NORDUnet 2017

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.

Each of these elements have given rise to a series of activities, and have been or are being implemented. 

In particular:

  1. A new 100 Gbps transport network with OTN switching and protection capability has been deployed in 2013-14 in the PRISM project. This network, based on the Ciena 6500 packet-optical platform, also extends the NORDUnet optical transport footprint to offer fully resilient connections to London, UK and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  This supports both the long-term evolution of the general NORDUnet network, offers 100 Gbps transport, and supports the European peering fabric.
  2. A US network expansion, with 10 Gbps connectivity to five core internet exchanges, was implemented in 2012.  This supports the expension of the peering fabric, allows direct connections to key cloud service providers and other infrastructure-as-a-service providers in the US, and enables NORDUnet to connect directly to both US R&E networks as well as a number R&E networks from Asia and South America with a presence in the US.
  3. In addition to the OTN switching and protection capability of the PRISM optical network, a new, Juniper-based MPLS switching fabric has been deployed across all sites of the NORDUnet network, with modern management capabilities allowing quick deployment of private network services, circuit-oriented services, as well as supporting the general peering and IP network needs.
  4. Progress has been made on fibre and spectrum sharing, through collaborative research activies both with key partners like Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, and SURFnet, as well as in the GN3 and GN3+ projects. Today, NORDUnet is actively sharing key fibre stretches, amplifier sites, and operations with SURFnet between Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels, and London. NORDUnet is working to expand the use of sharing, both in the Nordic countries and in the European footprint.