Merit Network Boosts Data Speeds For Michigan Government, Education

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A map of Merit Network Inc.'s latest upgrades.

A map of Merit Network Inc.’s latest upgrades.

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Merit Network Inc., the connectivity and network services provider to Michigan government, educational institutions and nonprofits, announced it had completed several upgrades to its statewide, fiber-optic backbone. 

Merit officials said the upgrades bolster critical paths the network to better support bandwidth exchange between members and improve the flow of traffic to key interconnection points with Internet2, the Tier 1 Internet and content providers.

“Our members continue to see bandwidth usage increase due to the growing use of mobile devices, additional research projects and increasing adoption of cloud services,” Merit Network president and CEO Don Welch said. “Merit designs our network to continually scale to outpace the demand of our members. Keeping one step ahead of their evolving IT needs is an important aspect of our role as strategic partner to our membership.”

Elwood downing, vice president of membership outreach and engagement at Merit, added that Merit’s members have quickly adopted faster speeds in the network — for example, K-12 schools, who only a few years ago operated at 100 megabits per second, but who now take advantage of a 10-gigabit-per-second network.

Foremost among the upgrades Merit announced is a new 100-gigabit-per-second path that spans from Ann Arbor, Detroit and Lansing to Merit’s fiber-optic ring in Chicago. The Chicago fiber ring houses important points of presence for member traffic, including links to Internet2′s national backbone, Tier 1 Internet access points and important peering connections with content providers.

Additionally, the new 100-gigabit-per-second path supports a substantial portion of members’ traffic that stays within the Merit network. Merit offers  free bandwidth for data exchange between members and member sites that does not leave the Merit backbone. This results in significant savings for members, as the majority of their traffic remains “On-Net.”

Also announced today is a 40-gigabit-per-second direct connection between Chicago and Ann Arbor. The path underscores the importance of the Chicago fiber ring for Merit Members and provides a high-capacity redundant connection.

The final upgrade announced is a 40-gigabit-per-second path between Hillsdale and Lansing. Merit and the Hillsdale community have fostered a close working relationship that dates back more than 20 years. Working together, Merit, Hillsdale College and city of Hillsdale’s Board of Public Utilities engaged community leaders to build a local area fiber ring. Years later, Merit’s REACH-3MC project helped build additional fiber-optic infrastructure that helped the small town of Hillsdale become one of the best connected areas in the country. The upgraded connection now provides even more increased redundancy and improved performance for Merit members in Hillsdale.

Merit was established in 1966 by Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University to conduct a single project — the then-novel connection of the three universities’ mainframe computers. Later, Merit became Michigan’s original Internet service provider. Today, it provides high-performance networking and IT services to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 schools, libraries, state government, health care providers, and other non-profit organizations.

More at http://www.merit.edu.

Merit Network Completes Network Upgrades for 2014
ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — Merit Network Inc., the connectivity and network
services provider to Michigan government and nonprofits, announced it had
completed several upgrades to its statewide, fiber-optic backbone.
Merit officials said the upgrades bolster critical paths the network to better
support bandwidth exchange between members and improve the flow of
traffic to key interconnection points with Internet2, the Tier 1 Internet and
content providers.
“Our members continue to see bandwidth usage increase due to the
growing use of mobile devices, additional research projects and increasing
adoption of cloud services,” Merit Network president and CEO Don Welch
said. “Merit designs our network to continually scale to outpace the demand
of our members. Keeping one step ahead of their evolving IT needs is an
important aspect of our role as strategic partner to our membership.”
Elwood downing, vice presidetn of membership outreach and engagement
at Merit, added that Merit’s members have quickly adopted faster speeds in
the network — for example, K-12 schools, who only a few years ago
operated at 100 megabits per second, but who now take advantage of a
10-gigabit-per-second network.
Foremost among the upgrades Merit announced is a new 100-gigabit-per-
second path that spans from Ann Arbor, Detroit and Lansing to Merit’s
fiber-optic ring in Chicago. The Chicago fiber ring houses important points
of presence for member traffic, including links to Internet2′s national
backbone, Tier 1 Internet access points and important peering connections
with content providers.
Additionally, the new 100-gigabit-per-second path supports a substantial
portion of members’ traffic that stays within the Merit network. Merit offers
free bandwidth for data exchange between members and member sites
that does not leave the Merit backbone. This results in significant savings
for members, as the majority of their traffic remains “On-Net.”
Also announced today is a 40-gigabit-per-second direct connection
between Chicago and Ann Arbor. The path underscores the importance of
the Chicago fiber ring for Merit Members and provides a high-capacity
redundant connection.
The final upgrade announced today is a 40-gigabit-per-second path
between Hillsdale and Lansing. Merit and the Hillsdale community have
fostered a close working relationship that dates back over 20 years.
Working together, Merit, Hillsdale College and city of Hillsdale’s Board of
Public Utilities engaged key stakeholders to construct a community-wide
local area fiber ring. Years later, Merit’s REACH-3MC project helped
construct additional fiber-optic infrastructure that helped the small town of
Hillsdale become one of the best connected areas in the country. The
upgraded connection now provides even more increased redundancy and
improved performance for Merit members in Hillsdale.
Merit was established in 1966 by Michigan State University, the University of
Michigan and Wayne State University to conduct a single project — the
then-novel connection of the three universities’ mainframe computers.
Later, Merit became Michigan’s original Internet service provider. Today, it
provides high-performance networking and IT services to Michigan’s public
universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government,
healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.
More at http://www.merit.edu.

 

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