VERNet, the company deploying the Victorian Education and Research Network (VERN), has signed a multi-million dollar contract with US-based networking company, Ciena for the upgrade of its network.
Following its $US769 million acquisition of Nortel’s optical networking, and carrier Ethernet assets and its foray into the Australian marketplace, Ciena conducted trials of its 40Gbps and 100Gbps optical technologies on the VERN in April last year.
Under the deal, Ciena will upgrade the VERN, which spans 1872 kilometres across Victoria, covering Melbourne and regional towns including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Wodonga, Churchill, and Lakes Entrance, to a network using the same technology as in the trial to 40Gbps capacity.
The network upgrade will also enable the VERN to scale its service capacity to 100Gbps across the same infrastructure by changing interface cards at the source and endpoints of the network.
It is a Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) based optical network that works by combining and transmitting multiple signals simultaneously on separate wavelengths over the same fibre pair.
VERNet chief executive, Roger Tanton, said the expansion was part of the company’s long-term strategic investment plan that has already delivered returns over the past five years.
“VERNet absolutely must have scalable capacity to support the level of data transmission, rapid computation and collaboration required by the local research community,” Tanton said in a statement.
“Collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of large quantities of data will enable researchers to conduct research as part of the global research community.
"It is incumbent on us to provide our users with the services they need to keep Australia at the forefront of this community.
“We decided early on to deploy pioneering optical technology as the foundation of our network infrastructure, which laid the groundwork for an architecture that can be easily upgraded with additional capacity, without requiring expensive and time-consuming forklift upgrades.
“Ciena is actively advancing this coherent optical technology to further improve network economics and enable more flexible architectures, which gives us great confidence in what the future holds for our network and what it enables us to deliver to our customers.”
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