DCN is an abbreviation of the technical term Dynamic Circuit Network and designates a technology which allows fixed bandwidths between communication partners to be assigned in a short amount of time. The network technology uses elements of classic circuit-switched communication but is based on the same infrastructure as the internet. Dynamic Circuit Network therefore represents a supplement to the traditional internet network. The acronym DCN is often used in connection with the term “Internet2”.

Technical functionality of DCN

DCN assigns bandwidths and transmits data via fiber optics in the internet infrastructure. However, the connection between the communication partners and the network nodes uses optical frequencies. The routers to be connected between the transmitting and the receiving subscriber require special software to establish DCN connections. The DCN connections are comparable with connections in a classic, circuit-switched network such as the telephone network. Information can be transmitted from one subscriber to the other without being affected or throttled by the activities of other subscribers. Unlike the traditional telephone network, very high bandwidths can be achieved in a Dynamic Circuit Network. As a result, large amounts of information can be transmitted in a continuous data stream without loss and extremely quickly.

The user or the application sends a connection request to the DCN Control Plane to establish a DCN connection. The Control Plane handles authorization, bandwidth reservation, establishing the connection and closing the connection. If the connection needs to be established via multiple domains, this is coordinated by the international IDC protocol. The actual connection consists of a dedicated, virtual point-to-point VLAN.

Application of the Dynamic Circuit Network

DCN is often used in medicine and research. These fields often require large bandwidths with guaranteed qualities of service to exchange large amounts of information. Dynamic Circuit Network technology ensures that real-time applications requiring a high bandwidth can also be used over long distances. Many American universities and research institutes are connected via DCN.