Nokia bags GÉANT backbone upgrade deal

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Finnish kit maker Nokia and professional services provider Nomios have won a 10-year deal to triple the IP backbone capacity of the GÉANT European research network.

Under its GN5 IP/MPLS routing and switching replacement project, GÉANT will deploy 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) routing switches across its 50,000 km long footprint. The network interconnects Europe’s national research and education networks (NRENs), enabling them to share research data with one another and with other NRENs around the world.

The frame agreement announced on Tuesday will see Nomios – which offers a whole host of various networking and cybersecurity solutions and services – and Nokia undertake the complete replacement of GÉANT’s IP/MPLS routing and switching infrastructure.

More specifically, Nokia will supply its 7750 Service Router IP/MPLS platform, based on its in-house FP5 network processor. The chipset supports 800G transmission, and will triple the capacity of GÉANT’s IP backbone. FP5 has security features baked in too, plus it also offers a 75% improvement in energy efficiency.

In addition to kit, Nomios and Nokia will also provide support and maintenance services to ensure uninterrupted connectivity and smooth operations.

“We are excited to partner with Nomios and be the first to bring 800GE speeds to such bandwidth-intensive and rigorous research environments as GÉANT. This is a real achievement that demonstrates how our leading IP technology delivers the capacity, resilience, and security required for these essential, massive-capacity networks, with the optimised energy consumption the industry needs to meet their sustainability targets,” said Stephane Haulbert, Nokia partner business leader in Europe, in a statement.

Indeed, research understandably generates a lot of data, and the volume is increasing.

As Nokia explained, advancements in telescopes, sensors and detectors means they are capable of gathering more data with greater precision, sensitivity and speed. In addition, supercomputers are increasingly used to process data in vast quantities, validating findings and so-on. Once all this data has been generated and analysed, the findings are often shared, since institutions across the globe routinely collaborate with one another.

As a result of all this endeavour, GÉANT today carries 7 Petabytes (or 7 million Gigabytes) of data every day, and volume has grown by an average of 30% per year over the past five years. Uptime is also an important consideration for GÉANT, which boasts average availability of 99.999 percent.

“We are pleased to extend our relationship with Nomios and Nokia by deploying Nokia’s high-performance IP networking technology across our extensive network infrastructure,” said GÉANT’s chief technology officer Bram Peeters. “The solution adds the capabilities we need to address the anticipated exponential growth in data and our security concerns. This project ensures that GÉANT modernises and maintains the essential world-class network the research and education communities rely on both in Europe and more than 100 countries across every region.”


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