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GÉANT completes successful 40 Gbps network trials 

07 April 2010 | Cambridge, UK

GÉANT has successfully trialled long-distance production-ready 40 Gbps fibre connections on a number of routes between National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Europe.

The trials centred on some of the busiest parts of the GÉANT network, connecting Milan, Geneva and Frankfurt and have been run alongside existing 10 Gbps production circuits. The prime objective of the trials was to ensure the production capability of 40 Gbps, proving that it is not just a technology but a reliable operational resource, reinforcing GÉANT’s vital role deploying advanced technology in the European research and education community.

Whereas multiples of 10 Gbps Lambdas can currently be employed to provide necessary bandwidth, the move to larger capacity 40 Gbps is expected to lead to greater cost efficiencies and improved performance.

“The fibre infrastructure used is that which is currently in production and carrying multiple 10 Gbps Lambdas,” says Michael Enrico, DANTE’s Network Planning Manager. “The trials highlighted that the quality of the fibre is sufficiently good that no additional costly compensation of impairments to transmission (for example Polarisation Mode Dispersion or PMD) were required in order for the  Lambdas to perform to the same high quality that we expect from our 10 Gbps Lambdas – despite route distances of up to 750 km.”

The trials are in part a response to the growing bandwidth needs of large projects such as the Large Hadron Collider based at CERN, who rely on the network to regularly transfer petabytes of test results between data centres for analysis, and in part to the accepted policy of maintaining ample spare capacity to ensure traffic always gets through even at peak usage.

In recognition of the vital part GÉANT plays in major research projects, these trials are intended to pave the way for the gradual deployment of 40 Gbps Lambdas, indeed routes between Geneva and Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to Amsterdam will now move to production shortly.

“This marks an important step in the continuing development of the GÉANT network,” said Matthew Scott, General Manager of DANTE. “Putting these new 40 Gbps Lambdas into production on such vital routes demonstrates our commitment to meeting and exceeding the demanding requirements of our users, and paves the way for the continued development of the network, including more ambitious field trials of the next step in Lambda transmission capacity – notably to 100 Gbps Lambdas."