Enabling Resilient Network Connectivity via Collaborations by Global NRENs

Enabling Resilient Network Connectivity via Collaborations by Global NRENs

NREN partners provide network traffic backup paths via the Asia-Pacific Europe Ring (AER) collaboration, enabling an extremely robust and resilient network ring.

14 Jun 2024 – Network communication connectivity between Asia and Europe are mainly by submarine cables passing through the Red Sea. Over the past year, we have seen more than normal submarine cable cuts. The geo-political situation has also aggravated the time taken to repair the cable cuts.

The users are not feeling the effect of the cut due to the resilience built into the connectivity via an understanding between NRENs to back up each other’s traffic via the Asia-Pacific Europe Ring (AER) collaboration. Thus, the NREN’s primary paths being disrupted by the cuts are rerouted via alternative links.

Figure 1: Asia-Pacific Europe Ring (AER) network map (Link breaks as of May 2024 are indicated as crosses.)

Source: https://aer-network.net

As an illustration, the CAE-1 link running on the SEA-ME-WE 5 (SMW5) submarine cable was cut in mid-April 2024.  The traffic was then rerouted to other links. SingAREN’s traffic was rerouted through the NII Singapore-Tokyo-Amsterdam path whereas AARNet’s traffic was rerouted to the KAUST links. The NRENs have built a resilient connection between EU and Asia regions.

Keith Slater, GÉANT’s operation manager and AER lead engineer said, “The submarine cable cuts have certainly challenged our backup plans. It was amazing how the NREN engineers worked with each other to set up the backup paths to ensure that the traffic was redirected accordingly. In some cases, the rerouting to another backup as the first backup link has been cut.”

Osamu Akashi, Project Professor of National Institute of Informatics – Tokyo Japan, commented that, “The SINET connectivity to Europe is implemented by four 100 Gbps links via USA that was only recently established in March 2024. NII is happy to assist its AER partners, to carry some of the traffic between Europe and Asia during this period of cable-cut disruption.“

Steve Maddocks, Director of International at AARNet Pty Ltd, pointed out that “Reliable international connectivity is crucial for the Australian research and education community. To support this, AARNet established a point of presence in London, improving connectivity with European research and education networks. Additionally, backup paths between Singapore and London, available through the collaborative AER consortium, have proven invaluable for maintaining connectivity to London and Europe during numerous submarine and terrestrial cable cuts.”

Through the AER collaboration, it has enabled an extremely robust and resilient network ring, to advance research and education between Europe and Asia.



Asia-Pacific Europe Ring (AER) website 

The website features news on collaborations and applications made possible via the AER.


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