Test & Measurement

EXFO tests terabit research network

27 February 2019 Test & Measurement

EXFO, C Spire and Nokia Bell Labs have collaborated on a demonstration of a terabit-speed research network.

To put it into context, networks running at this speed would make it possible to download a two-hour 4K video in 0,8 seconds, or the entire contents of an academic research library in 2 seconds.

While terabit-speed networks have been shown before, EXFO’s contribution made this the first proof of technology that could generate, monitor and test these next-gen speeds.

The demo, led by C Spire, came on the heels of its complete technology overhaul of MissiON (the Mississippi Optical Network). As the next step in its long-term vision to provide the nation’s first terabit-speed research network, C Spire approached EXFO to help by providing high-speed testing equipment for its trial, which used fibre-optic connections to link two Mississippi State University data centres.

EXFO’s contribution to this ground-breaking demo was to generate one full TbE (Terabit Ethernet, which equates to 1000 Gbps) with five combined 100G dual-port test modules (FTBx-88200NGE Power Blazers). The high-speed traffic was injected into the simulated network and then returned to EXFO’s test platform to validate data transport and critical performance parameters.

“With this simulation, we were able to successfully test the first terabit-speed connections on a Mississippi university campus and demonstrate the viability of ultra-high-speed networks not only from the perspective of traffic generation but also testing and monitoring,” said Anabel Alarcon, product specialist at EXFO. “We had this trial up and running in 15 minutes – without a glitch. If it’s any indication of the future, bring it on! It goes without saying that we are very excited and optimistic.”

EXFO is also looking ahead to 1,6 Tb Ethernet networks, and is simulating equipment that doesn’t yet exist so that when the time comes, it can serve its customers at that frontier and beyond.

For more information contact Chris Nel, Lambda Test Equipment, +27 12 349 1341, chris@lambdatest.co.za, www.lambdatest.co.za


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