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First optical network installations

May 20, 2011, by Doug Howell
Tags: 100 gigabit Ethernet, Advanced Network Services, Advanced Networking, imported, Internet2 Network, Network Architecture, Network Infrastructure, Network Performance, Performance Monitoring

It's been a very busy and eventful week. The first installations of the upgraded Internet2 optical network began in earnest on Monday. We've been preparing for this for several months, so it's good to see bits of the build start to transition into reality. We've sent a few engineers along for the initial installs to observe and help smooth out any initial speedbumps in the process. Every massive project like this encounters some level of difficulty in the first few installs as the technicians get their feet wet with the realities of the installation environment. This was no exception, of course, but nothing that was insurmountable. As the install team and their support infrastructure get into a groove, things will be smooth sailing.

The image below shows the Internet2 POP in the Washington DC area with an in-progress build. You can see the two Ciena Activeflex 6500 chassis side by side along with the support infrastructure. The panels below the left-side chassis are the CMD shelves where the individual optical signals present themselves after being de-multiplexed out of the composite signal that rides the fiber out of the building. Transceiver cards in the ActiveFlex shelves will condition those individual DWDM wavelengths into a signal that's usable by an Internet2 router or switch. The power controllers at the top of the racks provide power distribution, remote management and monitoring capabilities. We've added two temperature and humidity sensors to each optical rack so we can graph change over time. There are a few unrelated chassis in this build on the rack to the right. Those are other projects that are unrelated to the optical build.

We should expect Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York to be complete by the end of the day. Hope to have more good news to share next week!