GÉANT launches bandwidth on demand service


National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) that take up the service will now be able to automatically create multi-domain international connections for their academic and research users in minutes, thanks to the new GÉANT Bandwidth on Demand (BoD) service, which today moved out of the pilot phase to become a production service.

A powerful service for automatic bandwidth provisioning across multiple networks, BoD enables NRENs to quickly provision dedicated high speed dynamic circuits between different network points within the GÉANT Service Area (GSA) across Europe. Until now projects that needed to reliably transfer large amounts of data between two end points for short periods had to rely on static international connections. These could take weeks to create and consequently could only reasonably be available on a long term basis. BoD removes the drawbacks of static circuits, reducing administration and setup by allowing NRENs to quickly and cost-effectively provide guaranteed bandwidth to their users, exactly when they need it.
“Thanks to the feedback from our extensive pan-European pilot, Bandwidth on Demand has been created specifically to meet the needs of Europe’s NRENs and allow them to provide flexible, dynamic circuits to their users moving forward,” said Tangui Coulouarn, product manager, GÉANT Bandwidth on Demand. “This is a truly innovative service and as the production phase develops we expect more NRENs to deploy BoD, automating their operations and enabling efficient creation of connections whenever and wherever user projects require them.”
The introduction of BoD follows an extensive pilot carried out with NRENs across Europe, including CARNet (Croatia), Forskningsnettet (Denmark), GRNET (Greece), HEAnet (Ireland), NORDUnet (Nordics), PIONIER (Poland) and SURFnet (Netherlands). Collaboration with US research networks ESnet and Internet2 has ensured compatibility and enabled the provision of transatlantic circuits.
BoD provides significant benefits to NRENs. It enables them to quickly and efficiently address user requirements for multi-domain network capacity, providing a new, short term, flexible connectivity option through their existing link to GÉANT. By automating the provisioning process it reduces operational and administrative time and costs for NRENs and is simple to manage and control through its web user interface. BoD is expected to be used extensively within the network operations centres (NOCs) of NRENS, providing them with the ability to deliver greater efficiencies by automating internal operations.
“The launching of the BoD service marks a significant achievement for the research and education community in Europe,” said Prof. Panayiotis Tsanakas, GRNET Chairman. “By delivering such a service offering, new opportunities for research and collaboration arise and optimal use of our resources is possible. GRNET is eager to accommodate high quality dynamic circuits, extending the reach and capabilities of its infrastructure beyond the limits of time and borders, enabling innovative user research by utilising the potential of BoD.”
Ms. Ivana Golub, Deputy CEO for Network Infrastructure, CARNet adds, “A special moment in the lifetime of each service is the one when it grows from the research phase into the pilot, and later from pilot to production phase. Seeing BoD coming into light as a production service comes as a great reward to all participating researchers and team members. Participating in a BoD pilot brings multiple benefits to CARNet. We are happy to be able to be part of the BoD pilot, and be among the first NRENs to try out the new technology that will enable automatic bandwidth provisioning across multiple networks. Consequently, we are able to offer multi-domain international connections to Croatian educational, scientific and research community, bringing them closer to their friends and colleagues anywhere in the world.”
The BoD service has been designed from the outset to be flexible, simple to use via a web interface and standards based in order to enable global interoperability. While the AutoBAHN provisioning tool has been created as part of the project, BoD is tool agnostic, supporting a wide range of provisioning solutions. Moving forward BoD expects to adopt the Network Services Interface (NSI) protocol, which is currently being developed by the OpenGridForum (OGF) standardisation body to create the first global standard for interoperable bandwidth-on-demand.
The production service will initially be offered to campus and international user projects by CARNet, Forskningsnettet, GRNet, HEAnet, PIONIER and SURFnet, working collaboratively with the GÉANT backbone. Further NRENs are expected to join over the course of 2012.