GARR automates terabit-scale network to advance research and education in Italy

Consortium GARR, Italy’s national research and education network, provides ultra-broadband connectivity, and cloud services to the nation’s universities, research centers, healthcare, cultural and arts organizations, and schools.

To keep pace with the digital needs of its user community, GARR introduced a next-generation, highly automated terabit-scale network. GARR chose Juniper 400G routing, security, and AI-Native Networking automation solutions to deliver new levels of service agility, capacity, and scale.


Consortium GARR Image
Customer Success At-a-glance


Access connections, a 10-fold speed increase over what was previously available


Simplifies service delivery and operations


Sites connected by more than 20,000 kilometers of fiber across Italy


Terabit-per-second backbone capacity, scalable to an aggregated 40 Tbps capacity


Keep up with the pace of change

GARR, like many network operators, struggled to keep pace with change in the digital landscape. With a growing service portfolio and more customers than ever, GARR needed to meet increasingly high service requirements for its university and research centers as they accessed data center cloud resources that host experiments which require low latency, high throughput, and low delay.

GARR wanted to be able to guarantee service quality through automation. GARR began to explore the possibilities of network automation as well as a network fabric that would support over-booking, better scale, load balancing, and better resiliency.

GARR proposed an innovative new network model, called GARR-T, to its community. GARR-T would deliver the current portfolio of services but with greater speed and agility through advanced network automation.

GARR Challenge

Terabit scale with automated network operations

The GARR-T model relies heavily on automation to achieve reliable, high-performance, seamless communication networkwide. The architecture takes inspiration from an IP Clos fabric, where each intermediate switching stage minimizes the number of cross-connects, thereby offering better scale, load balancing, and resiliency without over-subscribing capacity.

Juniper PTX Series Routers with 400GbE interfaces are used for the spine. Juniper MX Series Universal Routers are used as leaf and edge nodes to support the peering edge and data center interconnection. The Juniper JRR200 Route Reflector Appliance delivers massive scalability for routing tables. Continuous telemetry monitoring on all devices generates real-time data that helps drive automated actions.

GARR uses Juniper Paragon Automation to deliver the highest level of service quality while powering efficient operations. The product supports closed-loop automation use cases that enable high-performance service experiences throughout the service lifecycle, from Day 0 to Day 2+. It also uses Juniper Paragon Pathfinder to efficiently manage its transport SLAs through automation, proactive monitoring, and dynamic optimization. Juniper Paragon Insights provides operational intelligence to establish benchmarks, determine anomalies, and perform proactive corrective actions.

The Juniper and Corero joint DDoS protection solution protects the network against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Corero SmartWall Threat Defense Director software on GARR’s MX Series and PTX Series Routers delivers real-time DDoS detection and line-rate mitigation.

GARR Solution

Support collaboration, learning, and discovery in Italy and beyond

GARR-T is the culmination of a multiyear effort, and the reimagined network is delivering an exceptional quality of experience for GARR’s network, cloud, video, and identity service users. GARR-T supports the daily activities of more than 3 million researchers, professors, healthcare workers, students, and others across Italy.

GARR-T operates at 22 Tbps capacity today and can grow to an aggregated capacity of 40 Tbps. Users can access GARR-T at 400 Gbps, a more than 10-fold increase over what was available with GARR’s older network.  

GARR can now achieve a far higher level of service excellence with its small operations team. Automation transforms monitoring and management, enabling GARR to respond rapidly to new requirements and change requests. Enhanced monitoring and analysis, along with automated provisioning, deliver a consistently better user experience while reducing time-consuming, manual work.

GARR Outcome
“We partnered with Juniper to create GARR-T, an automated and secure terabit network, that will allow us to respond to the ever-growing need for collaborative cloud services for our community.”
Massimo Carboni Chief Technology Officer, GARR
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GARR Speeds Network Service Delivery through Automation

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 Published March 2024