Nokia, SURF test network capacity upgrades using existing fiber

Nokia reached a single carrier 800 Gbit/s optical transmission over SURF's research and education network infrastructure. The test, based on Nokia's photonic service engine technology, showed that legacy fiber can still be used to meet many of today’s capacity demands. #pressrelease

April 15, 2024

2 Min Read

Nokia and SURF, the collaborative organization for IT in Dutch education and research, have successfully reached a single carrier 800Gb/s optical transmission over SURF's existing cross border, multivendor research and education network infrastructure. The transmission, based on Nokia’s photonic service engine technology, will help accelerate the massive data exchange between the CERN particle accelerator and the NL Tier-1 (NL T1) research IT facilities at SURF and Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics. By reaching 800Gb/s per channel on older fiber varieties, Nokia and SURF prove that existing infrastructure still has tremendous potential, and that legacy optical fibers can be used to meet future capacity demands of the huge data streams generated by international scientific research instruments.

The trial was conducted over a 1648 km point-to-point fiber link connecting Amsterdam and Geneva, crossing Belgium and France. The fiber link is part of the SURF-network, which connects national research and education institutes in the Netherlands, such as Nikhef. Additionally, the SURF-network is also well connected to other research networks and experiments worldwide, including the LHC Optical Private Network (LHCOPN). The LHCOPN provides access to data at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator. For this trial, CERN, Nikhef, SURF and the ATLAS LHC experiment have collaborated to include real production workflows that are expected when the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) is operational.

SURF is preparing its network for CERN's LHC upgrade to the HL-LHC that will become operational in 2029. The discovery of the Higgs boson by the LHC has already revolutionized the world’s understanding of the universe. Expectations are that the future HL-LHC will reveal even deeper insights into the fundamental building blocks of the cosmos. This upgrade will not only provide more insightful research results and improve the potential for groundbreaking discoveries, but it will also produce enormous amounts of scientific data. The HL-LHC is expected to generate data at a rate of five times the speed of its predecessor. Therefore, it depends on advances in SURF’s high-performance network, as demonstrated in this trial, to enable fast and reliable data transfer to the NL T1 for further scientific exploration.

Nokia's sixth-generation super-coherent Photonic Service Engine (PSE-6s) was deployed on the Amsterdam-Geneva link, in combination with SURF's line system with equipment from a third-party on an older fiber link. It showed that the partners were able to achieve 800Gb/s transmission using 16QAM-shaped PCS modulation. Together, Nokia and SURF demonstrated the capacity and performance of their solutions, as well as the potential for SURF to increase the capacity and efficiency of its existing network. By focusing on the testing of new technologies with various suppliers, and through the adoption of advanced technology in its network, SURF ensures optimal service and support for the innovative, data-intensive projects of its research partners.

Read the full press release here.



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