The Regional Meteorological Data Communication Network (RMDCN) provides a computer network infrastructure for the meteorological community in WMO Region VI, and beyond in its capacity as the WMO community's WIS Core Network.
In the framework of the WMO/ECMWF agreement on the RMDCN, the ECMWF project team manages the network and monitors the QoS (Quality of Service) on a 24-hour basis for all participating Centres. All the changes, new requests and connections affecting the network are co-ordinated by the project team. The manpower costs for these tasks are funded by the ECMWF Member States. The RMDCN web site provides the participating Centres with up-to-date information.
- RMCDN Community Web Site (Login required)
In 1998 WMO RA (Regional Association) VI and the ECMWF council agreed to establish a common Managed Data Network, the Regional Meteorological Data Communication Network (RMDCN), as a cost-effective solution to replace the existing point-to-point links. They further agreed that ECMWF would lead and co-ordinate the procurement, implementation and operational monitoring of such a network for all RA VI Members. In December 1998 Equant was selected as the provider for the RMDCN. After the delivery and installation of the equipment at each NMC (National Meteorological Centre) and RTH (Regional Telecommunications Hub), connectivity and performance tests started for each PVC (Permanent Virtual Circuit) established between sites. On 15 March 2000 the RMDCN became operational. On 27 June 2002 the RMDCN contract was amended to allow countries outside RA VI to join the network.
The 2004 bi-annual contract review resulted in an offer from EQUANT to migrate to an MPLS based network. This proposal was approved by ECMWF council in December 2004. The other WMO members connected to the RMDCN also accepted the proposal for the migration. An amendment of the RMDCN contract, specifying the new service levels and the migration plan, was signed in May 2006. Immediately afterwards the implementation of the migration of the RMDCN to an IPVPN MPLS technology started. The new network was being rolled out in parallel to the existing network and on 16 April 2007 the acceptance phase started. After two months of extensive testing the new network was finally accepted on 18 June 2007.
In 2008 the ECMWF Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) considered the provision of the RMDCN service beyond 2010. It concluded that an invitation to tender for the RMDCN be delayed for three to four years. ECMWF subsequently presented a plan to the TAC in October 2010 to initiate the procurement process for a new RMDCN. The definition of requirements was carried out during 2011 and also discussed by the WMO Task Team on the RMDCN. In December 2011 ECMWF Council authorised an invitation to tender for the replacement of the RMDCN. By the closing date of 23 April 2012, several bids had been received.
ECMWF made the decision to select Interoute Communications Ltd as the supplier for the next generation of the RMDCN. This decision was subsequently supported by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) at its meeting in October 2012 and approved by ECMWF Council at its meeting in December 2012. During 2013 the RMDCN Next Generation network was built and tested, with migration from Orange Business Services (formerly Equant) having completed on 6th February 2014.
The network is based on the MPLS backbone infrastructure of Interoute. This technology allows Interoute to implement an IP Virtual Private Network (IPVPN) for the RMDCN community. The main characteristics for the network are:
- It provides any-to-any connectivity between the RMDCN members
- Several technical configurations covering diversity and separacy to meet the budget capacity of members
- Several Service Levels to meet the budget capability of members
The network currently connects 53 sites as listed in the following table.
|Country/Site||City||WMO GTS||WMO WIS||Bandwidth (Mbps)||Site Type|
|ECMWF Member States|
|ECMWF Co-operating States|
|the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||Skopje||NMC||N/A||Iron B|
|Other RMDCN Members|
|United Arab Emirates||Abu Dhabi||NMC||N/A||Iron B|
|United States of America||Washington||WMC||GISC||50||Platinum|
*) Currently in planning or deployment