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New GÉANT Lab to help deliver the next generation of the GÉANT network

GÉANT's test labs in Cambridge

GN4-3N project represents the most significant refresh of the GÉANT network in a decade, aimed at supporting the rapidly growing needs of Europe’s Research and Education community. It offers GÉANT huge opportunities to be able to manage and control the network in new and unique ways and to be able to deliver new innovative services to Research and Engineering.

In particular, building the network based on long-term fibre leases creates a stable, yet flexible, infrastructure. The Open Line System provides a similarly stable layer on top of that infrastructure so that the technological evolutions in transponder technology can be easily and affordably integrated. This creates a more future-proof environment.

However, this new infrastructure is radically different from the current approach.  At present services are delivered at the digital level with a “hands-off” approach to the management of the underlying optical layer. This of course simplifies management but can constrain the ability to offer services such as time frequency distribution for metrology services. The new structure will offer GÉANT the ability to manage the network at the optical layer. With this added flexibility will add some complexity to the implementation of the network and require the engineering team to understand a range of new technologies, hardware and software before in-country implementations can take place

In addition, the need to be able to integrate equipment with the new Asset Management Systems (AMS) and the Network Management System (NMS) mean that the GÉANT network laboratory will be a crucial tool in ensuring the success of the GN4-3N implementation and roll-out.

The lab, developed as part of the 2019 Cambridge Office refurbishment was specifically designed to support GN4-3N  and will be used to validate the design of the optical line systems and also check hardware and software updates during the life of the network. The investment in the lab will be invaluable in ensuring the success of GN4-3N and the GÉANT network as a whole.

To find out more about the GÉANT Network and the GN4-3N project visit network.geant.org

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