Robust, Resilient, and Flexible: Internet2 Announces Large Platform Flex

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At the 2023 Technology Exchange this week, Internet2 announced a new solution available on its Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) Platform: Large Platform Flex.

This new solution is a step forward for regional R&E networks that connect directly to the Internet2 national network, also known as Internet2 connectors. Large Platform Flex offers more opportunities for Internet2 infrastructure sharing among the community. It is specifically designed for those requiring high-capacity and flexible connectivity to support data-intensive research – moving data quickly and securely among collaborators across the R&E network ecosystem and the cloud.

I2 Network card

Building on the Platform Model

Introduced in 2021 with the deployment of NGI, the original Internet2 Platform Model includes two options – Large Platform and Small Platform. Both provide Internet2 connectors with access to services including Internet2 R&E, Internet2 Peer Exchange (I2PX), Internet2 Cloud Connect (I2CC), Global Access, and Research Platforms. 

The difference, of course, comes down to capacity. Large Platform offers up to 800 gigabits per second (Gbps) of total capacity across two platform access locations through 4x100G or single 400G interfaces. Small Platform offers up to 200 Gbps of total capacity through two 100 Gbps connections, split for resiliency.

Internet2 Platform access locations are in 42 cities across the continental U.S.

Introducing Large Platform Flex 

Given community feedback regarding the need for more flexibility, the new Large Platform Flex offers even more interfaces at each Large Platform access location. It supports connectors in achieving the most benefit from the capacity, resiliency, services, and opportunities for purpose-built connections provided by the Internet2 national network, facilitating data sharing and access beyond campus boundaries.

“We first shared the vision for Large Platform Flex with our regional R&E network members this summer, with the promise to deliver a new level of flexibility and resiliency based on their input,” said James Deaton, vice president of Network Services at Internet2. “We are already hearing of some innovative use cases among the community, and the door remains open for new suggestions and creative ideas for what comes next.”

On a more technical level, Large Platform Flex enables Large Platform connectors to use up to six interfaces in each of their two current access locations at no additional fee, with options ranging from 2x400G, 1x400G + 2x100G, or 6x100G. More options are also available through the Platform Model to purchase additional interfaces and capacity.

Need more information? Download the Internet2 Large Platform Flex Info Sheet. If you have questions, email networkdevelopment@internet2.edu.