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Research and education networks

Connect. Collaborate. Discover.

 Advance discoveries with future-ready research and education networks

What is a Research and Education network?

A research and education network (REN) is a specialized internet and communication service provider that operates a private network built at the national, or regional, or state/provincial  level to serve the research and scientific communities and connect them together.  Research institutions, universities and governments all use RENs to collaborate and exchange learnings, accelerate discovery and foster innovation.  

Today’s cutting-edge research uses high-tech scientific instruments, high-performance computing, and modeling tools such as AI which requires the transmission and exchange of massive data sets across the network.  To process, analyze and share this data requires a high-performance, scalable, reliable and secure research and education network. 

RENs provide valuable community services, connecting government and public institutions and public and private clouds together. In campus networks, services such as Wi-Fi and in-building broadband access to connect research facilities to the internet and internet exchanges. They can also provide a host of other trust and identity services, networking, web and technical support.

RENs are vital to the scientific and public community that they serve.

Research and Education Networks in action


“Together with Nokia, Aconet received a cost effective solution for our IP network to support 100G line technology by upgrading the larger sites to higher capacity 7750 SR and reusing existing 7750 SR’s to smaller sites.  With this solution, Aconet will be able to fulfill its needs for the next 5+ years.”


Connecting Austria’s research community to the rest of the world





GEANT & Nomios


Michigan State



Discover Nokia solutions for research and education networks

Nokia IP/Optical networking solutions for REN networks

Nokia’s IP/Optical networking solutions are industry leaders in technology, capacity and field-proven performance. The Nokia 7750 Service Router is built with our custom-designed FP5 network processors that deliver up to 432 Tb/s of system capacity and support 400GE/800GE router coherent optics. The Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch features our latest PSE-6s super coherent optics, which can scale capacity up to 1.2Tbs per wavelength. It can also enable 2.4Tbs super channels on a single line card to support multiple 400GE and 800GE services or 3X the distance for 800GE services. This reduces the number of optics needed in a practical network and can achieve up to 63% power savings over existing coherent solutions — helping meet cost and sustainability goals.

Nokia SR OS simplifies and automates REN network operations

The Nokia Service Router Operating System (SR OS) is a field-proven, Operating System that runs the largest service provider, webscale and IXC IP networks in the world.  SR OS supports the industry’s most comprehensive suite of IP, MPLS and segment routing features. It’s built with modern data center automation tools and model-driven management capabilities that simplifies network programmability and operations.

Reliability is critical in high-performance research and education networks and SR OS is built to meet those requirements with a real-time, modular and fault tolerant design and advanced high-availability features that enable resilient IP network architectures.

Coordinate and automate REN operations across IP and optical layers

Simplify the network management of the IP and optical layers of research and education network with Nokia’s Network Services Platform (NSP). The NSP automates, manages and controls the network by providing unified visualization and coordination across the IP and optical layers. When using pluggable coherent 400GE/800GE optics in the 7750 SR router to connect directly to an optical transports system, the NSP’s IP-optical automation tool suite supports intent-based programming and coordinated operations.

The Nokia WaveSuite applications suite for network design, control and operations enables the RENs to efficiently plan, operate and control optical networks. With WaveSuite, R&E operations can design quickly, monitor network KPIs, and analyze and optimize network capacity. Utilizing WaveSuite health and analytics tools, REN operations can monitor the optical layer health and proactively use NSP to reroute IP traffic around degradations before service disruptions occur.

Automate RENs with Nokia Data Center Fabric solution

The Nokia Data Center Fabric  supports hyper-scale computing with a cloud-native architecture that is intent-driven, open, extensible, and resilient. It is ideally suited to meet the evolving needs of the REN data center environment.

The Nokia Data Center Fabric is a scalable high-performance leaf-spine network comprised of both hardware platforms and a software network operating system (NOS).  The hardware includes the Nokia 7220 Interconnect Router (IXR) that is a  fixed configuration for data center leaf/spine applications, and the modular Nokia 7250 IXR-6e/10e for data center spine and super-spine applications.

These hardware platforms run on Nokia SR Linux, a uniquely open, extensible, programmable and highly reliable Network Operating System (NOS) that simplifies automation and presents new levels of observability.  Fabric Services System complements and supports SR Linux providing operational life-cycle management of the data center fabric and intent-based automation with a Net Ops toolkit together with real-time streaming telemetry.   

Data Center Interconnect between research facilities

Nokia’s Optical Data Center Interconnect solution delivers the network scalability, bandwidth capacity, performance and security that research and education networks need to meet the data intensive sharing of their research institutions and broadband needs of their community. 

The Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect-Modular (PSI-M) is a compact optical platform purpose-built to support data center interconnect across metro, regional and long-haul transport. In deploying their own private transport network, the R&E community can reduce OPEX costs, compared to leased line services, while retaining complete control of design and operations, enabling faster delivery of new services and applications.

REN multi-layer security across IP and optical layers

Network security is embedded in Nokia networks at every layer. At the optical layer, we offer quantum-safe encryption through strong, symmetric key distribution, available today. We also support emerging quantum key distribution and post-quantum cryptographic algorithms through our highly evolutive encryption blueprints. For IP network security, our 7750 SR powered by FP5 chipsets provides DDoS protection and AnySec (MacSec, IPSec) encryption at line rate. At the network OS layer, our SR OS is battle-tested and hardened, tirelessly blocking attempts at manipulation and unauthorized access. The 7750 SR  supports highly granular queuing and partitioning of resources preventing volumetric control plane attacks. 

At the tools and application layer, the Nokia Security Gateway (based on the Nokia 7750 SR) provides highly scalable and resilient IPSec encryption. To provide advanced DDoS protection, the 7750 SR and Nokia Deepfield Defender use real-time analytics with intelligence to monitor, recognize and stop DDoS attacks.

Protect and secure data and privacy with quantum-safe networks

Quantum computing has the potential to dramatically speed up research and innovation, but in the wrong hands can also pose a significant threat to the security of the research and education network and the extremely valuable scientific data that is transmitted across it.

While the threat of an imminent cyber security breach using a cryptographically relevant quantum-computer (CRQC) is at present low, the network is still vulnerable to disreputable actors or foreign nations, that can today store vast amounts of encrypted data until they have access to a CRQC and decrypt the data.   

The Nokia quantum-safe network (QSN)  has a defense-in-depth approach that delivers quantum-safe security at multiple layers through multi-layered cryptography. Nokia QSN can adapt to your specific requirements providing you  with the confidence to securely scale your quantum deployments in response to the quantum threat; and can evolve with the quantum landscape.

Boost campus network performance, lower TCO and go green

High-speed, high-performance and high capacity are requirements to connect the campus network research and education facilities together. Nokia Optical LAN solution delivers the GigE and 10GE speeds needed to deliver the capacity and performance needed while lowering CAPEX and OPEX through lower power consumption and footprint. It is a field-proven technology for in building and on campus networks providing multi-service wireless and wired connectivity enabling network convergence.  It delivers greater reach of up to 20 km with less network complexity with its passive distribution.  As bandwidth demands grow, the solution can easily scale to 25G PON downstream and 10G or 25G upstream.  


How Nokia solutions sustainably help you achieve your climate goals?

Nokia became the first telecoms vendor to have our Science Based Target (SBT) validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2017 and were among the first 100 companies to do so. In 2023, Nokia investigated how to accelerate its net zero commitment and needed related actions. Nokia has now accelerated both its net zero target for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 and its interim 2030 Scope 1 and 2 targets by announcing that:

  • Nokia commits to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the value chain (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 2040.
  • This puts Nokia ahead of the Paris Agreement goal to reach net zero by 2050.  
  • Nokia also aims to accelerate its existing interim 2030 target to reduce emissions across its own operations (Scopes 1 and 2), reaching an 83% reduction by 2030.

With our new announcement we therefore not only reiterate our prior commitment to reach a 50% reduction in our value chain by 2030 from a 2019 baseline, but we are also now accelerating our 2030 scope 1 and 2 targets to reach 83% by 2030 instead of 50%. We also look to reach net zero across all Scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2040. 

Learn more about Nokia’s sustainability approach.

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