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Australian Research Network Plans For 100Gbps

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the LAN-party-of-the-gods dept.

Australia 24

angry tapir writes "The Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) has announced a wide range of initiatives around network upgrades, collaboration, and mobility as part of a new five-year plan. The plan includes delivering a 100Gbps backbone to its education and research customers, to ensure sufficient 'headroom' for major projects such as the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope."

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Headroom... ha! (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37052936)

They are talking about the network that connects all their universities and colleges to the internet as well as to each other. They'll fill that in a year. 10 x 10Gbps links for a backbone? That should be minimum connection for a site.

100Gb/s isn't far away and DWDM kit will be capable of this in 5 - 7 years, if they are planning it, this is what they should be planning for.

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

NNKK (218503) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053116)

I wonder if this might not be getting dumbed down for public consumption.

Fiber is fiber, and once you have a bunch of good-quality fiber laid down, your theoretical bandwidth is beyond anything we're actually going to use, the trick is waiting for the equipment that hooks up to it to advance.

It's 100gbps today, but as better gear becomes commercially available, gradual upgrades can bring it towards 1tbps, then 10tbps, then...

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053200)

AARNet was originally run by Optus and was a 45Mbps connection, that's now been taken over by Telstra and they offer 100Mb/s or 1Gb/s connections. Telstra will have to plan this 5 years out as they will have to put fibre / wavelegnths aside on their interstate backhauls to accomodate this. So, the fibre is already there, they just haven't allowed for enough bandwidth to serve the requirements. It's stuff like this that is holding back telecommunications in asia.

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37053518)

...that's now been taken over by Telstra ...

No. Telstra provided the connectivity back in the 90's before Optus won the contract to build out what was called AARNet2. AARNet is pretty much an entity of its own now and owns substantial amounts of in-ground fibre.

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053572)

So Telstra just manages the fibre network and doesn't AARNet doesn't use any of it's bandwidth?

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37053850)

Telstra by no means controls all of the fibre in the ground in Australia (although, the curious decision by the ACCC around the way the NBN is to be built that pretty much handed Telstra a monopoly on back-haul capacity from their former exchanges is another matter). For connectivity between AARNet members (Universities, CSIRO and research facilities) a lot of the fibre is privately owned or leased dark fibre.

Capacity can be purchased from Telstra, Optus / Uecomm, TPG / PIPE, NextGen (now Thiess) and others.

Connectivity to other Australian domestic networks is usually done by peering with Telstra though, but there are other options. International capacity is via the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) out of Sydney and a few others (155Mb/s, 622Mb/s) over on the west coast.

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37053694)

Really, seriously? Have you been following the NBN and the planned backhaul? Surely you're aware or the mass amounts of dark fibre? Surely you know the amazing scalability that Add Drop Multiplexers provide. Many networks, NextGen and Pipe to name a few boast the ability to handle 44x100Gbps[or greater] on many of their major backhauls.

Australia has the capacity and the NBN will remove the constrictive economic viabilities associated with lighting it up.

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053992)

The moment that providing such bandwidth at a reasonable price even domestically (Within Aus) comes closer to parity to what's paid in Europe and America for bandwidth, let me know. I'll give you an example, get a 1Gb internet line with unlimited data (Truly unlimited) for AUD $2k or a 1Gb to the US for AUD $4k. My comment came from the fact that Australians (And a number of other countries around Asia) are used to ordering low bandwidth lines because of the extortionate pricing that you are made to pay over there.

If you can put 100Gb links in the hands of researchers and uni students when they get older and go into decision making positions, they will be wondering why bandwidth like what they had 10 years ago isn't common place and will change things.

10Gb for the financial markets are now common place in Europe and America, 100Gb is not far off. This is where Aus has to be looking at and looking at now if it's not going to be left behind again.

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37054734)

Your original statement pertained to the size of the planned backbone of AARnet and not pricing. There is a titanic load of capcity in Australia that is not being utilised. As demand for capcity increases as will the prices drop and dark fibre be lit. You go on to make statements about international peering and pricing of totally dissimilar markets. REALLY?! I live in Australia and from my POV, the USA is going ass backwards in many regards... not just Telecommunications ;)

Read a few of the other posts and investigate the capacity of the countries external backbones and the peering involved. PPC1 and SXC are the movers and shakers.

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37056878)

AARNet was never run by Optus. AARNet has always been run by a technical group of people representing the University sector. In the early days it was the AVCC, then it was AARNet Pty Ltd.

AARNet did use an Optus ATM backbone to connect the regional networks (ie state based) networks together.

Telstra took over the very first internet setup, which was the original backbone of research networking in Australia, and this became the first incarnation of BigPond.

See: [] for the first 20 years of AARNet.

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053666)

You have to remember Australia is by size-comparison one of the worst connected regions in the world. I doubt their national connections are in much better shape.

There is 'one' 5.12Tbps 'cable' which delivers almost half of their capacity.

Funny thing is, not many might be lit, but even something as remote as Svalbard has that much capacity.

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053670)

Sorry, I was just looking at that 5.12Tbps which handles Australia and turns out it isn't even in service yet.

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37053808)

Where are you getting your facts from? I can think of four cables off the top of my head coming out of the country, all of which are over a 1Tb/s capacity and all of which are in service and have been so since PPC-1 was finished.

Re:Headroom... ha! (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37057910)

This isn't really accurate. There is plenty of capacity. Domestic and international. We're a large area but we have a tiny population remember. We have approximately 8 Tbps total to the outside world at the moment but some of it's not even lit, and of the portion that's lit, it's nowhere near fully utilised. And that extra 5.12 Tb cable you mention is due to come online in the next 18 months. So there really isn't a capacity issue in Australia, and per capita, we are connected adequately.

Svalbard is an oddity (and has the benefit of being close to masses of capacity available in Scandinavia). Australia is at the end of the line, so to speak. You don't go through Australia to get to anywhere. This, combined with very small population, is a problem that will always mean our bandwidth infrastructure costs more. Actually it affects everything there, from the price of goods, to the ability of Australian airlines to compete with Asian and Middle Eastern carriers who are relatively more 'central' geographically, and hence can capture passengers not just from their local markets, but people merely transiting through their countries to other places.

Re:Headroom... ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37055540)

May as well get a CRS-3 [] router. 322Tb/sec maximum throughput should be good for a while :) 100Gbit is a line card [] on one of those.

So when the NBN arrives... (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 3 years ago | (#37052972)

... we'll all be able to max out our connections on something local, before we hit the international bottleneck!

Re:So when the NBN arrives... (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053020)

The 'international bottleneck' is a bit of a myth. The capacity we have now, on SXC, PPC1, AJC and others, isn't fully utilised. In fact, some of those cables aren't even being close to fully ~lit~. Plus, our total international capacity is due to almost double in the near future as the Pacific Fibre cable project is completed (estimated to be in 2013). ~The particular ISP you are using~ may be too stingy to spend the money on buying enough international capacity (and hence you may experience slower connections to overseas hosts than you would like). But that doesn't mean there's a bottleneck for the country as a whole.

Either way this has little to do with AARNet, which isn't a residential ISP and which buys more than sufficient international capacity. I certainly didn't notice any international bottleneck when I lived on campus (i.e. connected to AARNet). Well-connected overseas sites were just as fast as well-connected domestic ones and often came close to maxing out the 100 Mbit interface speed. Good on em for continuing to plan for the future (though I don't think this is particularly newsworthy - every decent network is planning the same way).

Re:So when the NBN arrives... (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053226)

To sorta go along with the previous poster, the ISPs don't need to throttle you internationally, latency does that for you. Look up TCP window sizes and have a play with it on your computer and watch your speed go up.

Re:So when the NBN arrives... (1)

dregs (24578) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053384)

I get 70meg a second at my desk
(And the Microsoft guys we had in last month, couldn't believe you can download the Windows 7 iso, in under 5 minutes until they all did it themselves)
I guess it makes up for the crappy pay......

The internet is for porn of course (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 3 years ago | (#37054278)

but...but...with their porn filter what's the point? j/k

Re:The internet is for porn of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37054650)

Yes, one could do lots of 'research' with 100Gbps (and some tissues).

Biting tongue.... (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059214)

...trying hard to avoid a pirate joke.

Australian net censorship (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059476)

Hopefully the SKA's IP doesn't land on their national blacklist...

me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37065096)

I plan for 100Gbps networks too. Where's my fucking slashdot article?

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