REANNZ and FX networks set sights on new multi-terabit network

REANNZ and FX Networks today announced an innovative public/private partnership.

REANNZ and FX Networks today announced an innovative public/private partnership to offer cutting-edge network facilities and technology to the research, education and innovation communities.

REANNZ CEO Steve Cotter says the partnership will allow REANNZ to meet the capacity and service demands of its membership at a cost and scale that would be impossible under traditional managed service contracts.

“The essence of this collaboration is the sharing of raw unbundled network elements, like fibre optic cable and optical transport equipment, in a way that creates an innovation platform for science and research,” says Cotter.

CEO of FX Networks David Heald says REANNZ is a leader in advanced networking, “we are ready to be a full partner and jointly pave the way to develop an advanced infrastructure with new services for this country’s universities, Crown Research Institutes, polytechnics and other research-based organisations”.

REANNZ and FX Networks will deploy an Intelligent Transport Network™ from US-based equipment vendor Infinera. This new Intelligent Transport Network will allow FX Networks and REANNZ to deliver a national network capable of 8Tb per second. New Zealand researchers working with data-intensive science, such as the 1000 Genomes Project, demand networks that deliver high throughput and reliability. At 200 terabytes in size, the entire genome project database could be transferred across the fully developed network in under four minutes. By comparison a 1 gigabit per sec connection would take over 18 days to transfer the same dataset.

“The joint network will provide sizable savings, scalability and enable cutting-edge services for both organisations. This puts us on par with the most advanced optical networks anywhere in the world”, says Cotter.

Both organisations will independently manage their portion of the underlying optical infrastructure. This multi-terabit network gives both companies the opportunity to grow their national capacity and opens up the possibilities for new, exciting products and services.

As part of the venture, the two companies will share a lab environment to explore networking technologies like software-defined networking, advanced traffic management techniques, and other advanced technologies as they emerge.

REANNZ, who worked with Google on Project Loon by coordinating the connectivity to the base stations, aims to use the Infinera Intelligent Transport Network to develop similarly innovative services and capabilities in support of the research and education community. By having complete control at every layer of the stack, REANNZ is perfectly placed to work with partners on new and exciting services.

The distributed and data-intensive nature of modern science, combined with the rapid adoption of cloud-based services is driving exceptional traffic growth on REANNZ’s network. In the near future, large-scale science projects utilising on-demand supercomputing and genome sequencers will be able to make use of the new network to move large data sets between facilities. This ability is critical to the growth of New Zealand’s knowledge economy and our ability to compete globally.

David Heald says “We are proud to be able to play our part in supporting REANNZ to revolutionise networking for the research sector.”

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