ORION is Ontario’s only provincial research and education network. Covering 6,000 kilometres, our private network connects regions and over a hundred institutions all over the province, including universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions, and many of Ontario’s school boards. More than 1.7 million people in research and education rely on ORION to communicate with each other and to connect to a global grid of similar networks across Canada and around the world.

Our long history of providing advanced network solutions has given us the expertise we need to fulfil the digital requirements of Ontario’s research and education community.

ORION’s ultra-fast network can run 50,000 concurrent virtual classrooms. It’s currently ready to provide cutting-edge 100Gbps speed, and over 70% of our network was upgraded to this speed at the end of 2020. That’s 2,000 times faster than the broadband internet available in most Ontario homes.

How fast is fast?

In order for researchers to uncover the trends required for personalized disease treatments they need to transport large amounts of DNA data from the clinics to databases to the analysis and modelling tools. A small data that would be useful for that purpose would be 10 TB. That’s about 15,000 complete human genomes (DNA sets). One 10TB genomics dataset is about 200 Blu-Ray high definition video discs. That would take 18 days to download data on a good household connection. It takes 6 minutes at 100Gbps.

Some research projects generate datasets 10 to 1,000 times larger than this. And that’s only one researcher. There are others at that institution on video calls, doing remote learning, live-sharing a class or procedure. The network needs to support the variety of needs at these institutions. Without this dedicated network, we would slow down the speed of research and education. 

Network Map

This map demonstrates ORION’s network Points of Presence (PoPs) within and connections between the institutions on our network.

Ontario’s Advanced Research Computing Network

ORION’s network connects advanced research computing (ARC) centres across Ontario. It provides access to high-performance research tools for fast, direct access to ARC / HPC facilities for big data research.

It also provides direct access to the Federated Research Data Repository, the Ontario Health Data Platform and many others.

Internet Service

Take advantage of reliable Internet service that ORION now offers to its customers. In addition to the convenience of a single source for all your connectivity needs, ORION’s connected institutions enjoy a financial advantage as well. We buy Internet access in bulk and pass the savings along. This brings highly competitive pricing to the entire province – including those in rural and northern communities.

Contact your business development representative to learn more about this service: communitydev@orion.on.ca.

Monitoring Tools

Please contact the ORION NOC at support@orion.on.ca to obtain login credentials for monitoring tools.

An image of a person working on a computer to improve network resilience

Featured Press Release:ORION relocates PoP to uOttawa to improve network resilience

Ottawa, April 13, 2021 – ORION, Ontario’s research, education, and innovation network, announced today the re-location of its Ottawa network point of presence (PoP) to the University of Ottawa. The move will improve network resilience to better support researchers, professors, students, and innovators in the Ottawa region. As a node in Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN), this PoP relocation was undertaken in partnership with federal partner CANARIE and the research and education network in Quebec, Réseau d’informations scientifiques du…

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