Argonne received the switch for a fraction of its "retail" cost, according to Associate Director of the Electronics and Communication Technologies (ECT) Division, Tim Kuhfuss. Both sides benefited from the arrangement: Nortel receives a demanding field test of the device and the cachet of having one of its devices in use at a major national laboratory. Argonne gets the second such switch ever made for a substantial discount.
The switch is an integral part of Argonne's plan to deal with its steady increase in network communications, which has been doubling every two years. An even bigger jump in network traffic is expected in 1996.
"Between Mathematics and Computer Science, which is planning to participate in a major demonstration of the `next generation of the Internet' next year, and the Advanced Photon Source, we're expecting traffic to double in just the next year," Kuhfuss said. "This switch was our chance to keep ahead of the demand."
Abstracted, with permission, from the September 5, 1995, issue of Argonne Week.