Running between Beijing and London, ORIENTplus offers the shortest and fastest network route between the two regions, enabling innovative EU-China R&E collaborations to flourish. This trans-continental link connects the Chinese national research and education networks (NRENS) CERNET and CSTNET to the 50 million users of the pan-European GÉANT network. Jointly funded until 2014 by the European Union's FP7 programme, the Chinese government and European and Chinese NRENs, the project is coordinated by research networking organisation DANTE.
At the beginning of this year, the link capacity quadrupled from 2.5 Gbps of the predecessor project ORIENT to 10 Gbps to keep pace with increased user demand. "We very much welcome this upgrade. It is a fine example of the European Union, China and NRENs in both regions being committed to working together to provide world-class e-Infrastructure for world-class research and education", said Mr Kostas Glinos, Head of Unit e-Infrastructure, DG Connect at the European Commission.
"The growing research and technology development programmes as well as academic collaborations between China and Europe mean that there is a clear need for high-capacity connectivity to be further developed. This collaboration is more than just an Internet link. It connects our research communities and universities, bringing the best minds together", commented Mr Shen Yang, Minister Counsellor for Education, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in London.
ORIENTplus underpins a wide range of data-intensive and/or time-critical scientific collaborations between Europe and China including participation in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and ITER global energy fusion programmes, cosmic ray observation, radio-astronomy and Life Sciences projects. It also enables real-time, interactive knowledge transfer through innovative e-learning tools, such as stable, jitter-free videoconferencing.
Dr Ewan Birney, Associate Director at EBI-EMBL, explained how ORIENTplus is contributing to genome projects between the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI),: "Biology is producing incredible amounts of new experimental data every day, which is a goldmine for researchers but presents a new set of engineering challenges for the life sciences. The data we're generating is approaching the scale of CERN's Large Hadron Collider - only one order of magnitude smaller. Now more than ever, we need robust networks, scalable storage and fast compute so that we can realise the opportunities these data provide."
Dr Huib Jan van Langevelde, Director at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE), confirmed the importance of high-capacity connectivity for the radio-astronomy community: ""With this new direct link we are getting ready to connect more Chinese telescopes at higher bandwidth. Together, European and Asian telescopes offer astronomers the most accurate tool to observe the sky."
The new ORIENTplus connection operates in hybrid mode and can thus carry both IP and point-to-point traffic. In addition to the upgraded link capacity, dynamic point-to-point links will allow the project partners to support user communities with special networking requirements in a more flexible way.
Furthermore, vital research collaborations will be safeguarded through a recent mutual around-the- globe backup agreement between ORIENTplus, CERNET, Internet2 and TransPAC3 which guarantees network resilience and IP service availability by automatically re-routing the traffic via the US in the event of outages or cable cuts.
The ORIENTplus launch event is sponsored by China Unicom Europe.
ORIENTplus is a high capacity e-infrastructure linking European and Chinese researchers. It connects the Chinese national research and education networks (NRENs) CERNET and CSTNET to the 50 million users of the pan-European GÉANT network via a trans-Siberian link between Beijing and London. Jointly funded by the European Union, the Chinese government and European and Chinese NRENs until the end of 2014 it provides the highest capacity connection and the shortest network path between the two regions. ORIENTplus underpins a wide range of data- intensive collaborations including participation in the Large Hadron Collider study, the ITER global energy fusion programme, projects at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, genome research and the ARGO-YBJ cosmic ray observation initiative. ORIENTplus is a joint project of CERNET (China Education and Research Network) CSTNET (China Science and Technology Network) and 9 European NRENs – BASNET (BY), CESNET (CZ), DFN (DE), e-ARENA (RU), Consortium GARR (IT), GRNet (GR), Janet (UK), NORDUnet (DK, FI, IS, NO, SE) and PSNC (PL) - and is co-ordinated by research networking organisation DANTE. For more information, visit http://www.orientplus.eu
GÉANT is the high speed European communication network dedicated to research and education. In combination with its NREN partners, GÉANT creates a secure, high-speed research infrastructure that serves 50 million users in over 10,000 institutions across 50 European countries. Building on the success of its predecessors, GÉANT has been created around the needs of users, providing flexible, end-to-end services that transform the way that researchers collaborate. GÉANT is at the heart of global research networking through wide ranging connections with other world regions, underpinning vital projects that bridge the digital divide and benefit society as a whole. Co-funded by the European Commission under the EU's 7th Research and Development Framework Programme, GÉANT is the e-Infrastructure at the heart of the EU's European Research Area and contributes to the development of emerging Internet technologies. The project partners are 32 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE. GÉANT is operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe's NRENs. For more information, visit http://www.geant.net
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