Providing international connectivity and is an essential part of what NORDUnet does. We do that in collaboration with all European NRENs as part of GÉANT, and we do that in smaller groups of willing-and-able NRENS, exploring new technologies, driving European networking evolution, and sharing resources to lower cost and provide more capacity than we could do alone.
Fibre Sharing with European NRENs
The NORDUnet network reaches key locations in Europe, such as major exchanges for both commercial and R&E traffic, major research facilities, location for major cloud providers, and landing points for trans-Atlantic and other global traffic. A major cost of the network is optical fibres. NORDUnet has therefore for more than 10 years worked in close partnerships with European NRENs with a similar strategy for European networking, specifically Dutch NRNE SURF (formerly SURFnet) and Polish NREN PSNC.
The collaboration was initiated by a desire to directly interconnect the networks of PSNC, NORDUnet and SURF, and to provide NORDUnet and PSCN with direct connectivity to Amsterdam, a key gateway to both commercial internet providers and global connectivity. This lead to a MoU signed in , committing the partners to work together on sharing network resources and interconnectivity their optical networks by meeting in Hamburg.
From there, the collaboration has led to both significant technological advanced on optical spectrum sharing, allowing multiple optical network to share a single fibre, and to sharing of fibre resources of NORDUnet, PSNC, and SURF, allowing all three partners to have private, resilient, high-capacity network between Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Frankfurt, as well as to the CERN research facility in Geneva.
Baltic Regional Networking
NORDUnet works closely with research and education networks in the Baltic sea area. In addition to PSNC in Poland (see above), NORDUnet has a longstanding tradition of working directly with NRENs in Russia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
NORDUnet operates a Global Exchange Point (GXP) in Helsinki, Finland. This exchange allow networks in the region – specifically in Russia, the Nordic countries, and the Baltic states to directly exchange. Using the exchange, NORDUnet connect directly to Russian NREN RUNNET, on an optical fibre infrastructure from Helsinki to St. Petersburg operated by RUNNET. In this way, Russian and Nordic researchers can exchange traffic, and NORDUnet and RUNNET can work together to ensure the best possible connectivity between Russian R&E and Western Europe and beyond. In this way we continue a collaboration with RUNNET that go back more than 20 years.
In a similar manner, Estonian NREN EEnet operate an optical network connection between Tallinn and Helsinki, allowing direct connection between NORDUnet and EEnet. Using the connection, NORDUnet provide global network peering access to EEnet, and provide optical network capacity between EEnet and the GÉANT network. NORDUnet also provide global network peering for PSNC (Poland) and LITNET (Lithuania) through optical network connectivity provide but NORDUnet, PSNC and LITNET, connecting those network directly to NORDUnet in Hamburg.
For the next generation of the GÉANT network, NORDUnet, GÉANT, PSNC, and the Baltic NRENs are collaborating to share existing optical networks and acquire new network resources where needed, realizing a dream to create a NREN owned and operated optical fibre ring around the Baltic sea, greatly improving connectivity and resilience for all countries in the region, including the Nordic NRENs.