News Release

North Carolina Networking Initiative Expands Regional GigaPoP with Cisco Optical DWDM Solution

Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP delivers 2.5-Gbps and 10-Gbps wavelengths for advanced university research applications
Jun 02, 2003

ATLANTA, and SAN JOSE, Calif., June 2, 2003 - The North Carolina Networking Initiative (NCNI), a consortium of North Carolina research-intensive universities, and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), announced today that NCNI is deploying the Cisco® ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) in its network to support advanced research activities. With the Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP, NCNI's network provides an extensible and efficient infrastructure for North Carolina universities.

NCNI is a consortium of the three doctoral/research-extensive universities of North Carolina's Research Triangle: Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and of MCNC, a private, nonprofit organization that seeks to enhance economic development by providing a variety of technology services.

Because Cisco has integrated dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) functions directly into the Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP, service providers and enterprises, like NCNI, need fewer networking devices to deliver metropolitan-area-network services to their customers. A decreased need for networking equipment reduces capital and operating expenses. With the Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP, the NCNI network will have significantly more flexibility in the DWDM layer than traditional non-integrated long-haul solutions.

"We looked for a system that fit our extended 200-km-ring metro-environment backbone architecture and offered considerable lower long-term cost of ownership," said John Streck, NCNI technical director and director for Networking Research and Development at NC State University. "The Cisco ONS 15454 with integrated DWDM capabilities introduces additional flexibility into the current NCNI MORPHnet architecture from power, footprint, maintenance and campus-attachment perspective."

"The NCNI consortium is a partnership that reaches beyond university walls," said Joel Dunn, NCNI executive director and UNC-CH associate vice chancellor for Information Technology. "The advanced network the consortium provides allows for effective collaboration among Duke, NC State, and UNC-CH, and the development of leading-edge applications that drive scientific research and economic development in the area and the state."

Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform Benefits

NCNI chose the Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP to support the network expansion for its photonics flexibility and intelligence. The Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP integrated DWDM function provides multi-rate transponders and muxponders for time-division multiplexing (TDM), data, storage, and video wavelength services; flexible optical add/drop multiplexers (OADMs); advanced amplifiers for transmission from tens to hundreds of kilometers; and network intelligence through software enhancements for point-and-click setup. In addition, it has automated optical power management and wavelength additions, and A-Z wavelength provisioning. The Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP, with its capacity advantages of fiber in the metro network, will help to greatly lower the costs of using DWDM by integrating it transparently into existing services and networks. In addition, the new capabilities help to lower costs by providing all new capabilities for fiber.

North Carolina Networking Initiative Network

The NCNI network uses the MORPHnet (Multi-Modal Organizational Research and Production Heterogeneous Network) model. Using MORPHnet as a foundation for advanced applications such as brain imaging, researchers can introduce research traffic and features into the network without adversely affecting production services on the same network. The NCNI network has evolved from a four-node OC-48 Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) ring with a 622-Mbps Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) overlay using Cisco LightStream® 1010 switches connected to Cisco 7513 routers. That network was replaced in 1999 when NCNI obtained six strands of fiber in a private ring of about 100 miles. At that time NCNI transformed the IP network into a six-node Dynamic Packet Transport (DPT) ring that uses Cisco 12008 routers and operates at 2.5 Gbps.

"NCNI has the opportunity to assist North Carolina universities in gaining a competitive edge in the areas of research, distance learning, and other advanced applications," said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president and general manager, Optical Networking Group, Cisco Systems®. "Cisco looks forward to continuing this relationship with the consortium and all of the universities involved."