Transforming every place in the network with more sustainable innovation:
- History making: Internet2 has served as the national network backbone connecting 37 regional and state education networks in the U.S. and interconnecting with 70 national research and education networks representing 100+ countries
- Pioneering innovation: Internet2’s nationwide IP network routinely moves seven petabytes of data daily, accelerating research in humanity’s understanding of physics, the cosmos, and wellness.
- Benefits of modernization: by improving efficiency through reducing the hardware footprint and more efficient software-enabled network operations, including use of the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator, Internet2’s NGI has reduced its power consumption and carbon footprint.
In its more than 25 years of existence, Internet2 has served as the national network backbone connecting 37 regional and state education networks in the U.S. and interconnecting with 70 national research and education institutions from 100+ countries. Internet2 serves U.S. higher education, research institutions, government entities, corporate partners, and community organizations including K-12 schools, vocational colleges, public libraries, health care facilities, museums, and others. These organizations collaborate on a variety of advanced research projects spanning many fields including high-energy physics, astronomy, astrophysics, genomics, health & life sciences, engineering, medicine, and earth sciences.
From a technological standpoint, Internet2 is an undisputable triumph of the utility of TCP/IP networks. Today, Internet2’s nationwide IP network routinely moves seven petabytes of data daily, which is equivalent to downloading more than 77,000 4K movies! In addition, Internet2 has been a platform that has accelerated important research in cybersecurity, trust & identity, and cloud services. It’s a model for how effective public and private sector ventures can be with the right incentives and clear goals.
Now, it’s time for Internet2 to forge new and exciting paths into sustainability.
Modernizing Internet2 with Next-Generation Infrastructure
Internet2 announced the completion of its fifth-generation network backbone, which it dubbed as the Next-Generation Infrastructure (NGI). There is truth in advertising here. According to Internet2, the NGI supports “…up to 32 terabits per segment with a new generation of transponders in increments of 400-800 gigabits per second. NGI’s new packet layer provides 8-16 petabits per second of port capacity per location.” NGI is also a highly intelligent and sophisticated network supplied with the latest automation, visibility, and management tools to make it a secure and agile network.
To me, however, the most exciting aspect of NGI is its use of the latest high-performance and ultra-efficient hardware and software-based networking technologies that can drive unprecedented levels of power and energy efficiencies. According to Internet2, NGI is creating a greener footprint, with a 68% reduction in power consumption across its optical and routing platforms, achieved through the latest hardware and software advancements. This enables NGI to reduce its packet hardware footprint equivalent from “two college dorm refrigerators to a handful of medium pizza boxes at each site.” Considering that the Internet2 network consists of 47 packet sites and spans more than 12,000 miles, you can see how quickly the savings add up.
Many of those “pizza boxes” deployed at these sites happen to be Cisco’s newest Cisco 8200 Series Routers that serve as the foundation of next-gen networks like Internet2’s NGI along with many other hyper and webscale networks. Inside of each Cisco 8200 is Cisco’s Silicon One single-chip architecture that is helping to reset the bar of energy and power efficiencies as illustrated in the table below:
Leading by Example
Internet2’s NGI is not just good for the environment; it can serve as an important template for how thousands of member and affiliate organizations can similarly attain the benefits of modernizing their network infrastructure. With the success of NGI, Internet2 is leading by example and perhaps can inspire its member organizations and even other large enterprises and service providers to accelerate their sustainability goals.
For more information on Cisco’s Internet2 success story, please read our
Case Study for Internet2
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