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New High-Speed Network Link Ties Institutions in Americas

The academic world just got a little tighter with the lighting up of a 100-gigabit research and education network link between the United States and Latin America. Researchers will be able to leverage the resources of AmLight Express and Protect (ExP) to support network innovation and address the increasing network services requirements between institutions in the United States and those in South America.

The project is an initiative of Florida International University's Center for Internet Augmented Research and Assessment (CIARA), funded in part by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. It also has significant investments from the Academic Network of São Paulo (ANSP), and Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP) and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).

On April 18 the "AmLight Consortium" activated the first 100G link of the project, which travels between Miami and Sao Paulo, Brazil via submarine cable connectivity with a delay of 106 milliseconds — about a tenth of a second. The link has been under evaluation since then. To date, "We have not seen any packet loss or errors," said Jeronimo Bezerra, AmLight chief network engineer, in a recent prepared statement.

The consortium consists of a group of not-for-profit universities and research and education networks across the Americas.

Michael Stanton, director of research and development at Brazil's RNP noted that the adoption of 100G links this year represents an increase in capacity of almost 500 percent over what previous collaborations have delivered — "demonstrating ample support for the growth of important data-intensive international science collaborations."

The networking team is currently working on the activation of a second 100G link, going via a Pacific route. After that, the team will tackle a 100G link with Fortaleza, Brazil. Eventually, the total bandwidth is expected to grow to more than 680 gigabits per second in aggregate capacity between 2015 and 2020.

Now the consortium is seeking new science and education applications for the 100G network. People involved in work on big data, networking and software-defined networking who would like a virtual network on the new 100G ring are encouraged to send email to [email protected] describing their projects.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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