AARNet to install Juniper networking gear for next-gen network

AARNet starts deploymment of routers this month at existing points of presence

Academic and research networking provider AARNet have chosen Juniper Networks routers and switches for its next-generation network, AARNet4.

AARNet4 is the successor to the third-generation network launched eight years ago. Since that time, traffic on the network has doubled every two years due to growth in the number of users and the size of datasets created by advanced research applications, according to Juniper.

To manage that explosion of data, AARNet4 will deliver a thirty-fold increase in network capacity. The new network will also have new capabilities including virtual private networks (VPNs) between customer sites and virtual private clouds. The new services are especially designed for use in radio astronomy projects like the Square Kilometre Array, as well as in the fields of climate modelling, genomics, sensor networks and particle physics.

For the new network, AARNet has chosen Juniper’s MX Series 3D Universal Edge routers. The AARNet will begin to deploy the routers this month at existing points of presence and then establish “many new ones”, Juniper said.

The routers support multiple 100 Gbps Ethernet (GbE) links. They are expected to provide lower network latency than the current network and support multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) to increase network resiliency, tighten network traffic control and support VPNs, Juniper said.

Also, AARNet will install Juniper’s EX4550 Ethernet switches at hundreds of education and research sites around the country, Juniper said. The switches provide multiple 1 GbE and 10 GbE access ports and can be connected to the points of presence using up to four 40 GbE uplinks.

“We currently operate a complex routed IP network, with points-of-presence across the country and multiple high-speed links to the Internet and academic research networks in hundreds of countries around the globe,” AARNet CEO Chris Hancock said in a statement.

“With AARNet4, we are changing the ground rules for network capacity. This is about navigating the future of networking in Australia and globally. It will also allow AARNet to drive more sophisticated value-added services, leveraging the advanced capabilities of the Juniper Networks platform.”

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