400Gbps Establishes New International Standard for Research and Education Networking
Tallahassee, FL, March 31, 2022 – Florida LambdaRail, LLC (FLR), Florida’s Research and Education Network, today announced it has completed a new 400 gigabits per second (Gbps) connection to Internet2’s fifth-generation national network backbone. The new connection, representing a new international standard for R&E Networking, was completed at FLR’s shared point of presence with Internet2’s national infrastructure in Jacksonville, FL.
In the past year, FLR embraced the opportunity to be among the first networks in the country to help bring Internet2’s updated infrastructure to life. Other participants in the “First to 400G” cohort include Indiana GigaPOP, Utah Education and Telehealth Network, Ohio’s OARnet, and Mid-Atlantic Crossroads. Known as the Next Generation Infrastructure, or NGI, the new Internet2 network boosts capacity and scalability to support data-intensive research, provides on-demand cloud connectivity, and features a greener footprint with an expected 70 percent reduction in power consumption achieved through the latest hardware advancements. FLR’s connection to NGI will support its members and affiliates representing universities, state colleges, K-12, research, health care, government, social services, and the arts.
FLR’s relationship with Internet2 began in 2004 with a single 10Gpbs connection in Atlanta. A connection was later added in Jacksonville which then grew to 100Gbps in 2014 when the sum of all traffic carried on the FLR backbone was nearly 80 Petabytes. In 2018 a second FLR/Internet2 connection point was added in Pensacola as traffic continued to grow across both platforms. By 2021 traffic across FLR had increased to over 400 Petabytes with daily spikes routinely surpassing 200Gbps.
“Our partners continue expanding their utilization of the FLR network as research data multiplies and more resources are moved to the cloud,” said Jon Ellis, Florida LambdaRail CEO. “Moving to 400Gbps with Internet2, and by this summer when our FLRnet4 upgrade brings 400G+ to the entire FLR backbone, offers our members and affiliates the complete assurance that FLR’s resources are growing to meet any challenge they can throw at us.”
Robert Grillo, Chairman of the FLR board of directors and vice president and CIO for the Division of Information Technology at Florida International University, added “FLR is excited and honored to be among the first research and education networks in the country to operationalize Internet2’s Next Generation Infrastructure. Moving into the 400Gbps realm positions the network and our participants to take full advantage of the new capabilities supporting Florida’s transformative research in such diverse areas as artificial intelligence, cyber-security, genomics, hurricanes, and climate science, while supporting Florida’s unique position as a primary research and education artery for collaboration between North and South America.”
FLR Mission Statement
Florida LambdaRail’s mission is to provide a highly reliable, cost-effective, ultra-high-speed, inter-connected, and secure broadband service delivery network that enables Florida’s higher education institutions and partners to collaborate, connect, utilize and develop new innovative broadband applications and services in support of their academic, scientific research, education, and 21st-century economy initiatives.
“With the increasing success of machine learning and deep learning in recent years, almost every area of research and scholarship is taking a new look at the data they have been collecting the past two decades (and longer) and they want to move it to computational resources that can process it with these AI methods,” said Erik Deumens, Information Technology Research Computing Director at the University of Florida. “As research computing moves into the future it is important that Florida’s research and education network can handle this new and rapidly increasing demand. The 400Gbps upgrade comes at the right time and Florida’s researchers will make excellent use of this resource.”
Internet2’s new network spans 12,000 miles of new single-mode ultra optical fiber across the U.S. The optical layer now supports up to 32 terabits per second per segment with a new generation of transponders in increments of 400-800 gigabits per second. The network’s new packet layer provides 8-16 petabits per second of port capacity per location.
“With NGI, we are delivering the most comprehensive set of network improvements in Internet2’s 25-year history,” said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 vice president for network services. “We’re not only expanding to meet the capacity needs of the R&E community today. Through NGI’s software layer, we’re also transforming the infrastructure from a fixed resource to an agile, flexible, and secure network ecosystem that empowers community members to build and manage the services they need going forward—from the campus to the commercial cloud.”
Bringing Internet2 NGI to life took more than four years of member and community discussions, technical planning, procurement, and implementation. As a culmination of these collaborative efforts, the transition of R&E traffic onto the new infrastructure is now complete.
“Internet2’s state and regional R&E network members have been instrumental partners in shaping the direction of our fifth-generation national network from the beginning, sharing their expertise and unique insight into the infrastructure needs of the institutions they serve,” said George Loftus, Internet2 associate vice president for network services. “Florida LambdaRail’s participation in this process and rapid transition to the new infrastructure speaks volumes to their continued commitment to ensuring their community has access to the most advanced network features available today, while also reducing our carbon footprint.”
ABOUT FLORIDA LAMBDARAIL
Florida LambdaRail, LLC (FLR) is Florida’s independent not-for-profit research and education network. FLR’s 1,540-mile dark fiber network is owned and operated on behalf of its 12 university equity partners (9 public and 3 private) and 58 affiliates representing universities, colleges, k-12 schools, health care, research facilities, local governments, social services, and the arts.
FLR is dedicated to producing knowledge and prosperity within the state of Florida through education and research activities that drive our members’ 21st century economy initiatives. Utilizing next generation network technologies, protocols and services, FLR facilitates collaboration and academic, scientific, educational, and clinical application development through high-speed communications. FLR brings together people, resources, and information; enables resource aggregation and sharing over large distances; and fosters innovation and discovery.
FLR provides direct connectivity to a wide range of domestic and international networks, including AMPath International Exchange Point located in Miami, and the Internet2 networking infrastructures. High performance services are optimized for innovative and competitive advantage, placing FLR in the forefront of educational and research activities that lead to a diversified and knowledge-driven 21st century economy.
Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 323 U.S. universities, 59 government agencies, 46 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 80,000 community anchor institutions, over 1,000 InCommon participants, 54 leading corporations working with our community, and 70 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.
Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research, and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.
Chief Communications Officer, FLR