I-Light is Indiana’s high-performance, fiber optic research and education network. Managed by Indiana University’s Global Research Network Operations Center, I-Light connects member sites to state, national, and international R&E networks. Nearly every college and university in Indiana connects to I-Light, making it an integral part of the state’s research and discovery landscape.

I-Light’s upgrade from a backbone comprised of multiple 10 Gigabits per second circuits to multiple 100 Gigabits per second circuits is happening in three phases.

First, engineers deployed the new infrastructure at the state’s 18 major nodes, 11 of which are located on member campuses. Phase two was the cut over from the existing network backbone to the new infrastructure. Engineers completed this work in March, 2016.

The third phase involves transitioning customers from the legacy backbone to the new network. As of January 2018, about 70 percent of member sites had been transitioned. Work is expected to be complete by the start of the 2018 academic year.

Member institutions are already seeing the benefits of the 100G upgrade. For example, University of Notre Dame is using the increased network capacity to make a direct connection to the Large Hadron Collider Open Network Environment (LHCONE).

“One of the main priorities of the network is ensuring that enough bandwidth is readily available for our members to reach their research and education goals, and to enable our members in this way makes the hard work worth every second,” said Caroline Weilhamer, manager of operations for I-Light and the Indiana GigaPOP.

According to Tom Johnson, senior network architect for I-Light, “the entire team has worked diligently to upgrade the network and migrate members with minimal disruption.” Johnson says he looks forward to consulting with members about how they can utilize the enhanced network capabilities.