GrangeNet consortium picks Cisco to equip largest R&D network in Australia

Sydney 08 April 2002Cisco Systems, specialised in networking for the Internet, has been selected as the networking equipment provider for the GrangeNet project, to create Australia's largest Research and Development network. GrangeNet which stands for GRid and Next GEneration Network, has been awarded a $14 million, 3-year grant by the Federal Government to develop and operate a very high-speed backbone network, linking universities and other public and private research facilities in Australia and overseas. GrangeNet will be integrated with other advanced research and education networking initiatives including Internet2 in the United States and CANARIE in Canada.

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The new network, due to be operational by early 2003, will be based on solutions from the Cisco Complete Optical Multiservice Edge and Transport (COMET) optical portfolio and Cisco's industry-leading Internet Routers. By providing gigabit per second (Gbps) bandwidth between research facilities, GrangeNet will enhance commercial and academic research fields as diverse as astronomy, supercomputing, telemedicine, bio-informatics, distance education, environmental modelling, and media services such as video post-production.

Cisco is a joint member of GrangeNet, together with Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet), the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (APAC), the Distributed Systems Technology Centre (DSTC), and PowerTel. "Cisco was invited to join the GrangeNet consortium because of the advanced IP+Optical networking technology it could supply and its commitment to the development of very advanced networks in Australia", stated Mr. John O'Callaghan, Interim Director of GrangeNet and Executive Director, APAC.

The GrangeNet network will consist of a backbone linking Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney and initially eight network "tails" connecting more than 20 organisations. The backbone will support data speeds up to 10 Gbps enabling each organisation to utilise a gigabit Ethernet connection to the core network.

The GrangeNet backbone will run over PowerTel's East Coast fibre optic network using the Cisco ONS 15801 Long-Haul DWDM System and the Cisco Transport Manager integrated element management system. Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology will cost-effectively enhance transport capacity while Cisco Transport Manager will accelerate provisioning as part of the end-to-end management of the ONS 15801 network. The network will also include Cisco 12000 Series Internet Routers to carry IP backbone traffic between Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney and Cisco 7600 Series Internet Routers for edge routing connections in the four centres.

The network will be connected to international networks and facilities using AARNet's STM-1 capacity on the Southern Cross cable under the Pacific Ocean. GrangeNet will form part of the international Access Grid linking over 70 sites around the world.

AARNet and its members will install and demonstrate advanced communications services including IP multicasting, quality of service (QoS), caching and mirroring, IPv6, and network management. APAC and its partners will develop and deploy a range of grid services including distributed computing using fast networks to share computer processing time across multiple machines, collaborative visualisation, co-operative environments, digital libraries, and remote instrumentation. DSTC will trial middleware tools for grid and advanced communications services.

GrangeNet is a key part of the Federal Government's $40 million Advanced Networks Programme (ANP), established by the Department of Communications, IT and the Arts in 1999.


Leslie Versweyveld

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