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Is China's IPv6 Link World's Fastest?

China is accelerating its IPv6  deployment with the addition of a 40 Gigabits per second (Gbps) link on the long haul between Beijing and Tianjin.

The 40G link is considered one of the fastest links anywhere on Earth and is a key element of China's Next Generation Internet (CNGI) IPv6 infrastructure.

The 40G link is being deployed in the China Education and Research Network Information Center's (CERNIC) Education and Research Network (CERNET2), which is part of the CNGI infrastructure that connects more than 200 universities in 20 cities across China. At the core of CNGI and the new 40G link are routers from US based Juniper Networks .

Juniper's T-series routing platform and specifically the T640 will be in place to service the new 40G link.

"CERNET2, and especially its new 40 Gbps link, represents one of the key segments of the CNGI network and is one of the largest deployments of IPv6 to date," said Professor Jianping Wu, director of CERNIC, in a statement.

"CERNET2 is not dual-stack and since it is critical that this pure IPv6 network perform with the highest levels of performance, security and reliability, we chose to deploy Juniper's T640. It is the industry's most proven multi-terabit scale platform, outperforming all other products in performance and reliability testing, and providing a very rich IPv6 feature set."

Juniper spokesperson Brendan Hayes told internetnews.com that he was unable to comment on the value of the deal with China; as a company policy Juniper doesn't disclose the financial value of customer wins. He did say that it was a competitive bid.

CNGI is certainly no stranger to Juniper equipment. In late 2005, Juniper announced that its M and T series routing platforms would be powering the CNGI network, which some consider to be the world's largest IPv6 network.

The CNGI initiative was launched in 2004 by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) with the goal of creating a countrywide IPv6 backbone.

Juniper's involvement in China is significant. Hayes noted that Juniper and CERNET are in the early stages of working together on new standards and procedures for network security in IPv6 backbone networks.

"In general, while we cannot comment specifically on projects currently underway or may be anticipated, Juniper has been very active in the deployment of IPv6 networks in China and has announced major IPv6 network wins in the PRC in addition to CERNET2," Hayes said.

So is this the fastest link in the world?

"40G is currently the fastest generally available networking interface, so it would be safe to say this is the fastest link in China," Hayes said. "While it is of course always possible that there may be other 40G Links that nobody is talking about, neither we nor CERNET know of any others in production in China, and we have searched and asked.

"In the world, there are likely a small number of others (but not many) as fast, but there would not be anything faster."