DOE boosts bandwidth on ESNet connections

The Energy Department is upgrading the connections of two national laboratories to the Energy Sciences Network, the department's high-speed research backbone.

Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver, is boosting the local access connections at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., from OC-12 to OC-48. The new links give the labs 2.58-Gbps links.

The Oak Ridge upgrade was completed Sept. 30 and work on the Brookhaven link is expected to be completed this month, according to Qwest.

ESNet is managed by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. The network connects more than 35 DOE research sites and supports scientific programs with universities and research institutions.

The network was established in 1985 to support the bandwidth needs of DOE's high-speed supercomputers, which are used in projects ranging from biology to climate modeling and nuclear fission. DOE's national laboratories are home to three of the world's 10 fastest supercomputers, according to a ranking released in June by the Top 500 project.

Qwest received a seven-year, $50 million contract in 1999 to transition ESNet from Sprint Corp. The backbone currently consists of a six-node, optical-fiber backbone, much of which was upgraded in 2003 to 10 Gbps.

The Brookhaven and Oak Ridge upgrades were done as add-ons to the 1999 contract.

Oak Ridge already had its own 10-Gbps link to the Internet2 research network. The link connects ESNet with Internet2 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga also has a link to the 10-Gbps connections.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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