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Light Blue Fibre’s full-fibre network enables high-performance computing in Cambridge region

A new full-fibre network linking Cambridge science and research parks with key sites across the UK and Europe will help enable the age of high performance computing and artificial intelligence.

Researchers and the life science industry need a robust network that enables high-performance computing (43908093)
Researchers and the life science industry need a robust network that enables high-performance computing (43908093)

Light Blue Fibre - a joint venture launched by the University of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire County Council in 2019 - has brought euNetworks on board as infrastructure provider, along with the UK Innovation Corridor’s most advanced data centre, Kao Data, in Harlow.

More than 100km of ducting and wholesale dark fibre - meaning unlit fibre connections available for use - are in place from Light Blur Fibre in the Cambridge region for use by the education, research and life science communities.

euNetworks has been tasked with delivering operational and maintenance support for both dark fibre and multi-Terabit high speed managed optical services across the network.

Brady Rafuse, CEO of euNetworks (43907943)
Brady Rafuse, CEO of euNetworks (43907943)

These services will be available “from early 2021” to Light Blue Fibre connected organisations, partners, wholesale internet service providers (ISPs) and campuses.

Direct fibre connection to Kao Data’s campus in Harlow and fibre-based routes to London, around the UK and across Europe are also available from euNetworks.

Professor Ian Leslie, chair of Light Blue Fibre, said: “This is a very exciting development. Light Blue Fibre is connected into many of the key campus locations in and around Cambridge, offering the ability for campus 5G with Edge computing to gain a new and diverse network for the city.

Kao Data’s high performance computing date centre in Harlow
Kao Data’s high performance computing date centre in Harlow

“Collaboration with euNetworks and Kao Data will further serve the local community of university sites and campus locations, providing even more opportunities for wider connectivity.”

euNetworks’ CEO Brady Rafuse added: “Data centre connectivity is critically important to businesses today, and our network development and new fibre system delivers vital infrastructure to support the many businesses and communities in Cambridge whose connectivity and collaboration requirements continue to grow.

“Our pan-European network directly connects over 440 key data centres in our operating markets - that is, all the major data centres in Europe, as well as key research sites. Our diverse and unique network routes to these locations, together with the solutions offered by Light Blue Fibre and Kao Data, offer a compelling connectivity response for those in the Cambridge community undertaking mission-critical computing.”

The demand for high performance computing (HPC) capability has grown rapidly in recent years as data complexity and volume has spiralled.

Lee Myall, CEO of Kao Data (43907945)
Lee Myall, CEO of Kao Data (43907945)

Kao Data’s CEO Lee Myall said: “Science and research, especially within the life science and bioinformatics sectors, requires localised HPC hardware, low latency and high bandwidths to work with and move enormous datasets and batch files. Having a specialist HPC and AI industrial scale data centre in close proximity to Cambridge, which is connected by Light Blue Fibre and dark fibre directly to their processing points and the wider research network, is a gamechanger.”

A virtual event between the partners will be held on February 24, from 10.30am-12pm, to discuss the services, answer questions and explore the technical demands.

Reserve a place at cambridgewireless.co.uk/events/new-full-fibre-network/.

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