Next-generation Internet2 infrastructure operational, transition to fully automated national 400G infrastructure completed


WASHINGTON, January 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Internet2 today announced the completed transition of its research and education (R&D) network traffic to the fifth generation backbone, which connects to 37 state and regional networks and serves every state in the United States. The network serves a critical niche in the nation’s broadband infrastructure, underpinning powerful and advanced services for the demanding needs of research, education and global collaboration.

Known as Next Generation Infrastructure or NGI, the new network’s optical layer now supports up to 32 terabits per segment with a new generation of transponders in increments of 400 to 800 gigabits per second. NGI’s new packet layer offers port capacity of 8-16 petabits per second per site. NGI offers new software-driven advanced features while creating a greener footprint with an expected 70 percent reduction in power consumption achieved through the latest hardware advances.

“The technological advances enabled on the Internet2 network—along with software, tools, and security resources developed in collaboration with community members—offer next-generation capabilities that drive academic and research collaborations,” he said Howard Pepper, President and CEO of Internet2. “A major upgrade of this magnitude allows us to support the R&D infrastructure needs of our community now and into the future—from K-12 students with connected devices, through teaching classes and lab components, to scientists collaborating with colleagues across the country and around the world world work together world.”

Behind these improved speeds and feeds—all delivered with a reduced carbon footprint—is Internet2’s next-generation hardware. That includes 12,000 miles of new single-mode ultra-fiber in the US, along with power and space-saving optical and routing equipment that’s equivalent to going from two (or more) college dorm refrigerators to a handful of medium-sized pizza boxes at each location.

Increased capacity, simplified workflows
Traffic on the research and education network — connecting K-12 schools, college campuses, government agencies, and international partners — has seen exponential growth over the past decade. In 2021, Internet2 was moving over two and three-quarters exabytes of data. For reference, that’s the equivalent of a video call that’s 594,557 years long, or 27.5 million HD movies.

With Internet2 NGI, the network’s increased capacity supports the rapid transmission of data across the US and around the world, removing obstacles within R&D networks that slow the progress of science.

Another driver for the network upgrade is the need to simplify operations that support scientific research. Today’s scientific collaborations include data movement between campuses, data stores, on-premises computing sites, the commercial cloud, and major scientific instruments distributed around the world.

With the software layer of Internet2 NGI, these complexities in researcher workflows are increasingly simplified through an agile, flexible and secure network ecosystem. This ecosystem enables researchers and campus administrators to build, monitor, and modify their own extended networks from their on-premises compute clusters to the cloud and their global collaborators and vendors.

“This fifth-generation Internet2 network will deliver new services with greatly improved efficiency, which will be enabled for both IT administrators and researchers,” he said Rob Vietzke, Internet2’s Vice President of Network Services. “As a community, we wanted to ensure that the new network infrastructure provided faster and better experiences for our advanced users. The improvements in speed, capabilities, security, and resiliency all help deliver faster, more powerful results for researchers and educators.

Delivering NGI in unprecedented times
Bringing Internet2 NGI to life has required more than four years of member and community discussions, engineering, procurement and implementation. Over the past 20 months, ongoing pandemic risks added unique challenges to an already complex project as staff transitioned from planning to active deployment.

Community and industry partners, as well as the staff at Internet2 and GlobalNOC, have shown exceptional patience, resilience, flexibility and dedication to the R&D mission at every stage of this project, but especially over the past 20 months as we have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic demonstrated,” he added Vietzke. “In the years to come, we have stories to tell about how the member-centric services, active coalitions and abundant capacity of the R&D community put us in a unique position to meet the changing needs at this extraordinary time Together we continued to meet the program’s goals at a time when we could not gather in traditional ways.”

This effort involved dozens of community contributors, Internet2 contributors, and GlobalNOC Indiana University employees and in cooperation with the teams of Cisco, Ciena, Lumens and General Datatech (GDT).

“Ciena and Internet2 have a strong track record of building network architectures that power the next generation of scientific discovery,” he said Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena. “Years ago, we partnered with Internet2 to build America’s first national 100G research and education network, and we look forward to supporting this next phase of their network development.”

“This initiative is a clear example of Cisco’s commitment to education and our focus on fostering innovation in the industry,” he added Renee Patton, Cisco Global Director of Education and Healthcare. “Our work with Internet2 is a model for the future of research and education worldwide. With innovative approaches like this, we work together to advance inclusive exploration and learning for all.”

“Lumen has been a key partner of Internet2 for years, providing the fiber optic backbone that powers the recent upgrade to next-generation infrastructure,” the company commented Sonya Ramsey, Regional Vice President of State and Local Government and Lumen’s Education Market. “Internet2’s super-high-speed network is powered by Lumen’s fiber optic and colocation infrastructure, which connects key research and development groups and academic institutions in more than 40 cities quickly and securely. These ultra-fast links were designed to improve scientific collaboration between different organizations in the US”

Via Internet2
Internet2® is a nonprofit, member-driven advanced technology community founded in 1996 by the country’s leading higher education institutions. Internet2 serves 323 US 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 and 54 leading companies working with our community, as well as 70 national research and education network partners , representing more than 100 countries.

Internet2 offers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and charitable missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network, designed to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Washington, D.C; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information visit or follow @internet2 on twitter.

About GlobalNOC at Indiana University
the GlobalNOC Launched in 1998, at the dawn of the commercial Internet, with a single goal: to provide operational support that enables Internet2 to create a new type of network, built by the R&D community to serve the R&D community. Over time, we have grown to support the needs of many network partners, but remain a not-for-profit organization focused solely on research, education, public interest network projects, and the development of advanced network services.

About Ciena
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a network systems, services and software company. We provide solutions that help our customers create the Adaptive Network™ in response to the ever-changing needs of their end users. By delivering best-in-class network technology through deep consulting relationships, we build the world’s most agile networks with automation, openness, and scalability. For Ciena updates, follow us on Twitter @Ciena, LinkedIn, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit us

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the global leader in technologies that power the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by redesigning your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future. Discover more on The network and keep following us Twitter.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliated companies in the US and other countries. For a list of Cisco trademarks, see Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

About lumens
Lumen is guided by our belief that humanity is at its best when technology advances the way we live and work. With approximately 450,000 fiber miles and customers in more than 60 countries, we deliver the fastest and most secure platform for applications and data to help businesses, governments and communities create amazing experiences.

Learn more about the Lumen network, edge cloud, security, communication and collaboration solutions, and our goal of powering human progress through technology at, LinkedIn: /lumentechnologies, Twitter: @lumentechco , Facebook: /lumentechnologies, Instagram: @lumentechnologies and YouTube: /lumentechnologies. Learn more about Lumen’s public sector opportunities on Twitter at @lumengov and on LinkedIn at @lumenpublicsector.

About GDT
Since 1996, award-winning technology integration partner GDT has leveraged state-of-the-art facilities, industry-leading OEM relationships and a team of industry-leading IT professionals to digitally transform the world’s best-known companies. From managed services to GovCloud to collaboration technology and beyond, GDT has the resources and skills to design and develop custom technology solutions suitable for public and private sector organizations of any size, and the expert services to support them to provide.

SOURCE Internet2


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