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The Edge Network Technology

As one of the nation’s advanced research and education networks, the Edge network (EdgeNet) needs to support a diverse range of users and services from standard IP transit services to ultra-high capacity data transport capability. Edge has built a dual layer network able to integrate these service demands across a single core structure. The two layers include the Transmission Layer and Packet Layer.

Transmission Layer

The transmission layer is built on the dark fiber core of the network, either on Edge points of presence (PoPs) or on leased wavelengths from national research and education networking organizations. Edge combines industry-leading Cisco ONS 15454 and EKINOPS 360 Transport Platform to light the fiber, the platform delivers rates from 100Mbps to 200G today and can scale to 400G. Edge has employed Cisco ONS 15454 ONS integrated optical amplifiers to drive the fiber backbone.  The Cisco and EKINOPS equipment is used to deliver Lambda services to Edge members and IP trunks between the Edge Core routers.

Packet Layer

The packet layer is a converged layer that supports both Layer2 and Layer3 services.  This design means that Edge can offer both Ethernet connections and IP services on this layer. Edge implements the packet layer with Cisco ASR9K Series equipment using the Cisco IOS® XR operating system. The ASR9k Series equipment is a carrier grade router which supports MPLS and other services. The Edge network currently delivers its Layer 2 services using Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology.