MDREN Network Upgrade

MDREN is designing the next-generation network that will allow its members to move to a 100GB connection if desired. Currently, most members have a 10GB connection and this meets current needs. We are starting to get requests to move to 100GB and we want to be ready for future member needs. This upgrade will also increase the core capacity to 400GB. We are seeing peer networks like Mid Atlantic Crossroads and Internet2 upgrading to this level.

We have been working with four major network hardware providers and expect to select a vendor partner by early April 2023. The project will be presented to the MDREN Board at its April 28, 2023, meeting. If approved, an order will be placed, and preparations will begin. Currently, there appears to be about an 8–12 month wait on delivery with most providers. Although the physical installation will not likely begin until early 2024, some vendors can provide a virtual network environment so that configuration can be done before the actual delivery of the hardware. Routers will be upgraded in 2024 and this will be followed by an optical core upgrade in 2025.