Innovative SingAREN Solutions Facilitated A High Speed and Stable SCION Connectivity between Singapore ETH Centre@CREATE (SEC) and ETH@Zürich

Innovative SingAREN Solutions Facilitated A High Speed and Stable SCION Connectivity between Singapore ETH Centre@CREATE (SEC) and ETH@Zürich

17 April 2024SingAREN, in collaboration with Singapore ETH Centre @ CREATE (SEC), enabled a fast and stable SCION connectivity between SEC and ETH@ Zürich.

SCION is a new Internet architecture designed at the Network Security Group of ETH Zürich. It provides path aware routing, failure isolation and explicit trust information for end-to-end communication with the necessary security encryption that VPN originally accomplished but without the performance bottleneck using the VPN.

In a recent SCION demonstration on 20 Mar 2024, Dr Felix Kottmann from SEC reported that the transfer via VPN of 1 gigabyte data between SEC and ETH Zürich takes about 55 minutes. The current bandwidth achieved and the resulting time needed limits the possibility for sending large datasets between the SEC and the computing resources in Switzerland. With the deployment of SCION connectivity, the time has been reduced to 15 seconds, a 200+ times reduction.  The bandwidth achieved with SCION was 800 Mbps, close to the port speed.

To enable SCION connectivity from SEC to ETH Zürich, SEC would need to connect to the node of the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KISTI) at Singapore via SingAREN using a virtual LAN (VLAN). However, the NUS network, which CREATE is part of, does not support VLANs. To overcome this constraint, SEC, CREATE IT, and National University of Singapore (NUS) IT collaborated with SingAREN to set up a static VXLAN tunnel over the publicly routed layer 3 network between CREATE and the KISTI node at SOE-2.  Please refer to Figure 1 for the network topology.

Figure 1: Enabling SCION Connectivity from SEC to ETH@Zurich: VXLAN topology (top) on Layer 3 to route over NUS-KISTI@Singapore (bottom)


Multiple test runs have since been conducted to verify the stability and performance of the SCION Connectivity using the VXLAN from SEC to ETH Zürich as shown in Figure 2.  

Figure 2. Topology for VLAN only setup vs VXLAN setup (as shown in red line)


“With the SCION connection at SEC, we have not only a high performance connection to ETH Zürich, but can also match increased security requirements, and have a test-bed for our research in the field of internet resilience”, said Dr Felix Kottmann, Lead-PI for “Future Internet Resilience Economics”.

“SingAREN is happy to assist in enabling the successful deployment of SCION. We see this as a step forward to support high throughput communication among researchers, which is critical in today’s data driven research. “ said A/Prof. Francis Lee Bu Sung, President SingAREN.

SingAREN would like to thank SEC, CREATE IT, NUS IT, KISTI, ETH and GEANT for their support and co-operation that contributed to the success of this project.


This article was written by Vee Len and co-edited by Dr Felix Kottmann

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