ANN ARBOR — Two of the nation’s leading research networks — the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Internet2 — Tuesday announced that they have completed the world’s first transcontinental deployment of 100 Gigabit per second using coherent technology.

Built on Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, the new 8.8 Terabit per second network is equipped with 100 Gbps optical backbone connections. Those connections are now operational between New York, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Sunnyvale, Calif., 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.”

Both ESnet and Internet2 are upgrading their respective networks to new 100 Gbps technology on a nationwide scale to ensure they keep pace with the exponential growth in scientific research traffic being driven by the nation’s research labs and universities. Internet2’s network will also extend to support the country’s community anchor institutions including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges and public safety organizations as part of its United States Unified Community Anchor Network project.

Internet2 provides a national high-performance network that connects America’s colleges and universities to collaborators worldwide. ESnet — managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — is a national network that connects thousands of DOE Office of Science researchers at more than 40 different U.S. laboratories and supercomputing facilities and links them to research partners around the world.

“The global science community’s needs for managing data are exploding in scope and complexity requiring a fundamental shift in the way we provide networking. By 2015, we anticipate that ESnet will carry 100 petabytes of traffic per year — and this volume will continue to grow driven by research fields like high energy physics, climate research and genomics,” said Steve Cotter, ESnet department head. “The DOE’s Advanced Networking Initiative was created to re-establish America’s global leadership in ultra-high capacity networking and to build the most sophisticated platform for accelerating U.S. science discovery in this age of data intensive research. Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in ensuring this vision is realized.”

The Advanced Networking Initiative is supported by DOE’s Office of Science.

Earlier this year, Berkeley Lab announced an agreement with Internet2 for ESnet to share capacity on the Ciena optical platform for its new 100 Gbps network being built as part of ANI. The network will first be built as a prototype to connect DOE’s three unclassified supercomputing centers as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point in New York. By the end of 2012, ESnet will transition the network to production deploying 100 Gbps connections linking DOE Office of Science sites. Through the agreement, Internet2 is also providing dark fiber to ESnet for a nationwide experimental network test-bed.

This first milestone deployment has been completed in partnership with Ciena. Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent optical processors provide high network capacity that helps to reduce overall operational expenses through its automated wavelength provisioning and restoration.

“We have historically enjoyed a very strategic partnership with both Internet2 and ESnet. We are excited about this latest opportunity to continue supporting their next-generation network build around Ciena’s coherent solutions,” said Mike Aquino, General Manager, Global Government Solutions, Ciena. “This deployment is a testament to our technology leadership, as well as our commitment to strong collaboration with global leaders in the research and education segment.”

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