“Axians Networks is a long-standing and credible partner of ours. They have been providing us with complementary skills and technical expertise for a number of years and also provide the ongoing maintenance of our current network. This historical relationship meant we had no hesitation in turning to Axians Networks for support.”
Tim Kidd – Executive Director, Jisc Technologies
Advanced new network inspires a future in UK Research & Education
Research & Education
Replacing the current Super JANET5 backbone, the Janet6 architecture facilitates further development of the UK’s knowledge economy
Janet, the UK’s national research and education network, is provided by Jisc. It provides infrastructure and related collaborative services to meet the needs of research and education communities. Jisc, the UK’s expert on digital technology for education and research is guided by funders, owners (AoC, GuildHE and UUK) and trustees. In addition, it provides connections between the Regional Broadband Consortia to facilitate the DfE initiative for a national schools’ network.
With pressure for the UK to keep pace with the rest of the world and take a leading role in international research, Jisc has adopted a five to seven year network refresh cycle to ensure its community continues to benefit from the latest technologies. Tim Kidd, executive director, Jisc Technologies explains,
“We operate a highly specialist network based around the needs of our research and education providers. It is vital that we continually invest in our network to ensure we’re able to provide good connectivity, low latency and high bandwidth at all times.”
The choice of technology and partners was extremely important. The new network – Janet6 – would be one of the most innovative national network resources in the world and it was vital that it was highly reliable and secure to support improved levels of service availability.
In scoping out the network design, it became apparent that Jisc could maximise existing investments with Juniper Networks T1600 Core Routers. However, Jisc did have to make some investments in its core routers to support existing users on the SuperJANET5 network whilst development work and testing were carried out, as John Seymour, Head of Network Operations at Jisc Technologies notes,
“You can’t just go from one network to another; the network service must run seamlessly for our customers; you have to run two networks simultaneously before you are confident that the new one is fully operational.”
Working closely on the project, Axians proposed a cost-effective upgrade of several of the core routers to Juniper Networks T4000 – the highest capacity half rack routers in Juniper’s T Series family.
As well as refreshing the core, Axians implemented a refresh of its ‘Lightpath Bandwidth-on-Demand’ network (a centrally managed service and dedicated point-to-point network).
Axians redeployed Juniper Networks MX960 3D Universal Edge Routers into a number of the PoPs, to be used as aggregation routers – namely in University of London, Senate House and Imperial College London, with further MX960s deployed as part of an overall strategy to create a new homogenous, London Regional Network to connect some 150+ institutions and serve a community of approximately 1 million end users.
“Janet6 has been designed to ensure the capacity, resilience and flexibility for research and education, across the UK, for the next 5 to 10 years,” concludes Tim Kidd. “With the help of Axians Networks and Juniper Networks, we have deployed a new national network that is 4X faster than its predecessor and has ensured the best value for our customers.”