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Internet2 Announces Key Milestone In Its Hybrid Optical And Packet Infrastructure Initiative

Posted on Jan 26, 2005 by Doug Howell
Tags: Advanced Network Services, Advanced Networking, imported, Internet2 Network, Network Architecture, Network Partnerships, Network Performance, Performance Monitoring

Project's Design Team Introduces Testbed For Advanced Network Architecture Experimentation; Testbed to Serve as Model for Next-Generation Networks

Ann Arbor, MI -– January 26, 2005 -- The Internet2® Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) initiative today announced its design for a national network testbed infrastructure that, once built, will serve as a foundation for cutting-edge experimentation and a model for the next generation of Internet2’s network architecture. As a part of its mission to design and deliver an advanced network infrastructure to meet the emerging needs of its member community, Internet2 has initiated the HOPI initiative to investigate next-generation high performance network architectures.

“Today scientists, doctors, and researchers throughout the world are using Internet2’s Abilene Network to collaborate and share bandwidth-intensive resources. Through the HOPI initiative we hope to explore and develop a new network architecture that can support our ever-evolving community and its growing capacity needs,” said Rick Summerhill, director of network research, architecture, and technologies for Internet2 and HOPI Design Team co-chair. “By providing a fundamental roadmap for the next generation network, we hope to continue to facilitate the most innovative uses of networking.”

Representing technology leaders from the foremost research institutions around the world, The HOPI Design Team was created to provide a strategic plan and technical oversight for development and execution of the HOPI testbed facility. Based on in-depth research, expert discussions, and an examination of future networking technologies, the Design Team has created a rich set of guidelines and an outline for this national scale testbed effort.

“The HOPI Design Team sought to create a testbed facility that could provide a platform to experiment with hybrid networks constructed from both circuit switched and packet switched infrastructures,” said Linda Winkler, senior network engineer for the Argonne National Laboratory and HOPI Design Team co-chairperson. “We believe the resulting architecture combines the best means for experimenting with the attributes of IP and optical networking, dynamic provisioning, and the scalability of future hybrid networks.”

The testbed will allow researchers and scientists from around the world to participate and experiment with new networking technologies such as dynamically provisioned bandwidth, circuit switched environments, and new transport protocols. To accomplish this, each HOPI node will consist of an Ethernet switch with 10GigE capabilities, a fiber cross connect switch, and servers to control HOPI’s network infrastructure and measure network performance, all designed to model future optical infrastructures.

The HOPI testbed will utilize facilities from Internet2’s Abilene Network, the National Lambda Rail (NLR) network, the MANLAN exchange point, and regional optical networks. Over the next three months, HOPI nodes will be deployed in sites supporting substantial international connectivity, including the Pacific Northwest GigPoP in Seattle, StarLight in Chicago, and the NYSERNet/MAN LAN location in New York City. HOPI nodes will also be deployed in Los Angeles for connectivity to the UltraLight project and in Washington D.C. for connectivity to the DRAGON project. Both UltraLight and DRAGON are projects funded by the National Science Foundation. Additionally, all of the HOPI nodes will connect to the existing Abilene routers in their corresponding cities. These nodes will in turn, connect to Internet2’s experimental facilities on the NLR footprint. This configuration will allow Abilene-connected researchers access to the HOPI facilities.

Summerhill added, “With the testbed design in place, we are now poised and ready to work with our members and our international partners to bring this global experiment to fruition. By combining the technical expertise and leading-edge resources of our members and partners, we are confident that the HOPI initiative will yield breakthroughs for the future of high performance networking.”

About HOPI

Commissioned in early 2004, the Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) initiative is examining a hybrid of packet and circuit switched optical infrastructures to understand next generation architectures and how to create scalable future networks. The first stage of the project is the HOPI testbed. Utilizing facilities from both Internet2 and the National Lambda Rail (NLR), the testbed will provide a facility to understand and experiment with next generation architectures with the goal of creating a model leading to the next-generation of the Abilene Network by 2007. For more information, visit:

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:


Lauren Kallens