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Data Centre Interconnection goes operational on the GARR Network

After the successful experimentation with DCI solutions in recent months, the connection, operating at a capacity of 1.6 Tbps, between CERN in Geneva and the CNAF of INFN in Bologna is now fully operational on the national GARR network.

The new connection, which now replaces the previous one made with a double traditional 100 Gbps link, is based on the sharing of optical spectrum and allows connecting the two data centres 1000 km apart with a latency of only 9.5 milliseconds.

A field test of significant importance is currently underway with the Data Challenge dedicated to LHC experiments. The event involves all facilities worldwide participating in scientific collaboration. Over a two-week period, all data centres (from Tier0 to Tier2) exchange data with each other to test the impact on the network and perform analyses on processing. For the occasion, a capacity of 400 Gbps has been made available on the overall connection. The amount of data is enormous and continues with peaks on the order of 300 Gbps.

The connection, made by GARR in collaboration with the European GÉANT network, is the first to use this solution. Spectrum sharing is indeed an innovation made possible by the design of the new GARR-T network in Italy and the GÉANT network, both of which adopt a partially disaggregated model.

The initiative, born as a pilot project of the new spectrum sharing service of GÉANT, together with INFN/CNAF and CERN, has now effectively entered production and will be very important in the coming years to cope with the considerable volume of data that will be generated at CERN with the upcoming High Luminosity LHC project.

Submitted by Carlo Volpe

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