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February 20, 1989

GERMAN UNIVERSITIES HEAD THE QUEUE FOR FIRST 100Mbps ULTRANET LOCAL NETS IN EUROPE

By CBR Staff Writer

High speed UltraNet local area networks are to be installed at the University of Stuttgart and the Alfred Wegner Institute, in Bremerhaven, West Germany, in April. They mark the first European installation of the 100M-bit-per-second data channel from Ultra Network Technologies, San Jose, California, with a deal worth $600,000, to be announced at the forthcoming Supercomputing Europe trade show at Utrecht in the Netherlands next month. At first the network will link two campuses at Stuttgart that are 20 miles apart, and later in the year the University sites and the Alfred Wegner Institute – 500 miles apart – will be connected. It is hoped to improve the speed by which researchers can access data by 20 or 30 times, allowing the transfer of files and graphics images between supercomputers, superminis and workstations, whilst supporting the emerging Fibre Digital Data Interface and International Standards Organisation protocols for high speed networks – outlined here in December (CI No 1,075). The UltraNet installation at Stuttgart will initially connect the University’s regional computer centre with its downtown campus using two UltraNet hubs linked by the Deutsche Bundespost’s 140Mbps fibre optic German Research Network – DFN. The UltraNet 1000 hub supports host adaptors containing Ultra’s ISO TP4 protocol processor, connecting the University’s Cray 2, and Convex near-supercomputer with distributed Sun workstations. This network will then be joined with another UltraNet hub at the Alfred Wegner Institute. Its Alliant Computer and Convex Computer minisupercomputers will enable Institute researchers to access Stuttgart’s Cray 2 remotely, speeding up their research on polar and marine oceanography. European interest in UltraNet is now taking off according to Stan Tenoid, president of Ultra, a sales and support office is to be opened in West Germany sometime this spring and he expects that within two years, 25% of our sales will come from Europe. UltraNet supports a total bandwidth of up to 1Gbps and delivers data to the user at speeds of 30Mbps for workstations, 100Mbps for minisupercomputers and 400Mbps for supercomputers.

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