Project SURFnet8

Project SURFnet8

SURFnet is working on Project SURFnet8, the goal of which is to further develop the fixed section of the national education and research network. Both layers of the SURFnet network – the optical layer and the service layer – will be upgraded.

The network of the future

Reliability, continuity, and flexibility

In order to respond to users' current and future requirements, we're working on an open and programmable network within Project SURFnet8 which, in addition to a high degree of reliability and continuity, also offers a great deal of flexibility for the development of new functionalities and services. The future network will be more flexible and, thanks to automation, network function virtualisation and the decoupling of hardware and software, changes will be quicker and easier to implement.

SURFnet8 is being built with a flexible architecture. This will make it easy for us to deal with new developments in the future, and we will be able to rapidly implement new innovations without needing to start by replacing all the hardware in the network. This makes it possible for the network to evolve. The development of software plays a major role in this.

Interaction between network and user will be central

The interaction between network and user will be central to the network of the future: institutions are able to integrate the network optimally with their own applications, and users are able to request (innovative) services, such as virtual firewalls, quickly and easily. They are also able to experiment easily with new technologies.

Upgrading the infrastructure

In order to realise this vision, we are upgrading the infrastructure of the SURFnet network. Important principles of this upgrade are high-quality network architecture, a multifaceted self-service network and an open, programmable network.

2 tenders

The SURFnet network consists of 2 layers: the optical layer and the service layer. The optical layer illuminates the optical fibres. The service layer offers services to institutions. We have published 2 for the upgrade of both layers. The tender for the optical layer has been completed; the new optical layer will be implemented in 2017.


More information

Start date
01 Jan 2015