NORDUnet 2017

The NORDUnet 2017 project gave rise to the current NORDUnet architecture and topology.

The NORDUnet network is key to all five pillars of the NORDUnet mission.  We pay great attention to continuously offering a state-of-the-art network, to ensuring the network supports the services that the Nordic research and education community needs, and to connect to the destinations required by our users.  We work to ensure that we can quickly respond to changing needs and be agile when working with user communities. 

As part of executing the NORDUnet stategic plan for 2009-2012, NORDUnet in 2010 launched the NORDUnet 2017 initiative - an ambitious plan to identify the architecture and the key elements of the NORDUnet infrastructure 6-8 years into the future, and to initiate the steps to implement this vision.  The key elements that were identified were:

  • Upgrade the optical transport network to increase flexibility, support longer reach, and offer capacities of 100Gbps and beyond.
  • Expand the optical transport footprint to reach key open lightpath exchanges (OLEs), Internet Exchanges (IXs), and landing points for trans-Atlantic capacity, in order for NORDUnet to have full control of cost, capacity, and usage policy to these locations.
  • Create a network presence in the USA, connecting to key Internet Exchanges, enabling direct connectivity to (commercial) cloud service providers, and enabling direct peering with R&E networks with a precense in the USA.
  • Expand the IP peering fabric to be present at major internet exchanges in the north-western hemisphere.  Be capable of peering with major, global internet service providers.
  • Establish a switched network service platform, capable of offering protection and private network resources across the network footprint.
  • Reduce cost by enabling resources sharing, in particular sharing of expensive fibre and transmission equipment cost and related operational cost.

The design elements gave rise both the overall design and some key features of the resulting netwok (shown above). In particular:

  1. 100 Gbps transport network with OTN switching and protection capability was deployed in 2013-14 in the PRISM project. This network, based on the Ciena 6500 packet-optical platform, extemnded the NORDUnet optical transport footprint to offer fully resilient connections to London, UK and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in order to offers 100 Gbps transport, supports the European peering fabric, and support the long-term evolution of the NORDUnet network.
  2. A US network expansion, with 10 Gbps connectivity to five core internet exchanges, was implemented in 2012. This enabled expansion of the peering fabric, direct connections to key cloud service providers  in the US, and allowed NORDUnet to connect directly to both US and global R&E networks.
  3. In addition to the OTN switching and protection capability of the PRISM optical network, a new, Juniper-based MPLS switching fabric was been deployed acrwasoss all sites of the NORDUnet networks.
  4. Furthre progress was made on fibre and spectrum sharing, through collaborative activies  with key partners like Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, and SURFnet, as well as in the GN3 and GN3+ projects. By the end, of the NORDUnet 2017 project, spectrum sharing was a key element in the NORDUnet European backbone.