The US Department of Defense has awarded a $495 million contract to Verizon Public Sector to manage and upgrade the network connecting US supercomputers to researchers.

The company will run the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN4) for four to 10 years as part of the High-Performance Computing Modernization Program.

Verizon will manage switch, router, firewall, and Edge compute capabilities to connect 200 different research, development, test, and evaluation laboratories and high-performance computing locations across the US and overseas.

Summit supercomputer
– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

“Investments across Verizon’s enterprise business enable the kind of tailored solutions our team will deliver to the US Department of Defense and the Defense Research and Engineering Network,” said Jennifer Chronis, SVP for Public Sector at Verizon.

“Our managed services solutions will create a next-generation user experience for research teams utilizing the DREN platform while also enhancing security across the network.”

The company said that it will provide guaranteed throughput and latency at speeds of up to 100Gbps-400Gbps.

CenturyLink operated the previous iteration of the network, DREN III, with a $750m contract.

Procurement documents note that DREN III operated across 180 sites, with DREN4 set to upgrade 26 in a first phase. Another 30 new sites are set to be added, while five will be discontinued.