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California Research and Education Network Gets 100-Gigabit Backbone

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) has upgraded the core backbone of the California Research and Education Network (CalREN) to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps).

CalREN is a 3,800-mile advanced fiber optic network serving the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California, Caltech, Stanford, University of Southern California and other institutions. The network has three tiers: CalREN-DC for daily network use such as e-mail and Web browsing, CalREN-HPR for high performance research and CalREN-DX for network-based experimentation and development.

The CalREN-DC and CalREN-HPR tiers have been subject to growing demand from "researchers in data-intensive disciplines, ongoing connectivity upgrades for CENIC members, and connectivity for new members such as public libraries and arts and cultural institutions," according to a news release from CENIC. The new 100-gigabit Layer 2 backbone will ensure that the institutions using CalREN-DC and CalREN-HPR will have sufficient bandwidth to support research and education in the state.

"As with many advanced networks, CalREN backbone traffic is in a constant state of accelerating growth, and we're always heartened by this since it means that the network is doing the job it was designed to do: encourage innovation of all kinds," said Louis Fox, president and CEO of CENIC, in a prepared statement. "This makes ongoing network upgrades like this absolutely critical to the continued health of California's spirit of innovation."

Nearly 10,000 sites and eleven million Californians use CalREN on a daily basis. According to CENIC, the upgrade will enable them to use more innovative teaching and learning methods and conduct cutting-edge research in a growing number of network-dependent disciplines, particularly at institutions that have their own 100-gigabit campus networks, including the ten campuses of the University of California, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University.

"With the CENIC backbone upgrade, we now have an end-to-end high-speed path from our researchers to their partners elsewhere in California and beyond," said Bill Clebsch, board chair or CENIC and associate vice president of IT at Stanford, in a prepared statement.

Brice W. Harris, chancellor of California Community Colleges said the 100-gigabit backbone will help the college system "offer more online courses and readily accessible academic planning services to increase success rates."

Further information about the CalREN network upgrade can be found on CENIC's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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