The Internet 2 consortium announced that its updated infrastructure is ready to go online and provide an initial capacity of 100 Gb/s to researchers and educators.
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The blazingly fast network connection was demonstrated for the first time when the organization established a connection between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Fermilab in Batavia, IL and was able to transfer a third of a terabyte within five minutes over a 10 GB/s connection.
Internet 2 is often confused with a next-generation Internet infrastructure for the public. However, the Internet 2 is limited to currently 207 connected universities that use the high-speed network as infrastructure to quickly exchange data and test new technologies that one day could find their way into the public Internet.
12 years after the unveiling of the idea for the Internet 2 – the concept dates back to a presentation at the Monterey Futures Conference in September 1995, the Internet 2 has reached an initial capacity of 100 GB/s, which can be provided to researchers and educators in dedicated bandwidth chunks of 10 Gb/s beginning in January of next year. According to the consortium, the new optical infrastructure provides a “uniquely scalable platform on which to build side-by-side networks that serve different purposes, such as network research and telemedicine.” Representatives for Internet2 said that the network will be continuing to provide an advanced Internet Protocol (IP) Network that supports production networking technologies such as IPv6, multicast, and other high-performance networking technologies.
Internet2 currently has provisioned ten 10 Gb/s links on each segment of the network, which however can be scaled to 20 or 40 or 100 or more wavelengths. The consortium is also working with partners such as Level 3, Ciena and Juniper to test and develop new 40 and 100 Gb/s technologies.