgraded from LEAF to SMF28 to better match the coherent transmission technologies being used to convey the new 800 Gbps optical link.
Internet2 plans to rapidly expand its 400G and 800G transmission capabilities along these newly flex-grid enabled routes; more link capacity will come online as our phase 2 hardware deployment team (GDT) continues to move across the country. The Internet2 team is deploying the Cisco 8200 and Ciena Waveserver 5 platform. Completion is targeted for the end of this month (March 2021).
The successful deployment of this initial 800 Gbps optical link is the culmination of thousands of hours of effort from both the Internet2 community and teams in many organizations, including Internet2, GlobalNOC at Indiana University, Ciena, Lumen, and GDT.
Just two weeks ago, Telefonica said it had trialed an 800 Gbps optical link, using Huawei and Nokia network equipment. However, there are no 800 Gps links in any commercial production network, as far as we can determine.
Internet2, a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community, selected CenturyLink to provide the fiber network and related professional services for the technology community’s network infrastructure. Contractual fiber-use agreements extend through at least 2042.
The forthcoming Internet2 network will use the company’s low-loss optical fiber for the majority of its footprint. CenturyLink’s optical fiber is ITU-T G.652.D compliant and designed to be optimized for high bit rate coherent systems using advanced modulation schemes supporting 100G and above. Internet2 also chose CenturyLink to provide the professional services to migrate to the new platform, which will be equipped with a flex-grid open-line system from Ciena.
“We believe the combination of the most advanced fiber from CenturyLink with the latest coherent transmission technologies from Ciena provides enormous opportunities to enable research and academic pursuits in the United States,” said Rob Vietzke, vice president of network services for Internet2, in a prepared statement.
“Whether it is tracking the origins of Neutrinos in the Antarctic, comparing gene sequences or studying the climate, this new optical network, with its ability to span very long distances at very high bandwidths [with] improved efficiency, is essential to providing the best research infrastructure for data-intensive science on the globe.”
Map of Internet2® Network Advanced Layer 1 Service, December 2019 (Source: CenturyLink) – Image courtesy of Matthew Wilson
Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network. The network currently connects 321 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions, among others.
“One of America’s leading research and education organizations (Internet2) placed its trust in CenturyLink to upgrade its network to a high-speed, high-capacity, fiber-optic network that will support today’s leading-edge research projects,” said Sonia Ramsey, CenturyLink’s vice president for the state and local government and education market. “Internet2’s selection of CenturyLink recognizes the company’s long-standing relationship with the research and education community and our commitment to meet the community’s ever-increasing advanced technology needs,” she added.
CenturyLink recently overpulled a large portion of its national fiber footprint and also realigned amplifier spacing to create more efficient resources for optimized optical networks. Internet2 will migrate its segments to the new fiber on all available segments and continue to work with CenturyLink to migrate the remaining segments as their build-out continues.
With the low-loss optical fiber and the upgraded optronics kit, Internet2 will have the ability to reach anywhere on its domestic footprint with an unregenerated wavelength of up to 200G. Many high-use spans on Internet2’s Network will also support 400G and 800G wavelengths with existing technologies and higher bitrates are expected in the coming years as new DSP technology comes into production. Internet2 has been able to achieve unregenerated spans without employing Raman amplification, a reduction in complexity and improved efficiency both at installation and for ongoing operations.
Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 321 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions, over 1,000 InCommon participants, 56 leading corporations working with our community, and 70 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.
Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.
CenturyLink is a technology leader delivering hybrid networking, cloud connectivity, and security solutions to customers around the world. Through its extensive global fiber network, CenturyLink provides secure and reliable services to meet the growing digital demands of businesses and consumers. CenturyLink strives to be the trusted connection to the networked world and is focused on delivering technology that enhances the customer experience. Learn more at http://news.centurylink.com/.
Sara Aly, Internet2