How to Connect

Who can Connect



Currently offered as a pilot, GÉANT Open has been designed as a service to allow NRENs and approved commercial organisations to exchange connectivity in a highly efficient and flexible manner.

Facilitating collaboration has always been the cornerstone behind GÉANT, and GÉANT Open adds to the portfolio of connectivity services that the GÉANT network offers to its users.

The service uses a dedicated switch onto which all users can connect their own circuits at either 10Gbit/s or 1Gbit/s, and can then request interconnections with any other participant in order to provide inter-organisation connectivity.

This has particular benefits to international partners needing to manage multiple interconnections and wishing to harmonise their international circuits.  NRENs wishing to arrange private connectivity can also use GÉANT Open to facilitate these requirements.

As a first within the European Research and Education (R&E) community, approved commercial organisations will be able to connect to GÉANT Open. This enhancement will help R&E users to access a wide variety of commercial third parties as part of private/public research projects
Feature Highlights of GÉANT Open:

  • GÉANT Open is completely protocol neutral and allows each participant to connect to the exchange at between 1Gbit/s and 10Gbit/s.
  • Connections can be logically subdivided into separate VLANs allowing the participant to connect with many other members of the exchange simultaneously.
  • Participants can also apply to make connections from GÉANT Open through the GÉANT network –this will allow onward connectivity to organisations that are unable to connect directly to GÉANT Open.
  • Based in London, Telecity the exchange will be able to support both European and worldwide interconnects.

The service is currently being launched as a 12-month pilot with a view to launching as a full service at the end of this pilot phase.  During the pilot, aspects of the service such as support levels, resilience and further service enhancements will be developed, working in collaboration with those participating in the pilot. 

The diagram below shows how services connected via an NREN can use GÉANT Open to interconnect with other networks, or with services offered by commercial third parties.

Technical Specification
GÉANT Open services are built on a Juniper MX series router, currently equipped with a mixture of 1G and 10G interfaces with an aggregate capacity of 100Gbit/s. Juniper MX series routers are known for their high-performance Ethernet services with powerful switching features.

The current GÉANT Open switch is powered by two enhanced switch control boards capable of switching in terabits per second.

Initial connection to GÉANT Open will be available in 1G and 10G interface speeds but connectivity with higher capacity can also be supported by the device.  10G interfaces on GÉANT Open device are capable of terminating circuits with either LAN-PHY or WAN-PHY framing.  All interfaces are presented with 1310nm optical modules with LC connectors and have a maximum reach of 10 km on single mode fibre.

The MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers are also highly flexible and capable of offering a wide range of deployments styles, architectural adaptability, port densities and choices of interfaces. They also have the high reliability required to support advanced and seamless services.

Connection Partners
The following partners are currently connecting, or are actively planning connections, to GÉANT Open;
NORDUnet – Commissioning
Internet2 - Proposed
ORIENTplus - Live
GEANT – Live

Interconnects Current and Planned
The following table shows the current, planned and proposed interconnections using GÉANT Open.

  GÉANT ORIENTplus NORDUnet Internet2
GÉANT N/A 10Gbit/s   Proposed
ORIENTplus 10Gbit/s N/A    
NORDUnet     N/A  
Internet2 Proposed     N/A