OREANDA-NEWS. April 01, 2014. A new Tallinn-Helsinki cross border fibre connection was launched between EENet and Funet, the Estonian and Finnish national research and education networks.

The new high capacity optical fibre connection between Tallinn and Helsinki provides major improvements to the available network transmission capacity between the Estonian and Finnish research and education networks. The transmission capacity can be extended from the initially installed 40 gigabits per second to as high as 8 terabits per second. Also the measured network delays between Tallinn and Helsinki are dramatically reduced. Delay is an important factor to many research applications.

The connection was finished when Urmas Lett, the head of the network department of EENet installed the fibre-optic DWDM transmission equipment at the Funet network site in Espoo.

"It was the fastest DWDM installation we've ever seen. We successfully verified that a 10 Gbps Ethernet connection works fine over the link”, said Teemu Kiviniemi, the development manager of Funet network.

Major benefits for collaboration in education and research

The new connection opens up new possibilities for collaboration in education, research and research infrastructures. The technical properties of the new connection are similar to typical national connections. The available network capacity and delays are no longer a limiting factor, as the capacity can be increased on demand.

Erki Urva, the Chairman of the Management Board of the Information Technology Foundation for Education stated that "connecting the Estonian and Finnish academic networks will establish good prerequisites for the technological implementation of the planned Estonian-Finnish joint educational cloud."

“European research infrastructures, such as ELIXIR, pan-European research infrastructure for biological information, will utilise the new cross border fibre link. ELIXIR unites Europe’s leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the massive amounts of data. The ELIXIR nodes in Finland and Estonia have also established a cloud computing pilot. The pilot was set up between University of Tartu (BIIT) and CSC to scale up virtual machines with specialist data analysis and annotation software developed in Estonia. Thanks to the new connection, computer capacities for the data-intensive biological analysis can be provided from eco-efficient datacenters hosted by CSC”, tells Tommi Nyronen from CSC, head of ELIXIR Finland.

The Estonian and Finnish network partners will continue to discuss further about the collaboration between the Estonian and Finnish research infrastructures and finding solutions to advance the Baltic Ring project, thus improving Baltic research connections.

Construction of the cross-border fibre connection, as well the procurement of the equipment was supported by the European Regional Development Fund with ca 90 000 euros. The fund aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between the regions.