1. JANET Connection Upgrade
Oxford University, like others in the UK, receives a connection to the Internet from JANET-UK, a government-funded ISP for higher and further education institutions. At the time of writing, our connection to the SuperJANET 5 service is 2GBits/s. You may recall this upgrade from 1GBit/s was installed in late summer 2007.
Since that time there has been a significant increase in network usage generally, but in particular in Internet-bound traffic. There are two primary causes: a significant increase in the amount of video content received via the Internet (not only the likes of YouTube, and iPlayer but also videoconferencing technology). Second, a number of departments in the University collaborating on research with sites elsewhere are using the Internet as a data transport. An example is the physicists receiving several hundred Mbits/s of data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
In recent months we have peaked at over 80% utilization on this link, which is outside the comfort zone for both ourselves and JANET-UK. We had a successful dialogue with JANET-UK to arrange an upgrade to 10GBits/s, which is now tenatively scheduled for August 18th.
Our new 10GBits/s service will be delivered on two 10GBits/s Ethernet fibre links, for resilience. At each end, each link arrives at a diffrerent line card in the router. From JANET-UK's router in Oxford, the links take geographically separate paths to their Point of Presence at Reading. You may be familiar with the Thames Valley Network, which carries these services for sites such as ourselves and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.