Ciena, Mellanox, SURFnet and University of Amsterdam successfully complete leading-edge, single stream demonstration in 40 Gbps

Date: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 13:51

Wide area transport of 40GbE showcased at GLIF meeting in Geneva, Switzerland
Ciena, Mellanox, SURFnet and University of Amsterdam successfully complete leading-edge, single stream demonstration in 40 Gbps

Aerial view of CERN

Photograph: Maximilien Brice. PHOTO CERN

Ciena® Corporation, Mellanox® Technologies, SURFnet and the University of Amsterdam announced a collaborative experiment that produced a high-speed, long-haul 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) network to demonstrate distributed data processing and end-to-end single stream performance well beyond 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps).  The demo was shown for the first time at the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF)’s 10th annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.
The four organizations came together to create a 40 Gbps long-haul optical network to explore a future in which the network continues to be an enabler to local, regional, national and international research collaboration through the successful support of high-performance data distribution, next-generation video and data processing. Utilizing shared expertise in advanced photonic, leading-edge hardware and high-performance computing to complete the demonstration, the organizations created a network using an existing 1650 km production-quality SURFnet link, connecting an experimental high-performance computer cluster equipped with a Mellanox ConnectX®-2 EN 40GbE NIC at the University of Amsterdam to a remote data processing unit with a corresponding interface at the GLIF meeting venue.  The demonstration pushed 26 Gbps (the practical limit of the PCIe bus) from the processor in Amsterdam to the processor at CERN through a single optical wave lambda.  The network infrastructure was based on Ciena’s Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 equipped with 40GbE interfaces, which was seamlessly upgraded from a 10 Gbps optical lambda to a 40 Gbps optical lambda with no added signal regeneration or modifications to the existing infrastructure
“We're honored to work with these leading-edge research organizations as we continue to invest in opportunities to remove capacity bottlenecks and expand the capabilities of our converged optical Ethernet solutions portfolio,” said Rod Wilson, senior director for Ciena’s external research program. “The creation of next-generation infrastructures is vital to supporting e-Science applications, and Ciena is proud to be a participant in successfully enabling the innovative development of these complex and adaptive networks.”
“We are pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort to drive distributed data over long distance via a high-bandwidth 40GigE network,” said Dror Goldenberg, vice president of architecture at Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox’s ConnectX-2 EN 40GigE NIC sets the stage for disparate, next-generation data centers by enabling high-bandwidth Ethernet fabrics optimized for long-run capacity.”
“We are excited that we are able to push the envelope further to 40 Gbps long-haul transmission for research and education,” continued Erik-Jan Bos, chief technology officer at SURFnet. “This 40G demo showed that we now can do single stream end-to-end transport well above today's common boundary of 10 Gbps.”
“The novelty of this work is the new unobstructed 40 Gbps single channel bandwidth between compute nodes implemented directly on a lambda network. This marks the next step in the growth of long-haul communication capacity for distributed data processing,” said Cees de Laat, professor in system and network engineering at the University of Amsterdam. “These capacities are essential not only for data intensive e-Science but also, for example, in high-resolution 3D digital cinema and movie processing. The photonic network vision and technology as developed by Ciena integrates the communication building blocks seamlessly with the rest of the e-Infrastructure.”
"Pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of the universe requires us to pioneer the state-of-the-art in many areas of technology. The worldwide processing of LHC data needs advanced network technology for us to push the capabilities of our computing capacities around the globe,” commented David Foster, IT deputy department head at CERN. “We are excited about the glimpse of the future capabilities that has been achieved today between CERNLight and NetherLight, by the GLIF community and its partners.”
The demonstration included a variety of Internet transport protocols optimized for this leading edge network, as well as a highly parallel model checker (DiVinE) that was optimized for distributed execution by the group of Professor Henri Bal at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

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