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Jisc prepares to boost Janet network bandwidth



Adoption of new platform is aimed at making higher bandwidth available in all locations using optical platform

Jisc is preparing to boost the capacity of its Janet broadband network for the higher education and research sectors, with the aim of providing connectivity of up to 400Gbps.

The member organisation for digital resources in the sectors has announced plans to deploy the 6500 packet optical platform from network strategy and technology company Ciena. 

It will use a technology, powered by WaveLogic Ai coherent optics, which brings together packet, WaveLogic Photonics and optical transport networks. It is designed to meet demands for high bandwidth for applications such as internet video and high definition TV by increasing speeds over existing fibre connections.

Jisc said it will make Janet one of the most advanced national research and education networks (NRENs) in the world in terms of scale, automation and network intelligence.

It explained that while Janet is currently providing 400Gbps in some places, it is stretching technology designed to provide just 100Gbps. The upgrade, which is scheduled to take place over the summer, will make the higher bandwidth available everywhere using the Ciena platform, and will go to as high as 600Gbps for some locations.

Forefront of research

 “Our vision is for the UK to be at the forefront of scientific research. To make that happen, we must have a highly robust network powered with industry leading technology that can scale to support bandwidth-intensive applications like genome editing and the Square Kilometre Array,” said Jeremy Sharp, network infrastructure director of Jisc.

“Working with Ciena, the Janet Network was the first NREN to provide 100Gbps for users and, as demand has grown, is now the first to provide 400Gbps. WaveLogic Ai enables us to operate efficiently and accurately engineer the network for optimal capacity to manage massive flows from new data-intensive research activities.”

Janet is already the busiest NREN in Europe by volume of the data carried and is said to be 200,000 times faster than the average home broadband.

Image by Steve Johnson, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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