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Call to R&E Community: Help Define Requirements and Plan for Future Internet2 Infrastructure

Oct 10, 2016, by Robert Vietzke
Tags: Advanced Networking, Frontpage News, Network Infrastructure

Last week at the Internet2 TechEx 2016 Meeting, John Moore announced an important call for papers to help define requirements and plan for future Internet2 infrastructure that will support the community well in to the next decade. The call for papers is an incredible opportunity to define the requirements that will drive investment, business models and technology choices for the foreseeable future. It also comes at a time where the definition of “network” is evolving and therefore the call presents a unique opportunity for our community to think about its advanced services infrastructure mission and how our investments can support a new leadership position in the changing environment around us.

Just 6 years ago in the fall of 2010, we were busy beginning installing the current Internet2 Network. With the transformational investment of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, Internet2 began a $100M upgrade in a time where the need was clear. Our network at the time had 9 nodes and was run on a 100Gbps leased network made of constrained 10Gbps waves. We carried only 8.26 Petabytes of traffic that September. Today, the Internet2 community has over 13,500 miles of optical fiber that it owns through at least 2042. We have over 300 points of presence and over 50 programmable service nodes in 42 states on an optical network that has 17.6 terabytes of optical capacity. In September 2016, the network carried 124 Petabytes, a whopping 15X increase in 6 years. Today, we have a successful, growing, network infrastructure with enormous latent capacity.

Our planning to build out that 2010 network was coupled with guidance of the Internet2 Board of Trustees, and also the sustainability requirements of the grant, to ensure that we could sustain our investment into the future. Through these 6 years, sustaining investment by the community, and some deliberate effort to recruit critical partners like ESnet, NOAA, and the Department of Agriculture has us on track with the financial capacity we need to reinvest in the network as soon as 2018, a healthy 8 years after the current rollout.

Now the challenge to the community is setting the right course for our reinvestment. While the base optical layer is likely to sustain us for years to come, the ever-accelerating march of technology in the sciences and the rapid adoption of cloud technologies in support of campus education and administration programs might tell us something about higher layer requirements for the next Internet2 Network. Consolidation of compute, storage and networking might be important. New thinking about content-centric networking, local caching, support for data intensive science, commoditization/open source networks and global reach all may change the way we think about how big-data may move on R&E infrastructures in the future, and what we need to invest in.

Ultimately, the challenge for our community is sorting through an abundance of opportunity and finding the right fit for Internet2’s next advanced infrastructure program. We hope that you will consider the call for papers as a starting point where we can assemble the best minds from our community to begin an important discussion about how we collectively construct our community’s infrastructure future. All ideas and thoughts are welcome!  Please share this message and encourage your teams to participate!

For more information, download the Updated Call for Papers (CFP)!