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The MIT Regional Optical Network. Mark Silis Senior Manager Network & Infrastructure Services. Agenda. Background Fiber Acquisition Optical Vendor Selection Network Design and Build Out Ongoing Optical Network Operations and Management Questions.

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the mit regional optical network

The MIT Regional Optical Network

Mark Silis

Senior Manager Network & Infrastructure Services

  • Background
  • Fiber Acquisition
  • Optical Vendor Selection
  • Network Design and Build Out
  • Ongoing Optical Network Operations and Management
  • Questions
  • Boston/New England is not a key Internet exchange point. High speed research networks primarily focused in New York City (MANLan) for the east coast.
  • MIT Boston Metro Fiber Network
  • Bandwidth and connectivity becoming critical components of research and collaborations
    • LHCnet/CMS Tier 2
    • Darwin/NLR
    • ESnet
  • Internet2 and NLR ongoing soap opera
  • High speed connectivity for MIT’s disaster recovery location
  • Depressed dark fiber market after surplus of early 2000
large hadron collider lhc
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Output: 16 Petabyte per year

(4Gb/s 24 x 7)

fiberco and vermont telephone
FiberCo and Vermont Telephone
  • FiberCo - An organization within Internet2 focused at offering dark fiber and services from Level3 Communications at aggregated competitive rates to the Internet2 community.
  • Vermont Telephone - A telecommunications company providing voice and data services to the state of Vermont. Owned and operated by a generous MIT alumnus who wanted to assist MIT.
dark fiber acquisition
Dark Fiber Acquisition
  • MIT completed the acquisition of a 20 year dark fiber IRU connecting Boston, New York City and Baltimore from Level3 through FiberCo.
  • MIT had a limited time opportunity and was able to obtain the dark fiber from Level3 at 2003 prices in 2006. Needed to complete negotiations over an approximately one month period.
  • MIT also completed the acquisition of a 20 year IRU for a diverse fiber pathway from Boston to New York City through Vermont Telephone.
  • Level3 dark fiber is corning LEAF fiber and Vermont Telephone dark fiber is SMF-28
  • MIT also acquired colocation services along the route to provide amplification and add/drop capability along the route.
optical vendor selection
Optical Vendor Selection
  • Once MIT completed the acquisition of the dark fiber from Level3 and Vermont Telephone it began the process of selecting an optical vendor to “light” the dark fiber.
  • MIT elected to light the dark fiber using DWDM technology in order to provide maximum utilization of the dark fiber.
  • MIT evaluated several vendors including: Cisco, Nortel, MRV, and Ciena.
  • MIT selected Nortel to provide the DWDM equipment and professional services to light the network.
nortel optical network technology
Nortel Optical Network Technology
  • MIT Optical Network built using Nortel’s Common Photon Layer (CPL) and Optical Multi-service Edge (OME) 6500.
  • Technology provides for 72 wavelengths of 10Gb/s and 40Gb/s utilizing the MIT’s dark fiber.
  • OME 6500s allow MIT to build light paths spanning greater distances without regeneration and dispersion compensation thanks to Nortel’s NGM technology using tunable lasers and electronic dynamically compensating optics (eDCO).
  • Nortel’s enhanced reconfigurable add/drop multiplexer (eROADM) allows for the flexible routing of any wavelength on light paths throughout the network.
  • Optical Service Channel (OSC) simplifies remote network management.
network design and build out
Network Design and Build Out
  • Nortel professional services were engaged and acquired as part of our optical vendor selection to help design and build the network for MIT.
  • Network installation and configuration as you know it today, is significantly different and more challenging when the sites are separated by great distances and in difficult locations.
  • Precision in planning and implementation is critical as you may not be able to simply go to the site and clarify or explain what you are requesting.
  • Managing the relationship with the carrier and interacting with their field services requires significant time and focus, this cannot be stressed enough.
  • Network construction began in January of 2007 and took a year to complete. Significant time was spent addressing inter-carrier fiber issues between Level3 and Vermont Telephone.
ongoing optical network operations and management
Ongoing Optical Network Operations and Management
  • Optical network technology utilizes several different types of management interfaces such as TL1, which if you have not managed optical networks before, your staff may not have experience using.
  • Documentation, documentation, documentation is extremely critical when you are managing a network that you cannot simply walk to the computer room to answer your question.
  • Support contracts and services that provide for on-site technicians to perform the repairs or maintenance work are critical.
  • Network monitoring and management of SNMP traps and alarms is a critical requirement for optical networks. ICMP monitoring is simply not sufficient.
  • Ensure you have sufficient out-of-band (OOB) network access to your remote locations.
  • Ensure you have a good GPS and a map if you need to visit some of your remote amplifier locations.