AARNet rolls out third-gen network

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AARNet rolls out third-gen network
Australia’s research and education community has received a boost with the rollout of the third generation of Australian Academic and Research Network’s (AARNet) Research and Education Network.

AARNet3 will offer connectivity speeds of up to 10Gb/s to one million Australians in schools, universities and other research institutions in capital cities and regional and rural locations.

Previously, AARNet2 typically offered 1Gb/s speed of a 10Gb/s backbone, AARNet CEO Chris Hancock said.

The national network will plug into a new 10Gb/s link into the west coast of the US.

This in turn is linked to an international network of nine Asian countries and 30 million end-users in Europe.

According to Hancock the upgraded network, largely funded by AARNet’s membership of 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO, offers close to unlimited capacity with far less latency than access offered under AARNet2.

“Lower latency will help with research in Asia such as that between Australia and Japan in areas such as laparoscopic surgery,” he said.

“The high bandwidth link into the west side of the US will help with the supercomputer and astronomy community which can now download a terabyte of data overnight.”

Other areas likely to benefit included research into the areas of disaster warning, climate change and other geosciences and interaction between regional schools, Hancock said.

With an annual 35 percent growth in traffic over the network – the network now transfers one petabyte of data a year - Australia was in need of an updated AARNet network, he said.

However, with a maximum speed of 320Gb/s per second, AARNet3 would have plenty of headroom for expansion for some time to come.

To encourage organisations to make even greater use of the network, Hancock said that AARNet had moved from a pay-for-what-is-downloaded to a fairer subscription-based model.

Users are also able to buy time-based access – say two weeks worth of uploading and downloading – on the network.

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