Reducing costs and increasing capacity with alien wave technology

GÉANT has in December implemented a 300Gbit/s POP to POP link on the backbone network using Infinera G30 Groove DCI equipment. This link, between the two London POPs, is the first step in upgrading the GÉANT ‘Western Ring’ (London – Brussels – Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Geneva – Paris –  London) to provide a 300Gbit/s DCI loop. This will reduce the overall costs of the network, increase capacity and free up valuable equipment to extend the life of the Infinera switching fabric in advance of the next generation GN4-3N project. https://www.geant.org/gn4-3n

Previously, IP connectivity between the London POPs was managed through a 200Gbit/s connection via the Infinera DTNx. This connection used multiple interfaces on the DTNx chassis which were reaching capacity. This service now operates using a pair of Infinera G30 Groove DCI (Data Centre Interconnect) devices running at 300Gbit/s and directly connected to the Juniper MX routers. The outputs of the DCIs are then inserted into the existing fibre connection using Alien Wave technology (a parallel light channel using a different frequency to separate it from the existing DTNx interconnect)

Implementation of DCI interconnection using alien wave services.

This update has three major benefits:

  • It releases up to 200Gbit/s of extra capacity on the current 500Gbit/s London to London2 link for other services;
  • It frees up 100Gbit/s Infinera interfaces that can be reused in other parts of the network;
  • It avoids the need to upgrade the Infinera DTNx switches which are reaching capacity.

This work also helps GÉANT and the wider R&E networking community gain experience in these innovative techniques and technologies to assist in the planning and implementation of the next generation of research and education networking worldwide.

Moving forward to GN4-3N

The innovative use of DCI equipment and alien wave technology is a pathfinder for the future implementations of these solutions within the GN4 Phase 3 Network (GN4-3N) project.

GN4-3N will involve restructuring the GÉANT backbone network through exploration and procurement of long-term Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRUs), leased lines and associated equipment, serving the GÉANT partner NRENs and providing interconnectivity to the global research and education community.

This new way of thinking will enhance the ability of GÉANT to offer a range of IP and Layer 2 services in cost-effective and flexible ways. It will be an essential approach to ensuring the long-term success of this major re-development of the GÉANT network and will support the growing demands of research and education.