CONNECT, TCD & Open Ireland - from local SFI infrastructure to International-scale testbed with global reachability


Marco Ruffini - TCD

OpenIreland is Ireland’s new Open Networking testbed. The testbed includes indoor and outdoor 5G new radio, optical transmission equipment with several ROADMs and over 1,700 km of fibre and switching and compute node facilities.  It is open both because it supports new open interfaces for the network control and because it is accessible by researchers outside our research group, in Industry and academia. It includes technology that spans optical transmission in access and metropolitan areas, new indoor and outdoor 5G radio systems, and cloud computing technology. One of the key aspects is that it enables research and experimentation across these three domains, so at the convergence of optical, wireless and cloud computing, which is where the interesting research is happening. 

Within its first 2 years of operation, OpenIreland had already achieved great impact in research both nationally and internationally, and it has become a main infrastructure for generating data, training intelligent AI algorithms, testing their performance in a real network environment, and ultimately develop a network digital twin. It brings a level of innovation that is rather unique in the academic and industry research worlds. Because of this, it was awarded the 2022 IBEC award for outstanding academic achievement of the year.