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Internet2 Demonstrates Optical Networking Firsts at SC|05 Supercomputing Conference

Consortium's Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure Testbed Links Radio Telescopes Across the Globe for Real Time Data Analysi

SEATTLE, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, three radio telescopes distributed around the world will be connected via dynamically provisioned dedicated optical circuits for an electronic Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry (e-VLBI) observation. Internet2 announced this scientific and networking achievement at the first major demonstration of its nationwide Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) testbed, during the SC|05 conference held in Seattle, Washington this week. The demonstration marks a critical milestone in dynamic or "on demand" optical networking that can support even the most extreme applications used by the global research and education community today.

Leveraging the HOPI infrastructure together with the NSF-funded DRAGON testbed, the telescopes located in Westford Mass. US; Greenbelt, Md. US; and Onsala, Sweden will be dynamically linked via dedicated low-latency optical circuits to a central data correlator and simultaneously transmit multiple gigabits-per-second of data during a 20-minute observation. The team will also attempt to connect to a fourth telescope in Kashima, Japan during the demonstration. Historically, radio astronomy data was recorded on magnetic tape or disk at each site and shipped to the central processing location for the analysis.

"VLBI is one of the most powerful techniques available for the high- resolution imaging of distant radio sources in the universe and for making accurate measurements of the motion of the earth in space," said Alan Whitney, principal scientist at the MIT Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts. "These capabilities also allow scientists to measure such things as continental drift and to calibrate the orbits of GPS satellites to enable more accurate position measurements on the surface on the Earth. Advanced optical networks like HOPI and DRAGON, will undoubtedly open new doors for radio-astronomy observations and important science."

As a part of Internet2's mission to design and deliver an advanced network infrastructure to meet the emerging needs of the research and education community, Internet2 has built the HOPI nationwide testbed to investigate next-generation network architectures that combine the best qualities of optical and packet technologies. The testbed is a model for the future of Internet2's high performance Abilene network which serves as a platform for both experimental networking applications as well as stable production IP services.

"The HOPI testbed has far-reaching applications in the scientific, engineering, and medical arenas which have come to require far more sophisticated network and resources than those previously available," said Rick Summerhill, co-chair of the HOPI design team and Internet2 director of network research, architecture and technologies. "Internet2's HOPI investigation represents a new paradigm in networking that goes well beyond traditional production services of today. In doing so, we hope to catalyze a new era of advanced applications which at this point have only been imagined."

Not only will the demonstration highlight the capability to provision on- demand light paths within an administrative domain, but it also proves for the first time, the ability to provision those optical circuits across multiple network administrative domains for global data transmissions. Utilizing DRAGON-developed inter-domain Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) capabilities, which provides control plane capabilities, automated end-to-end circuit provisioning, and management of network resources, the optical routes were seamlessly connected across scientific, HOPI and DRAGON domains. The paths also crossed UKLight, SURFnet, NorthernLight, Nordunet, SUnet, JGN2, StarlLight, GIG-EF, and BOSnet.

"We believe the control plane technologies DRAGON has developed and integrated into HOPI pulls together a number of efforts within the R&E community and the international Internet standards bodies to show that these dynamic hybrid network architectures are indeed viable and of great value to the scientific and academic communities," said Jerry Sobieski, lead coordinator of the HOPI Testbed Support Center and project manager for the DRAGON Project. "This demonstration opens the door for both significant advances in radio astronomy and geodesy as well as establishes a foundation on which the global networking community can expand the scope and availability of these capabilities."

Designed to model future optical networking infrastructures, the HOPI testbed utilizes facilities from Internet2's Abilene Network, the National LambdaRail (NLR) infrastructure, The MAN LAN exchange point, and regional optical networks. HOPI nodes, deployed in Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., each consists of a 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch provided by Force10 Networks, a fiber cross connect switch provided by Glimmerglass, and HP's servers to measure network performance and manage control plane capabilities. For more information on the HOPI project visit: http://networks.internet2.edu/hopi/hopi-media.cfml

The radio astronomy demonstration will be held during SC|05 at the Internet2 booth at the following times:

Internet2 BOOTH#2435: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 11am-2pm PT Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 11am-2pm PT About Internet2(R)

Led by more than 200 U.S. universities working with industry and government, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia, industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy. For more information, visit: http://www.internet2.edu/.

About HOPI

Commissioned in early 2004, the Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) initiative has brought together networking leaders from academia and industry to examine a hybrid of packet and circuit switched optical technologies and explore how to create scalable future networks to support the evolving needs of the research and education community. Utilizing facilities from both Internet2 and the National LambdaRail (NLR) infrastructure, the nationwide testbed will provide a facility for researchers and scientists from around the world to collaborate and experiment with new networking technologies such as dynamically provisioned bandwidth, circuit switched environments, and new transport protocols. For more information, visit: http://hopi.internet2.edu/

Internet2

CONTACT: Lauren Rotman of Internet2, +1-202-331-5345, or
[email protected]

Web site: http://www.internet2.edu/
http://hopi.internet2.edu/

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