RMDCN LogoThe 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.

Some history

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.

RMDCN configuration

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
Austria Vienna RTH   10 Gold
Belgium Brussels NMC   10 Platinum
Croatia Zagreb NMC   8 Gold
Denmark Copenhagen NMC   50 Platinum
Finland Helsinki NMC   50 Platinum
France Toulouose RTH GISC 100 Platinum
Germany Offenbach RTH GISC 50 Platinum
Germany-DR Berlin     N/A Iron-B
Greece Athens NMC   4 Platinum
Iceland Rejkjavik NMC   2 Platinum
Ireland Dublin NMC   100 Platinum
Italy Rome RTH   15 Gold
Luxembourg Luxembourg NMC   8 Platinum
Netherlands De Bilt NMC   8 Platinum
Netherlands-DR Woensdrecht     4 Copper
Norway Oslo NMC   25 Platinum
Portugal Lisbon NMC   8 Platinum
Serbia Belgrade NMC   4 Gold
Slovenia Ljubljana NMC   8 Platinum
Spain Madrid NMC   4 Platinum
Sweden Norrköping RTH   10 Platinum
Switzerland Zurich NMC   20 Platinum
Switzerland-CSCS Lugano     20 Platinum
Turkey Ankara NMC   34 Platinum
United Kingdom Exeter WMC GISC 20 Platinum
ECMWF Reading WMC   500 Platinum
ECMWF Co-operating States
Bulgaria Sofia RTH   10 Silver
Czech Republic Prague RTH   7 Gold
Estonia Tallin NMC   2 Silver
EUMETSAT Darmstadt     20 Platinum
Hungary Budapest NMC   8 Platinum
Israel Bet Dagan NMC   15 Platinum
Latvia Riga NMC   2 Silver
Lithuania Vilnius NMC   1 Silver
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Skopje NMC   N/A Iron B
Morocco Casablanca NMC GISC 2 Bronze
Romania Bucharest NMC   15 Platinum
Slovakia Bratislava NMC   1 Gold
Other RMDCN Members
Australia Melbourne WMC GISC 4 Platinum
Algeria Alger NMC   N/A Iron B
Azerbaijan Baku NMC   2 Copper
Canada Dorval WMC   2 Copper
China Beijing WMC GISC 16 Platinum
China-DR Beijing     16 Copper
India New Delhi RTH GISC 6 Platinum
Japan Tokyo WMC GISC 10 Platinum
Japan-DR Osaka     10 Copper
Jordan Amman NMC   1 Iron A
Lebanon * Beirut NMC   1 Copper
Poland Warsaw NMC   1 Silver
Russian Federation Moscow WMC GISC 10 Platinum
Saudi Arabia Jeddah RTH GISC 2 Gold
South Africa Pretoria RTH GISC 4 Bronze
South Korea Seoul NMC GISC 4 Platinum
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi NMC   N/A Iron B
United States of America Washington WMC GISC 50 Platinum

*) Currently in planning or deployment