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First-ever around-the-world network backup agreement signed among ORIENTplus, Internet2, TransPAC3 and CERNET

to improve service for international researchers

Friday, 8 February 2013, Cambridge, UK: Vital research collaborations involving China, Europe and the United States will be safeguarded through the first major agreement among partners running the two main high-speed research and education (R&E) Internet routes across Asia, Europe and North America. By agreeing to provide reciprocal backup services via two 10 Gbps connections around the globe, the organisations involved will maximise connectivity and provide a stronger, more resilient service to researchers as they work together on major projects and share growing volumes of data.

ORIENTplus, Internet2, TransPAC3 and CERNET signed the agreement last month at the TIP2013 Conference, which involved more than 450 international technology leaders. This is the first-ever backup agreement for R&E traffic around the globe. The partners will work together to closely co-ordinate operations and network monitoring to enable seamless global backup of R&E network traffic. This partnership reflects the recognition among national and regional R&E networking organisations that a collaborative approach is the most effective way to meet the needs of an increasingly global user base.

The ORIENTplus link is operated by the Chinese research and education networks CERNET and CSTNet in conjunction with their European counterparts. Chinese researchers work closely with their European peers on the GÉANT network through the ORIENTplus link. Running between London and Beijing via Siberia and upgraded to 10 Gbps at the beginning of 2013, ORIENTplus provides the highest capacity direct R&E network link between China and Europe.

The collaboration between China and the United States is underpinned by a 10 Gbps trans-Pacific connection from Los Angeles to Beijing (US-China link), operated by the Indiana University-based TransPAC3 project and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. This connection provides a high-performance link between U.S. universities connected to the Internet2 Network and Chinese universities and researchers connected to the Chinese higher education network, CERNET.

In the event of outages or cable cuts on one network route, traffic will be routed via the alternative path, increasing resilience and minimizing disruption to European and U.S. researchers working with their Chinese peers. Current collaborations using these routes include the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and ground-breaking genome projects, both between the EU and China and the U.S. and China.

Executive Quotes:
"The combination of this mutual backup agreement and the new fourfold increase in capacity to 10 Gbps of the ORIENTplus link provides a major step forward for research collaboration between Europe, China and the US," said David West, ORIENTplus Project Manager at DANTE. "It will enable us to deliver a more resilient, high-capacity service, underpinning the growing number of data-intensive projects between the three regions and boosting vital research collaboration in areas as diverse as high energy physics, astronomy and genomics."

"The research world today is truly global and we need to work together to push back the frontiers of knowledge," said Dave Lambert, President and CEO, Internet2. "High- performance research networks are at the heart of this collaboration and by transforming network resilience across three continents this around-the-world backup protects essential projects that benefit us all."

"This agreement demonstrates the spirit of collaboration between international research networks, as we all work together to provide the speed, services and reliability that research users demand," said James Williams, Director of International Networking and TransPAC3 Project Manager at Indiana University. "Collectively we aim to deliver a technology infrastructure that makes collaboration seamless for our joint users, enabling them to focus on their vital research projects moving forward."

"Europe and the US are two of our largest research partners and we are committed to growing these collaborations," said Jiangping Wu, Director of CERNET Center. "Through this agreement with our partners, we can help mutual projects develop as a key part of the global research community."

About ORIENTplus
ORIENTplus is a high capacity e-infrastructure linking European and Chinese researchers. It connects the Chinese national research and education networks (NRENs) CERNET and CSTNet to the 40 million users of the pan-European GÉANT network via a trans-Siberian link between Beijing and London. Jointly funded by the European Union, European and Chinese NRENs until the end of 2014 it provides the highest capacity connection and the shortest network path between the two regions. ORIENTplus underpins over 25 data intensive collaborations including participation in the Large Hadron Collider study, the ITER global energy fusion programme, projects at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, genome research and the ARGO-YBJ cosmic ray observation initiative. ORIENTplus is a joint project of CERNET (China Education and Research Network) CSTNet (China Science and Technology Network) and the European research and education networking community and is co-ordinated by research networking organisation DANTE. For more information visit http://www.orientplus.eu/

China Education and Research Network (CERNET), the largest academic network in China, is funded by the Chinese government, managed by the Ministry of Education and operated by Tsinghua University. The first backbone network in China, CERNET was established in 1994. Until December 2012, the bandwidth of the CERNET backbone was up to 100Gbps among 8 cities, the network has now reached 200+ cities across 31 provinces. CERNET interconnects with other networks at a speed of up to 50Gbps. More than 2000 universities, education organizations and research institutes are connected to CERNET with over 20 million end users. For more information visit http://www.edu.cn/

About CSTNet
CSTNet, run by China Science and Technology Network Centre, was the first top-level Internet in China. CSTNet, with dual character of both the national public network and the research network of the Chinese Academy of Science, is responsible for the operation and management of networks for the most authoritative S&T institutions in China. For more information, visit http://www.cstnet.cn/english/.

About Internet2®
Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions. Internet2 consists of 220 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Emeryville, Calif.; New York, NY; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu

About TransPAC3
Led by Indiana University (IU), TransPAC3 is a partnership between IU, the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN), DANTE, Internet2 and other research and education networks to provide multi-gigabit bandwidth and services connecting US researchers with their counterparts in Asia. The R&E networks included in the TransPAC3 collaboration cover all of Asia excluding only North Korea, Brunei, Myanmar and Mongolia. Close cooperation among the participants maximizes US-Asia connectivity, increases collaborations (particularly with respect to security), ensures deployment of accurate and useful measurement technology, deploys dynamic circuit services to meet the needs of high-bandwidth applications and decreases costs by eliminating duplication of expensive network links. For more information, visit http://internationalnetworking.iu.edu/TP3


Helga Spitaler
Senior Communications Officer
Tel: +44(0)1223 371300
[email protected]

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