Dept of Energy gets $62 million for 100 gig Ethernet

From the ‘Fast Ethernet Getting Faster‘ files:

The U.S Department of Energy (DoE) is getting $62 million in U.S government stimulus funding to build out a 100 GbE (gigabit Ethernet) network. The network will be developed and used by ESnet (Energy Sciences Network) at the DoE’s  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The goal is to provide a 100 GbE transport between DoE supercomputing centers in California, Illinois and Tennessee.

“ESnet has always been a service organization,” said Steve Cotter, ESnet Department Head at Berkeley Lab in a statement.”We exist to enable DOE scientists to do great work at the cutting edge, and to increase the scientific capabilities of the United States. The deployment of a next-generation 100 Gbps network will ensure that we continue to provide state-of-the-art services to our constituents and continue to enable scientific discovery.”

The fastest Ethernet connections currently deployed are at 10 GbE, so a move to 100 GbE represents a ten fold bandwidth increase. The actual 100 GbE standard is not yet ratified, but networking vendors including Juniper, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent and Cienna all have equipment testing underway and in some cases, announced products as well.

Back in November of 2008, ESnet was part of a group backing 100 GbE deployment for Internet2 research network. In that effort networking vendors, Juniper, Infinera and Level 3 were working together. ESnet has not named any specific networking vendors as part of this new $62 million deployment. I personally would expect some of the same names that are involved in the Internet2 effort to be involved in this effort.

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