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Internet2 Community Showcases Advanced Networking Capabilities at SC|06

Posted on Nov 13, 2006 by Doug Howell
Tags: 100 gigabit Ethernet, Advanced Networking, Events, imported, Network Performance

Breakthrough 100 Gigabit Ethernet, Advanced Network Performance, and Hybrid Optical and Packet Networking Demonstrations Take Centerstage at Internet2 Booth 1451

TAMPA, Fla. - November 13, 2006 - This year at SC|06, the Internet2 booth (#1451) will showcase an impressive roster of showfloor demonstrations in partnership with several of its members and other leading research collaborators. Exhibits will include: a first-ever 100 Gigabit Ethernet demonstration, advanced network performance technology demos, as well as several first-time experiments with dynamic hybrid optical and packet networking which serves as the basis for Internet2's next-generation network under deployment this year. These demonstrations will run continuously at the Internet2 booth no. 1451 from November 13th - 16th at the Tampa Convention Center. For more information on Internet2 at SC|06, visit:

Breakthrough 100 Gigabit Ethernet Demonstration

A team of leading research and industry collaborators from Infinera in collaboration with Finisar, Internet2, Level 3 Communications, and the University of California at Santa Cruz have created the first-ever demonstration of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE) technology. The system successfully transmitted a 100 GbE signal over 4000 km from Tampa, Florida to Houston, Texas, and back again, over ten 10 Gb/s channels through the Level 3 network. This is the first time a 100 GbE signal has been successfully transmitted through a live production network. The 100 GbE system will be on display from November 13th through the 16th at the Infinera booth (Booth no. 1157). The system will be transmitting a 100 GbE signal to the Internet2 booth (Booth no. 1451) during the show. The Internet2 and Infinera booths will also be linked using an advanced videoconferencing application.

"The research and education community continues to be the key driver for the development of extreme bandwidth services like 100GbE," said Steve Cotter, Internet2's director of network services, "We are very interested in investigating this breakthrough technology, in collaboration with our network partners, to ensure that our network not only keeps pace but also anticipates the future demands of our members as they pursue increasingly bandwidth-intensive applications, from telemedicine to high-energy physics to high-performance grid computing, among many others."

DRAGON: Integrating Hybrid Network Services with Cyber Resources

On-demand lightpaths will be a key component to creating Internet2's new advanced network. Critical to offering these capabilities is the ability to provision optical circuits across multiple network administrative domains to enable predictable and deterministic end-to-end network transport services. The Internet2 community has been closely collaborating with the NSF-funded DRAGON (Dynamic Resource Allocation via GMPLS Optical Networks) project to examine the requirements and test these dynamic capabilities.

At SC|06, DRAGON in cooperation with Internet2, NASA, ADVA Optical Networking, Xnet, and NICT will showcase several different demonstrations that focus on the integration of hybrid network services with scientific instruments, computation and storage facilities, high resolution video and visualization environments, and other cyber resources to create powerful new concepts in globally distributed applications.

Utilizing technology developed by DRAGON and its collaborating partners, this demonstration shows how application-specific networks can be established dynamically and on demand, combining hybrid network infrastructure from the US, Japan, and Europe. GMPLS network control software and middleware have been developed by DRAGON to meet the needs of applications in such areas as electronic very long baseline interferometry (eVLBI), grid computing, and high resolution video distribution. DRAGON-developed technology is helping to drive the deployment of dedicated circuit services on the new Internet2 Network.

"These demonstrations at SC|06 provide a glimpse into how hybrid networks, dynamic inter-domain provisioning, and advanced concepts in large scale distributed applications can create dramatic new service models for both the e-science community as well as the commercial sector. Internet2 has been an important collaborative partner with DRAGON in deploying and refining these technologies for the broader R&E community. The results of the investment by both NSF and Internet2 in experimental and applied research in these areas are evidenced in the new dynamic hybrid services being rolled out on the Internet2 Network," said Jerry Sobieski, director of research initiatives for the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX) and principle investigator for the DRAGON Project. "Through the use of new control plane technologies developed by DRAGON in cooperation with the international research and education community, we hope to facilitate a new era of advanced applications and services."

End-to End-Performance Technologies for Advanced Networking

As the research and academic community's need for reliable, high performance, high capacity data transfer continues to grow, the Internet2 community has sought to develop solutions to network performance problems. It's long been understood that TCP/IP is not adequate for the transfer of very large sets of data on shared network infrastructures. This year at SC|06, Internet2 will demonstrate two leading end-to-end performance prototype technologies that leverage existing network protocols and technologies providing a seamless solution for end-users. These include:

VFER: High-Performance Transport in User Space

VFER is a portable, user-space tool for improving high-performance data transport. VFER enables the use of advanced congestion control within the data transport application eliminating the administrative and technical burdens of making operating system modifications for improved performance. VFER uses advanced TCP-friendly congestion control that more rapidly than TCP recovers from non-congestive packet loss without disrupting other network traffic. Two modes of use are supported: stand-alone file transfer tool and use as a library for multimedia and other complex applications that currently use simple UDP. The stand-alone file transfer tool uses normal SSH credentials users already have. The "V" in VFER stands for 'velocity' and 'FER' is from the Latin "fero," which appears in words about movement (e.g., transfer).

Phoebus: High-Performance Data Transfer for Hybrid Optical/Packet Networks

Phoebus is an environment for high-performance optical networks that seamlessly creates various adaptation points in the network to maximize performance. By splitting the network path into distinct segments, Phoebus minimizes the impact of packet loss and latency by leveraging the best performance attributes of each network segment. Using an end-to-end session protocol, transport and signaling adaptation points can be controlled and better performance is possible. In addition, the Phoebus adaptation library allows existing applications to take advantage of advanced networks with little or no modification. The Phoebus project aims to help bridge the performance gap by bringing revolutionary networks like Internet2's Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) testbed to users. Many applications can begin to utilize HOPI with no modification by being transparently authenticated and redirected to the circuit network via a Phoebus service node.

Martin Swany, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Delaware and Internet2 faculty fellow explained, "Due to the huge success and growth of the Internet, it has been difficult to deploy disruptive technologies broadly. Phoebus builds on standard Internet infrastructure at the edge of the network, while creating a bridge to advanced optical and packet networks like the new Internet2 network enabling application communities like bioinformatics and satellite or telescope data to benefit from hybrid networking in the short term. In the longer term, Phoebus represents an architectural evolution of the Internet in which commercial network providers can offer a richer set of services to their users because they will no longer be constrained by the performance limitations of TCP."

Both VFER and Phoebus will leverage the Internet2 Abilene Network to enter the SC Bandwidth Challenge. SC|06 is an international conference on high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis and takes place November 11-17th at the Tampa Convention Center. Internet2 staff and collaborators will be on site at booth 1451 to answer questions about the demos and provide additional background on the new advanced Internet2 network. For more information on Internet2 at SC|06, visit:

About Internet2(R)

Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. Internet2 brings the U.S. research and academic community together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community to undertake collaborative efforts that have a fundamental impact on tomorrow's Internet.

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Media Contact

Lauren Rotman, Internet2