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Press Release -- November 22nd, 2019
Source: Ciena

Making R&E History: Ground-breaking, Long-haul 400 Gbps Ethernet Link Between Chicago and Denver on Internet2’s Research and Education Network

Live traffic passed at the SC Conference thanks to joint collaborative effort by Ciena, CenturyLink, Internet2 and Juniper Networks with support from SCinet

WASHINGTON, D.C. — November 22, 2019

Ciena, Internet2, and Juniper Networks confirmed successfully passing live traffic over a 1,367-mile circuit using a single 400 gigabit Ethernet link between Chicago and Denver, the first such occurrence for an advanced research and education (R&E) network.

The end-to-end 400G path between Chicago and Denver was achieved using a newly installed open line system capable of 400G and 800G wavelengths that Internet2, Ciena, and CenturyLink are deploying as the first segments of Internet2’s Next Generation Infrastructure program.

“Along with our partners, we are thrilled to continue to support the R&E community with their advanced technology infrastructure needs,” said Howard Pfeffer, president and CEO of Internet2. “The 400 gigabit Ethernet link on the new Internet2 open line system is utilizing state-of-the-art solutions from Ciena that will ultimately extend network programmability and scalability to our regional partners. Together with services from CenturyLink and demonstration switches from Juniper this SC Conference deployment is a model example of the kind of capacity we expect the U.S. R&E community to benefit from with the Next Generation Infrastructure program.”

Internet2 recently selected the latest photonic and coherent optical innovations from Ciena to transform its network to a more open, scalable, programmable, and adaptive architecture. Utilizing Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics will help improve network programmability and scalability to create one of the industry’s most advanced and open infrastructures.

“Internet2 has turned up the world’s longest R&E 400 gigabit Ethernet link between Chicago and Denver in time to meet huge bandwidth demands of SC19,” added Rod Wilson, Ciena chief technologist of research networks. “The 1,367-mile circuit is made possible through Ciena’s 6500 powered by WaveLogic Ai coherent optics without the need for Raman amplifiers or signal regeneration.”

The live traffic ran cleanly during a trial between StarLight in Chicago and SCinet at the SC Conference in Denver this week on the 400 gigabit Ethernet link connecting two Juniper PTX 10003 core routers.

“Juniper Networks is proud to be a part of this latest networking milestone. What Juniper and our partners have accomplished with this field trial promises to usher in a new era for high-capacity, next-gen networks,” said Andy Athreya, chief development officer at Juniper Networks. “400GbE innovations are the foundation of what will become the most advanced networks in the world, and the achievements made today showcase how far we’ve come in delivering the most cutting-edge technology on the market.”

A ceremony was held during Monday night’s SC19 opening gala celebration where Ciena, CenturyLink, Internet2, and Juniper Networks were recognized with the Spirit of Innovation for their significant role in advancing networking technologies in support of revolutionary applications and experiments.

About Internet2®
Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 320 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions, close to 1,000 InCommon participants, and 58 leading corporations working with our community, and 70 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.

Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

About Ciena
Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) is a networking systems, services and software company. We provide solutions that help our clients create the Adaptive NetworkTM in response to the constantly changing demands of their users. By delivering best-in-class networking technology through high-touch consultative relationships, we build the world’s most agile networks with automation, openness and scale. For updates on Ciena, follow us on Twitter @CienaLinkedIn, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit

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