Energy unveils new metropolitan area networks

The Energy Department's Energy Sciences Network today took the wraps off plans to build a new architecture of high-speed metropolitan area networks to link DOE scientists and their collaborators.

ESNet seeks to increase the reliability and performance of its existing high-bandwidth network by reshaping the connections among its 40 sites from a hub-and-spoke design to a ring structure.

The reshaped network will operate 10 gigabit optical channels or lambdas. Energy's Science, Mathematics, Information and Computer Science program plans to build the first of the new citywide networks in the San Francisco Bay area to link the Stanford Linear Accelerator, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Joint Genome Institute and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, as well as other networks and DOE hubs.

'One benefit of the ring structure of the MANs is that it will provide the national labs with redundant access to the network, thus providing substantially increased reliability, said ESnet project manager Bill Johnston in a statement. 'Additionally, multiple optical channels will allow for ESnet to provide new services identified in the science requirements, in particular guaranteed high-bandwidth channels.'

MICS has just approved the San Francisco area network and provided funding for it, the department said. Engineering and construction will take about six months. A six-month testing and integration period will ensue.

The cost of the MAN program was not immediately available.

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