New Iraqi National IP and Optical Network

October 19, 2016 - 2 Comments

BE1The nation of Iraq is frequently in the news, but up until now not because of its ultra-modern IP and optical network. This week we announced that Cisco is playing a key role to restore and rebuild the Iraqi National Backbone, a multi-layer IP and optical project that both spans a long-haul terrestrial route from southern Iraq to Turkey and reaches most major Iraqi cities. The Iraqi National Backbone is a partnership between Symphony and EarthLink and is building the first terrestrial optical network linking Europe and the Middle East. It will provide an alternative to existing submarine networks that connect via the Suez Canal.

The new network will offer the highest capacity and lowest latency of any Europe-to-Middle- East communications solution while improving route diversity.

One of the key solution requirements was the ability to provide an extremely high level of network resiliency, even in the face of separate simultaneous span failures. The Cisco proposal was extensively tested against other solutions and highlights the benefits of third-generation multi-layer restoration algorithms, and features a mix of Cisco networking technologies including the Cisco NCS 5500 router platform and the NCS 2000 for dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM).

The entire solution is based on industry standard protocols, while Cisco Software Defined Networking (SDN) coordinates restoration events between the optical and IP portions of the network. Long haul DWDM services at 100G and 200G provide high capacity while minimizing project capex to minimize the number of wavelengths required.

To learn more, check out the Cisco NCS 2000 or contact your sales team or authorized partner.


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  1. A great step by Cisco

  2. Awesome, it’s a big technological step without any doubt. Bravissimo, I must say, for this great achievement. Thank you for sharing your blog post.