The first 800 Gbit/s router for a super-fast data network at Nikhef arrives at Science Park in Amsterdam this week. Engineers from SURF and Nikhef will set up the fast network and explore its possibilities.
The network is more than a thousand times faster than the average internet connection in the Netherlands. For Nikhef, a fast data connection to and from experiments at CERN in Geneva is vital, now and in the future. SURF aims to work with its members to drive ICT innovation for education and research.
The new router with the dimensions of an average server, has a speed of 800 Gbit per second per connection, well above the current standard of 400 Gbit/s. Built by Nokia, the 7750 SR-1x device has 48 connections to which SURF and Nikhef engineers will connect other infrastructure in the coming months at the Nikhef data center in Amsterdam Sciencepark. SURF funded the purchase of the device.
Together with SURF, Nikhef is the first scientific user to investigate its possibilities. Measurement data from the detectors at CERN are distributed worldwide from Geneva to computing centers, where particle physicists can analyze them and compare them with theoretical predictions. That often requires huge data streams and high speeds.
The new router is the first tangible building block in a faster network that SURF plans to develop with Nikhef to keep up with the massive data streams to and from the experiments at CERN in Geneva in the future. “I think this will become the new gold standard in networking technology,” says Nikhef’s IT architect Tristan Suerink. In the Netherlands, the need for speed and bandwidth continues to grow.
Nikhef’s Physics Data Processing (PDP) group has a pioneering role in Europe in fast data networks for scientific research. The purchase of the new 800 Gbit/s router is for testing the technology and exploring future possibilities. “We’re not going to use it for scientific production work, at this point it’s all about the innovation itself,” Suerink said.
Nikhef together with SURF in Amsterdam are a so-called tier1 node in the international computational infrastructure around CERN and thus play an essential role in the dissemination to researchers of measurement data from the particle experiments in Geneva.