Connectivity boost accelerates EU-Japanese science collaborations*

Over 50 million researchers, academics and students across Europe and Japan are set to benefit from a direct 20Gbps (gigabit per second) connectivity injection into the pan-European GÉANT network, celebrated at the launch event of the upgraded Japanese Science Information Network (SINET5) in Tokyo last month.

The capacity boost came in response to the increasing data transfer requirements of collaborative research between Europe and Japan on projects such as the ITER energy fusion reactor, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments and the worldwide e-VLBI radio-astronomy network.

During his keynote speech at the launch Steve Cotter, CEO of GÉANT, said: “Up to now, connections between GÉANT and SINET have been achieved by peering in North America. Now, SINET is bringing 20Gbps directly to GÉANT; this means that we can jointly support European and Japanese researchers in their cutting-edge scientific endeavours with faster and higher capacities as well as lower latency. We expect to see a major ramp-up of traffic exchanged over our networks as further EU-Japan user projects come to fruition in the next 2-3 years.”

Operated by the National Institute of Informatics (NII), the 5th generation of the SINET network commenced operation in April.

Shigeo Urushidani, Director of the Cyber-Science Infrastructure Development Department at NII commented: “With its 100Gbps full-mesh backbone, SINET5 opens up new possibilities for 3 million users at over 800 connected universities and research centres across Japan. Enhanced international connectivity, including a direct connection to Europe, is a vital element of SINET5’s strategy to support our user communities and to advance global scientific research.”

The two 10Gbps circuits connect with the GÉANT network in London where NII’s network equipment is supported at GÉANT’s new data centre at Slough, UK.  SINET5 also connects there to the GÉANT Open exchange which enables direct links with other research and education networks. GÉANT and NII retain a back-up interconnection in New York.

The relationship between GÉANT and NII is longstanding. NII has been a major partner from the outset in TEIN, the EU-funded Asia-Pacific research and education network established by GÉANT and now successfully connecting 20 countries in the region. NII remains a major partner in TEIN and currently connects to the TEIN network in Singapore.

*This article first appeared on the GÉANT website. Read the original version.

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