Europe's largest research network Géant2 delivers flexible networking based on Alcatel-Lucent's intelligent optical solution

Hannover 15 March 2007Alcatel-Lucent and DANTE, Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe Ltd., an international data network operator, have successfully completed the roll-out of a new converged optical-data network linking national research and education networks across Europe. The deployment was carried out in the framework of the Géant2 project launched in 2004 to connect approximately 3500 scientific sites in 34 European countries to facilitate collaborative research.


Géant2 is the largest European communications network ever built for research and education offering high-speed services, as well as new Ethernet-based and Grid computing applications to the scientific community. DANTE deployed Alcatel-Lucent's advanced intelligent optical networking solution to allow long-distance communications among research centres with maximum reliability and protection. These capabilities are key when carrying sensitive research data for projects such as e-health, e-learning, climate modelling, and worldwide earthquake forecasting. The solution is an optimized combination of dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) and optical cross-connects with integrated management.

Géant2 is the successor of Géant, the first leading multi-gigabit pan-European research and education network. Engineered for core speeds of up to 400 Gb/s, Géant2's transmission rates enable researchers to gather large volumes of data - such as on-line access to valuable biological databases - in seconds or to analyse data from multiple interconnected radio telescopes to provide high resolution images of the universe in real time.

"Advanced technology and extreme network flexibility are key to support new applications dedicated to furthering scientific research", stated Dr. Hans Döbbeling, General Manager at DANTE. "Alcatel-Lucent assisted us with valuable technical and consulting support in the evolution of our network. The Alcatel-Lucent optical platform allows Géant2 to offer circuits and even entire optical private networks in addition to the conventional packet switching service."

"Research networking allows scientists to maximize inter-exchanges in collaborative projects and contribute to the best of their abilities whatever their location is", stated Romano Valussi, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Optics activities. "The close co-operation with DANTE to implement the highest service innovation in Géant2 is now available to benefit the research community and serves as a use case for deploying intelligent optical solutions in mission-critical commercial applications."

Providing direct optical connectivity to the existing IP network, the new research network is based on the Alcatel-Lucent 1626 Light Manager (LM) DWDM platform for long to ultra long-haul applications and the 1678 Connect (MCC) that converges optical and data switching capabilities on a single platform. Furthermore, the solution can support Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS), a technology that offers high network protection by enabling fast, automated re-routing if needed.

The Alcatel-Lucent 1350 management suite controls both the 1678 MCC and the 1626 LM equipment. Operation of the 1350 management suite is carried out by the Géant2 Network Operation Center (NOC) in Paris, France, with support from the Alcatel-Lucent NOC in Stuttgart, Germany. The Géant2 project is developing monitoring and management procedures to enhance inter-domain operations between the European backbone and its partners, the National Research and Education networks.

DANTE is a non-profit organisation whose primary mission is to plan, build and manage research and education networks. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates Géant2 which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in other regions to one another and to Géant2. DANTE currently manages projects focused on the Mediterranean, Latin American and Asia-Pacific regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, ALICE and TEIN2 - Trans-Eurasia Information Network - projects respectively.

Géant2 delivers the next generation research and education network for Europe. With over 30 million research and education users in 34 countries across the continent, Géant2 offers unrivalled geographical coverage, high bandwidth, innovative hybrid networking technology and a range of user-focused services. Its network footprint maps more than 50.000 km and its extensive geographical reach interconnects with other world regions, enabling global research collaboration. Géant2 is co-funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Research and Development Framework Programme. The project partners are 30 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE.

Alcatel-Lucent provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As an expert in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organisations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved adjusted proforma revenues of 18,3 billion euro in 2006 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris.

Leslie Versweyveld

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