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Across the North Atlantic for research and education

IU-led Networks for European, American, and African Research Project part of new agreement to secure additional bandwidth and resilience for international science collaborations

Apr 19, 2018

Addressing the exponentially growing needs of international science collaborations, connectivity providers for research and education continue to find new ways to join forces.

In 2016, a six-party strong collaboration between North American and European research and education network providers secured a record-breaking 640 Gbit/s bandwidth for R & E across the North Atlantic. This alliance has now strengthened its cooperation to bring even more bandwidth, resiliency, and redundancy to networking for research and education, supporting global research collaborations that are advancing knowledge to help solve our most pressing problems.

Memorandum of Understanding signed

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the partners involved in the Advanced North Atlantic (ANA) collaboration (CANARIE, ESnet, GÉANT, Internet2, NORDUnet, and SURF) and the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Networks for European, American, and African Research (NEAAR) Project. The MoU paves the way for a future cooperative partnership offering a combined capability to the R & E community that far exceeds what any single organization can provide.

The collaboration is based on capacity sharing, reciprocal backup agreements, and joint operations of high-speed 100 Gbit/s interconnects through Global R and E Exchange Points (GXPs). Moreover, with the additional NEAAR link now available, the transatlantic R & E bandwidth has risen to 800 Gbit/s, with the new link further strengthening its resilience.

The MoU between the ANA collaboration and the NEAAR Project takes global collaboration in R & E networking to a new and unprecedented level of interaction and resource sharing, in order to meet the international R & E community’s increasing need for high-speed global network connectivity.

"We are pleased to be the latest partner in this wide-reaching collaboration. It is through partnerships and collaborations that we can best support research and education end users efficiently and reliably. We look forward to being a part of this team of community leaders."

Jennifer Schopf, Principal Investigator, NEAAR Project

The partners

The Advanced North Atlantic (ANA) collaboration started in 2012 as a technology project to challenge the market to deliver 100 Gbit/s trans-Atlantic circuits. Since then, it has grown into a strong collaboration between six R&E networking organizations from North America (CANARIE, ESnet, and Internet2) and Europe (GÉANT, NORDUnet, and SURF), with a steering group and working groups on operations, technology, cost sharing and legal.

The NEAAR Project is a cross-organizational initiative providing services and bandwidth to connect researchers within the United States with their counterparts in Europe and Africa. Indiana University jointly leads the NEAAR collaboration with GÉANT, the European research and education network (REN), and with the African regional RENs. In addition to a 100 Gbit/s lambda between the United States and Europe, the NEAAR Project facilitates science engagement with researchers throughout Europe and Africa.

New level of collaboration

The ANA collaboration has inspired similar initiatives in other regions. Looking to the future, the ANA collaboration aims to inspire more intercontinental collaborations and will work with the telecommunications industry to create powerful, resilient and sustainable intercontinental transmission systems for research and education.

Partner quotes about the new agreement

Howard Pfeffer, President and CEO, Internet2:

"We believe collaboration has been, and will continue to be, the core mission of supporting global research and education. All the partners involved in this collaboration continue to demonstrate their unique ability to work collectively toward a shared vision. Internet2 looks forward to continuing this global effort in support of advancing knowledge and scholarship."

René Buch, CEO, NORDUnet:

"Collaboration though projects like ANA is the cornerstone in the creation of a global R&E infrastructure. Joining resources both financially and organizationally is the only viable way forward for the NRENs to provide researchers and students with a global infrastructure that has sufficient bandwidth and reach to support research and education, not only today but also in the future. NORDUnet has a strong commitment to this common goal and is investing significant resources facilitating this paradigm on a global scale.”

Inder Monga, Executive Director, ESnet:

“This private-public collaboration has been exemplary in proving how multiple partners, in different countries, can work toward the common good for the science, research and education community. We welcome NEAAR as ANA’s new partner and continued collaborative efforts on science engagement across continents.”

Erwin Bleumink, Member, SURF Board:

“Research and educational institutions are increasingly using large research facilities, educational content, and e-infrastructure services delivered by providers or fellow institutions all over the world. It is essential to ensure that our network is connected to the rest of the world. Therefore, we’re proud to work with our global partners to design and deliver a Global Network Architecture. The MoU between ANA and NEAAR show that the principles defined in this architecture lead to successful collaborations.”

Jim Ghadbane, President and CEO, CANARIE:

“We are strong proponents of the power of collaborations to build and evolve the network infrastructure that enables global multidisciplinary research and innovation. We look forward to continuing to strengthen this partnership and to applying its principles to future collaborations.”

Erik Huizer, CEO, GÉANT:

“The ANA collaboration is a prime example of how international research networks collaborate and share resources to obtain the best possible performance for research and education. GÉANT is proud to be part of that collaboration which delivers unprecedented data capacity to the European research and education community. We are very pleased to be part of the collaborative model of sharing capacity and increasing resilience through reciprocal back-up agreements which further strengthen GÉANT's global reach. We welcome NEAAR as ANA's new MoU partner.”

Jennifer Schopf, Principal Investigator, NEAAR Project:

“We are pleased to be the latest partner in this wide-reaching collaboration. It is through partnerships and collaborations that we can best support R&E end users efficiently and reliably. We look forward to being a part of this team of community leaders.”

About the NEAAR Project

The Networks for European, American, and African Research (NEAAR) collaboration provides services and bandwidth connecting researchers in the US with their counterparts in Europe and Africa. Indiana University jointly leads the NEAAR collaboration with GÉANT, the European research and education network (REN), and the African regional RENs. NEAAR also collaborates in the US with Internet2 and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). NEAAR supports circuits and network services between the US East coast and Europe, in addition to extensive training and science engagement activities to support US collaborations with researchers in Europe and Africa. Through its extensive regional partnerships, NEAAR has the potential to reach R&E communities in over 80 countries across three continents.


About IU International Networks

International Networks at IU leads two large-scale international research networks that link scientists around the world—the NSF-funded Networks for European, American, and African Research(NEAAR) and TransPAC4, which connects the US to Asia.