Pacific Northwest Gigapop


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Pacific Northwest Gigapop, CENIC, and Internet2 Extend West Coast Agreement

Berkeley, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC

The Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP), CENIC, and Internet2 announced today that they will renew their collaboration to provide networking capabilities across the entire West Coast of the United States, and to continue their joint efforts to develop new network capabilities. The term of the renewal is five years (2017 – 2022) with additional extensions possible. This shared infrastructure, using CENIC and PNWGP fiber-optic cable and Internet2’s Ciena optical system, supports the West Coast portion of Internet2’s nationwide backbone network. It also supports other CENIC and PNWGP networks and network initiatives, including the West Coast backbone of the Pacific Wave International Exchange, as well as the underlying infrastructure for the core of the National Science Foundation-funded Pacific Research Platform (PRP).

This shared infrastructure will enable further upgrades of the Pacific Wave International Exchange, a project of CENIC and PNWGP, which provides a distributed, ultra-high performance interconnection and peering fabric that links U.S. researchers and their international partners. Twenty-seven networks representing more than 40 countries throughout the Pacific Rim, the Americas, and the Middle East connect to one another via Pacific Wave. Presently, Pacific Wave has access nodes in in Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Denver, Albuquerque, and El Paso and is directly connected to the StarLight International Exchange in Chicago, providing connectivity to all major European R&E networks. Additional new nodes of Pacific Wave are planned for December 2017 in Texas and Oklahoma.

“This is a significant collaboration with Internet2, one of several, which enables network interconnection and transit capabilities for our U.S. and international research partners in order to achieve the performance and service capabilities required by researchers who depend heavily on high-speed access to large datasets, remote scientific instruments, multi-institutional collaborations, and computing resources,” noted Louis Fox, president and CEO of CENIC.

“We have a long history of collaboration with CENIC and PNWGP, and it’s imperative that we continue to support the big data requirements of some of the world’s most extraordinary research projects,” said Howard Pfeffer, president, and CEO of Internet2. “This is exactly why this partnership is so important because it allows us to collectively support scientific research and discovery for research and education communities in the U.S. and beyond.”

“By working together, and co-investing shared resources PNWGP, CENIC and Internet2 have made it possible for all of us to do much more, and in reality do it better, with less than if we pursued these infrastructure deployments alone,” noted Ron Johnson CEO of PNWGP. “That has proven true not only in terms of the clear economic and operational advantages we have all enjoyed, but also in terms of the important intellectual synergies it has generated in our thinking about, and working together towards, the next generation of capabilities we can develop.”.

Please see the maps of Pacific Wave and Internet2 topologies at the end of this news release.

About CENIC | 
CENIC connects California to the world—advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers and others at vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, USC, and the Naval Postgraduate School. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.

About Pacific Northwest Gigapop | 
The Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) is a nonprofit corporation serving research and education organizations throughout the Pacific Rim. We provide cost-effective, robust, reliable, high-bandwidth, and high-capacity networking to support the missions of these organizations and the needs of researchers, faculty, students, and staff. PNWGP designs, implements, and manages a multi-state high- bandwidth and high-capacity network specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of research and education communities. We provide access to next-generation internet services and technologies, to exclusive R&D testbeds where tomorrow’s internet technologies are being developed, and to research and education networks and research organizations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, the Pacific Rim, and Europe. The PNWGP is built to be among the highest caliber research and education networks in the world.

About Internet2 | 
Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 324 U.S. universities, 59 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 94,000 community anchor institutions, over 900 InCommon participants, and 78 leading corporations working with our community, and 61 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.

Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s research and education network infrastructure supports millions of user applications each day and delivers advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by a community-developed trust and identity framework.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

About Pacific Wave | 
Today, Pacific Wave, a project of the Corporation for Education Networking in California (CENIC) and Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP), includes the following facilities and capabilities: 

  • Pacific Wave enables science-driven high-capacity data-centric networks, enabling researchers to move data between collaborator sites, supercomputer centers or Science DMZs without performance degradation 
  • Peering, with multiple open exchange peering points available at three U.S. Pacific coast locations, including the Bay Area (Sunnyvale and Palo Alto), Los Angeles (three sites), and Seattle; three U.S. interior locations in Denver, Albuquerque, and El Paso; and two sites in Tokyo, Japan. More than 16 major, internationally-recognized research, and education networks are among its dozens of participants. The distributed design of Pacific Wave allows participants to engage in bilateral peerings regardless of which node they are physically connected to. This design offers significant flexibility and opportunities for networks utilizing any of a dozen trans-Pacific cables for their circuits as well as for building redundancy and robustness into peering relationships that would otherwise be cost prohibitive and complex to engineer. Current participants represent networks and agencies from throughout the Pacific Rim including Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States 
  • A full function research DMZ platform spanning Seattle, Sunnyvale and Los Angeles with dedicated 100Gbps backbone augmented with extensions throughout the western United States and Chicago that is patterned on, and connects to, the pioneering ESnet Science DMZ capability and which presently hosts the new NSF-funded Pacific Research Platform (PRP) 
  • Multiple, geographically diverse 100Gbps connections – in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago – to Internet2’s backbone nodes and full range of advanced network capabilities.
  • A parallel, dedicated SDN/SDX testbed with access points in Seattle, Sunnyvale and Los Angeles, enabling collaborative efforts with StarLight, WIDE/T-REX and others to explore regional and international interoperability of next-generation network and exchange capabilities.  

About the Pacific Research Platform | 

From biomedical sciences to particle physics, nearly all of today’s research and data analysis involve remote collaboration. To work effectively and efficiently on multi-institutional projects, researchers depend heavily on high-speed access to large datasets and computing resources. Helping meet the needs of researchers in California and beyond, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a five-year, $5 million grant to fund the Pacific Research Platform (PRP, The PRP integrates Science DMZs (, an architecture developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), into a high-capacity regional “freeway system.” This system makes it possible for large amounts of scientific data to be moved, without performance degradation, between scientists’ labs and their collaborators’ sites, super-computer centers, or data repositories. Led by researchers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, the PRP enables fast and secure data transfers between researchers at more than 20 universities, and supports a broad range of data-intensive research projects in areas such as cancer genomics, cultural preservation, galaxy evolution research, climate modeling, and the creation of virtual reality gaming systems. PRP leverages Pacific Wave’s rich international and domestic peering fabric and is implemented across the Pacific Wave’s science-DMZ infrastructure, which in turn is provisioned on 100Gbps waves, many of which derive from CENIC’s and PNWGP’s infrastructure collaborations with Internet2.

Jonah Keough