News Release

ORION Selects Cisco ASR 9000 for Canada's Fastest Research and Education Network

Infrastructure Enhancements to Advance Pace of Research, Support New Technologies and Applications, and Lower Operating Costs
Nov 04, 2010

TORONTO, Canada – Nov. 4, 2010 – Cisco announced today that the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) has chosen the Cisco® ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers for its new Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) upgrade. These improvements will provide greater capacity to support increasing global collaboration, distance learning, distributed computing, data mining, and other advanced applications.

Facts and Highlights

  • The ORION project involves significant upgrades to the network's architecture and physical connection points. It introduces new features, including enhanced support for IPv6 in preparation for the impending exhaustion of IPv4 addresses,  Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), quality of service and enhanced traffic engineering.
  • The new capacity will help address explosive growth in the usage of the network. ORION reports a 40 percent spike in total backbone traffic in the last year alone.
  • By deploying the Cisco ASR 9000, ORION can consolidate several networks onto one IP network, thereby lowering operating and maintenance costs.
  • As a platform for Carrier Ethernet and IP/MPLS networks, the Cisco ASR 9000 delivers a per-slot capacity of up to 400 gigabits per second and the ability to scale up to 6.4 terabits per second while maintaining a reduced carbon footprint.
  • The 100GE-capable Cisco ASR 9000 is part of a multiple phase upgrade to ORION's entire network infrastructure, spanning more than 5,800 kilometers (3,600 miles) and scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2011.
  • A May 2010 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates the ORION network helps support more than 2,100 jobs and contributes an estimated CAD$147/US$145 million to Ontario GDP annually.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Dr. Darin Graham, ORION president and CEO
  • "100G is a significant technology milestone for ORION, particularly given the explosive growth we are seeing in our network usage. The network is essential to the day-to-day activities of our leading research and education institutions, engaged in world-leading research, innovation and scientific discovery."

  • Mark Kummer, vice president, service provider, Cisco Canada
  • "ORION is investing in technologies that will make a difference over the longterm through improved efficiencies. The technologies create next-generation learning environments and advance the pace of research and innovation by Ontario's leading research and education facilities."

Supporting Resources:

Technorati Tags:

ORION, Cisco, ASR 9000, Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network, IP NGN, Edge, Carrier Ethernet


Supporting speeds hundreds of times faster than the Internet, ORION is Ontario's advanced research and education network. A not-for-profit corporation, ORION links 1.7 million Ontario researchers, scientists, students, teachers and staff who depend on ORION for teaching and learning and to enable their research collaborations and discoveries in physics, cancer research, environmental science and technologies, social sciences and the humanities and multiple other disciplines. Part of Canada's advanced network alliance, ORION connects users and institutions to each other and, through CANARIE - Canada's advanced research and innovation network, to high-capacity research and education networks, partners and collaborators across Canada and around the world. Learn more at