European weather HQ gets IP network to support bumper throughput


European weather HQ gets IP network to support bumper throughput

Antony Savvas

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is spending £410,000 to implement and maintain a new IP network that can handle its huge data throughput.


The EU-backed centre, which is based in Reading, has agreed a five-year deal with Matrix Communications to build and manage the new network.


The network will be optimised to handle the “enormous throughput and computing power” necessary to deliver the centre’s constant numerical weather prediction data to EU-member governments, agencies and research bodies.


The £410,000 deal includes a suite of BigIronRX and SuperX switches from Foundry, to provide very high-density 10gigabit networking and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.


PoE enables users to plug phones and other devices into an Ethernet network rather than a traditional power source in the wall or floor.


“The fundamental requirements for our new network, resilience and robustness, are provided by this solution,” said Dieter Niebel, leader of the LAN services group at ECMWF.


“The higher bandwidth we now enjoy is essential so that no delays occur on the network, and the PoE capabilities will facilitate a voice over IP implementation being considered for the future,” he said.


The improved performance and resilience and better capabilities of the new network meant the ECMWF was guaranteed a new level of reliability and redundancy, he said.


Established in 1975, ECMWF is an international organisation supported by the 26 EU states. It is recognised worldwide as providing among the most accurate medium-range weather forecasts up to 10 days, and seasonal forecasts up to six months.


It uses satellite data for atmospheric monitoring and forecasting, and to regularly reanalyse the atmosphere.



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