High-Performance Computing

Research and Education Networks Boost Trans-Atlantic Bandwidth

The Advanced North Atlantic (ANA) Collaboration has expanded its trans-Atlantic network connectivity to support research and education (R&E) in North America and Europe, bringing the total bandwidth to 740 gigabits per second (Gbps).

Members of the ANA Collaboration include:

ANA was formed in 2013 and its members serve as backups for each other in case of a major outage.

In January 2017, the Networks for European, American and African Research (NEAAR) project — co-led by Indiana University and GÉANT — added a 100 Gbps connection between New York City and London, bringing the total amount of general-purpose trans-Atlantic network connectivity to 400 Gbps. ESnet also operates four separate trans-Atlantic circuits providing an additional 340 Gbps of bandwidth.

Jennifer Schopf, principal investigator for the NEAAR project at Indiana University, said NEAAR is implemented on a cable system not previously in use by the R&E networks and which provides increased resilience.

Meanwhile, senior R&E network architects from ANA and other organizations have been working to define a reference architecture and roadmap for national and regional R&E networks. This work is part of the Global Network Architecture (GNA) initiative, and the first public version of the GNA Reference Architecture was released in January 2017. The ANA Collaboration has announced that it is compliant with this architecture.

"The vision to establish a more robust set of architecture principles upon which advanced international research networks could be built was launched a couple of years ago, and I am happy to see that we have agreed to initial standards and moved to implementation so quickly," said Dave Lambert, president and CEO of Internet2, in a prepared statement. "What this creates is a much more solid foundation upon which global research and science projects can advance their outcomes."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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