AARNet terabit ready with Cisco

28 Jun 2011

Sydney, Australia – 28 June 2011 – AARNet, Australia’s Academic and Research Network and Cisco today announced the successful trial deployment of a 40Gb service for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and radio astronomy community.

The trial demonstrates Australia has the infrastructure and capabilities in place to support the demanding ICT requirements of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), should Australia be selected to host this international mega-science project in 2012. 

The 40Gb trial is a significant breakthrough in demonstrating the ability of AARNet’s existing network infrastructure to support the extreme data set transfers required for radio astronomy projects including the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) currently under construction in Western Australia, and ultimately the SKA.  

The trial connected three CSIRO landmarks including the Parkes Radio Telescope (known as ‘The Dish’) in central west New South Wales, Narrabri Observatory in northwest New South Wales and the CSIRO’s main radio astronomy headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney a distance of some 1,300km’s in total. 

AARNet’s existing optical network infrastructure was used to support the trial. This infrastructure has been based on the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP), for more than five years.

To facilitate the trial and deliver a significant bandwidth upgrade, AARNet installed new 40GBit/s muxponders onto its backbone, enabling it to transmit parallel wavelengths greater distances without regeneration. High capacity networks are a critical element of the eResearch infrastructure that underpins “big data” scientific disciplines such as radio astronomy, supporting the data transfer, data processing tool sand collaboration needed to produce globally competitive research. The40/100GBit/s trial is a major update to connectivity for research institutions,enabling a significant capacity increase at minimal cost.   

The combination of Australian technical expertise, infrastructure and partnerships between AARNet, Cisco and the CSIRO signifies an important step in collaborating to support major science and research programs, such as the Australian Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) network.  

Dr Brian Boyle, SKA Director of the CSIRO said, “The high bandwidth required for this sort of trial is a great example of how Australia's existing infrastructure can support the SKA's vision in a cost-effective manner. It also demonstrates that Australia will succeed in delivering networking requirements for international initiatives that utilise very high capacity to support extreme astronomy data set transfers.”

Chris Hancock, CEO of AARNet said. “Australia is on the cusp of extraordinary breakthroughs when it comes to large-scale science initiatives. There is no greater example of this than projects such as the SKA.The advancement of 40GBit/s networking highlights the quantum leap forward in the exploration of international astronomy and science discoveries.” 

AARNet is dedicated to providing our research and education communities with high capacity networks that enable seamless collaboration on a large scale. AARNet has long supported global astronomy research and the current trial demonstrates the capability of the AARNet network to handle very high capacities over large distances at very high definition, positioning us strongly for our step up to a 100Gb network.   

Ken Boal, Director of Public Sector, Cisco Australia and New Zealand said, “Cisco is proud to continue its AARNet partnership with the 40Gb trial with CSIRO to demonstrate the high-performance capability of the network which is the heartbeat of academic and research institutions. Particularly with the rise of the Internet and the demand to collaborate with scholars, peers and subject matter experts across Australia and globally,this successful trial opens the door to new possibilities in scientific research and innovation.” 

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About AARNet

AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the company that operates Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet). It is a not-for-profit company limited by shares. The shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO. AARNet provides high-capacity leading edge Internet services for the tertiary education and research sector communities and their research partners.  AARNet serves more than one million end users who access the network through local area networks at member institutions. For further information, please visit: www.aarnet.edu.au

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com.au. For ongoing news from Australia and New Zealand, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com/anz


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.For more information, please visit: www.csiro.au

For further information, please contact:

AARNet Media Contact: Almira Anthony

  • Max Australia
  • T: +61 2 9954 3492
  • E: almira.anthony@maxaustralia.com.au 

Cisco Media Contact: Linda Horiuchi

  • T: +61 2 8446 6343
  • E: lhoriuch@cisco.com