Internet2, others work on 100 Gigabit Ethernet services

* Group pushes 100 Gigabit Ethernet in research fields

Internet2 is working with Infinera, Juniper Networks, Level 3 Communications and the U.S. Department of Energy's ESnet to develop and test 100 Gigabit Ethernet technologies.

The organizations will build a 100 Gigabit Ethernet testbed on the networks of Internet2 and ESnet, or Energy Sciences Network. As part of its announcement at last month's SC08 conference, the group says that an operational network would follow soon after.

Researchers running applications over the network would include those working on high-energy physics and climate research. Telemedicine would be another application. The group says that such applications could start to saturate the current 10Gbps links and require 100Gbps services in a couple of years - right around the time that 100 Gigabit Ethernet is expected to be standardized by the IEEE.

Level 3 Communications and ESnet have been working with Internet2 to expand the Internet2 network for some time, and the group says that 100 Gigabit is the "natural next step" as the use of the network expands.

In support of the network expansion, Juniper is providing its T1600 core router, which the company bills as 100Gbps-ready, since the device has 100Gbps of capacity per slot. The eight-slot router is built for service providers that need high capacity and are concerned about power and cooling requirements.

Meanwhile, Infinera says it will develop the 100 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for the current Internet2 and ESnet optical networks. Infinera demonstrated a pre-standards implementation with Level 3 at the same conference, SC06, two years ago.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.