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Australia’s AARNet & Cisco achieve 600Gbps terrestrial trial

06 Mar 2019

Cisco and Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) have successfully demonstrated a 600 Gigabit per second terrestrial trial in what they are calling an Australian first.

AARNet provides high-capacity telecommunications infrastructure for Australia’s research and education sector. 

It used Cisco’s Network Convergence System (NCS) 1004 to boost network capacity across the AARNet production network.

The trial has potentially groundbreaking implications for Australia’s interconnect and trunkflow across AARNet and the education sector.

“Our network supports cross-institutional global research collaborations, scientific instruments and the transport and storage of some of the world’s largest datasets,” comments AARNet CEO Chris Hancock.

“This trial with Cisco opens up opportunities for AARNet to provide customers with unprecedented levels of scale to support massive data flows for data-intensive projects such as the Square Kilometre Array.”  

AARNet and Cisco performed the tests with Cisco NCS 1004 and NCS 2000 FlexSpectrum Single Module ROADM platforms in the AARNet production network under real world conditions without interruption to any customer traffic.

They also used Cisco NCS 1004 flexibility to adjust the modulation format and baud rate. This was to achieve maximum data throughput over different distances.

Cisco NCS 1004 has been designed to maximize wavelength and fiber capacity with minimal space and power requirements. At two racks per unit, the system supports up to 4.8 Terabits per second (Tbps) of client and 4.8 Tbps of trunk traffic. 

Using flexible, software-based baud rate and hybrid modulation, the Cisco NCS 1004 platform provides optimized performances for terrestrial data center interconnect (DCI), metro, regional and long-haul deployments as well as subsea applications.

“Cisco and AARNet have a long-standing partnership in networking co-innovation,” says Cisco’s vice president and general manager of optical systems and optics, Bill Gartner. 

“From here we look forward to applying the same technology and best practices from terrestrial configurations to help AARNet expand trials in subsea and beyond.”

The tests involved the following configurations:

  •  600G single wavelength in a metro data centre to data centre environment (approximately 15 kilometres).
  • 500G single wavelength over regional distances greater than 300km (roughly equivalent from Sydney to Newcastle, Wollongong or Goulburn).
  • 400G single wavelength over inter-capital distances greater than 750km (roughly equivalent from Sydney to Melbourne).
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