GARR uses automation to speed network service delivery to Italy’s research and education institutions

Four million people across hundreds of Italian education, research, and cultural organizations rely on GARR for high-performance and advanced network services. To maintain its service excellence while meeting evolving user requirements, GARR is building an automated 40 Tbps nationwide network with Juniper. 

Overview


Company Consortium GARR
Industry Research, Education
Products used PTX10004, PTX10008, PTX10016PTX10001-36MRMX10003MX480MX204
Region EMEA
Consortium GARR Image
Customer Success At-a-glance

3.1 Tbps

Network backbone, serving Italy’s research and education needs

460 petabytes

Of network traffic in 2020

600

DDoS attacks blocked or mitigated in 2020

17,500 kilometers

Of fibre optics and more than 1,000 sites connected

Challenge

Meet the advanced network needs of the Italian research and education community

The digital needs of GARR members — universities, research institutions, hospitals, cultural and arts organizations, and schools— were growing rapidly, and the GARR ICT team wanted a better, faster way to meet those requirements.

Automation was key to meeting GARR objective. A very small team runs a network that spans 17,500 kilometers and more than 1,000 locations. With such an expansive network, the tried-and-true approach of manually configuring and managing network devices was no longer practical. With user requirements rising, it was taking too long to deliver critical network services. GARR wanted to speed up network service delivery as well as to quickly reconfigure the network in case of security events.

As the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks a day, GARR needed to protect its network services and users from cyber disruption. With a manual approach to stopping attacks, which mostly last less than 30 minutes, it was becoming impossible for the network team to react quickly enough. Automated DDoS detection and mitigation was essential.

GARR Challenge
SOLUTION

Automate network operations and mitigate cyberattacks

To meet the digital needs of Italy’s education, research, and cultural institutions, GARR is building a new network, which will have a final aggregated capacity of 40 Tbps, with the core backbone links based on multiple 400 Gbps links.

The 400-Gbps spine of the IP Clos fabric is comprised of Juniper PTX10001 and PTX10004 Packet Transport Routers. Juniper MX10003, MX480, and MX204 Universal Routing Platforms are used for the leaf and edge nodes to support data centers and the peering edge. The Juniper and Corero joint DDoS protection solution can mitigate even terabit-scale DDoS attacks in real time.

GARR uses the Juniper Paragon Automation Portfolio to automate network services as much as possible. It uses closed-loop automation to translate business intent into service performance, creating new and efficient ways of network operations. Workflows, software upgrades, device onboarding, inventory, network management, and configuration management are handled automatically to support GARR operations.

GARR Solution
OUTCOME

Enable education and scientific collaboration over a faster nationwide network

GARR network traffic volumes spiked 60% in 2020, as students shifted to video streaming university lectures and relied heavily on a cloud-based workplace and applications. Thirty-four new sites were connected, including universities, research centers, and medical institutions. The new network, designed to cope with sudden increases in bandwidth consumption, kept pace.

Service excellence continues to be a priority for GARR, and the redesigned network, with greater bandwidth availability and lower latency, will support its members’ education and research missions well into the future.

GARR network is also more operationally efficient and easier to manage for a lean ICT team tasked with meeting users’ evolving requirements. 

GARR Outcome
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, GARR continued to support the research and education activities of our user community. We partnered with Juniper to take the essential next step to evolve our network and meet the expanded need for collaboration and cloud services.”
Massimo Carboni Chief Technology Officer, GARR

 Published October 2021