Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Nortel Develops Integrated Data Encryption for 10 Gbps Networks

Nortel, in collaboration with CANARIE, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, SURFnet, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, has demonstrated a prototype optical switch with integrated data encryption operating at 10 Gbps.

Nortel said the ability to use real-time encryption to secure the transport of large amounts of time sensitive information has applications in many industries, such as media distribution in the entertainment industry, global scientific collaboration using grid computing by the research community, and real-time data back-up for the financial industry.

Nortel is demonstrating its integrated encryption technology for super-fast optical networks this week at iGrid in San Diego, an event showcasing ongoing global collaborations in grid computing. The demonstration, which is occurring at the iGrid conference in San Diego, transmits real-time encrypted data from an electronic visualization application over a 10 Gbps SONET network that spans thousands of fiber miles. Application data is encrypted from source locations in Amsterdam, Chicago, and Ottawa and transported to the iGrid show floor in San Diego where the data is viewed and manipulated on an integrated 55 screen, 100 million pixel video display.

To enable this proof of concept demonstration, hardware capable of 256-bit AES encryption at 10 Gbps line speeds has been integrated into a standard Nortel Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 switch. By encrypting the application data payload before packaging it into a SONET envelope for transport, the encrypted traffic can travel across standards-based SONET networks to be decrypted on the other side. This integration of encryption functionality into the optical switch enables reduced network complexity, lower operational expenses through reduced power and space requirements, and higher network reliability through the inherent carrier-grade attributes of the optical switch.

The live demonstration uses an electronic visualization application provided by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Network connectivity for the demonstration is being provided by CANARIE and SURFnet through international peering points on Northwestern's Chicago campus (StarLight) and in Amsterdam (NetherLight). Facilities participating in the demonstration include the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Amsterdam, the Calit2 facility at the University of California, San Diego, and the Nortel research and development lab in Ottawa. http://www.nortel.com

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