Press Archive

Abilene Network Upgraded to 10 Gigabits per Second

New OC-192 circuits give Abilene leading-edge networking capability

Published 02/11/2004

Officials at the Internet2 Consortium have announced that the speed of the Abilene advanced research and education network has been upgraded from 2.5 gigabits per second (Gbps) to 10 Gbps. This Internet2 backbone network upgrade quadruples the system's data rate to more than 15,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection.

Internet2 is a consortium led by more than universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 is recreating the partnership among academia, industry, and government that nurtured the original Internet in its infancy. The San Diego Supercomputer Center played an active role in the consortium's formation, and now routes much of its message traffic through Abilene.

This upgrade gives researchers, students and professors at more than 200 Internet2 member institutions a more robust network, on which to conduct research, supports both Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and native IPv6 networks, and increases overall network performance. Abilene has become the most advanced native IP backbone network available to universities participating in Internet2.

The Abilene network supports development of applications such as virtual laboratories, digital libraries, distance education and tele-immersion, as well as the advanced networking capabilities that are the focus of Internet2. Abilene complements and peers with other high-performance research networks in the United States and internationally.

Abilene partners Indiana University, Juniper Networks, and Qwest Communications provided the equipment and services to successfully implement the network upgrade. New routers were installed across the 13,000 route-mile national backbone, and all but one OC-48c circuit was replaced with an OC-192c circuit. In the process, several router locations were changed, but all remain collocated in Qwest points of presence (PoPs).

"With the upgrade now complete, Abilene continues to provide the Internet2 membership with a vehicle for advancement and development through a leading-edge, national network environment," said Internet2 president and CEO, Douglas Van Houweling. "Many thanks go to our partners who made the upgrade a smooth process with their ongoing support."

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