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Internet2 Deploys Experimental Phoebus Service

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 by Doug Howell
Tags: Big Data, Datasets for Research, Dynamic Circuit Network, imported, Internet2 Network, Network Architecture, Network Performance, Performance Tools

New Session Layer Protocol and Framework Aims to Improve Performance for Long Distance Data Transfers

LINCOLN, Neb. - July 22, 2008 - Internet2 today announced it is deploying the Phoebus framework on its network as an experimental research and development prototype that aims to provide significant performance improvements for long distance, high-capacity data transfers like those critical to large-scale research projects like the Large Hadron Collider.

Conceived and under active development by computer science researchers at the University of Delaware, the Phoebus platform embeds greater "intelligence" in the network, enabling it to automatically off-load large data flows from the IP network onto dedicated links on the Internet2 Dynamic Circuit Network (DCN). By transparently moving high-demand applications onto dedicated paths, the project hopes to help users benefit from the improved performance and precise quality of service that characterize circuit networking while at the same time placing far less strain on the shared IP infrastructure.

"The Internet2 Network provides our members a proving ground for new technology and services like Phoebus. We are excited about the potential of Phoebus to enable our members to experiment with and better leverage the high performance capabilities of the Internet2 hybrid optical and IP network environment," said Rick Summerhill, chief technology officer of Internet2.

Phoebus works by segmenting a connection into a series of transport layer connections at adaption points in the network called Phoebus Gateways. The technology then finds the best transport protocol for the data on a segment-by-segment basis. On the Internet2 infrastructure, this means applications could access the DCN using a standard TCP connection to the closest Phoebus Gateway on the backbone. The gateway then shifts the data onto a dynamically created circuit to traverse the long-haul portion of the path where it is then transferred back onto the shared IP network to reach its destination.

"Phoebus builds on standard Internet infrastructure at the edge of the network, while creating a bridge to advanced architectures like the Internet2 DCN to enable a broader range of applications and systems to immediately experience the improved performance of dynamic circuit network capabilities," said Martin Swany, assistant professor of computer and information sciences at the University of Delaware and lead developer of Phoebus.

While Phoebus Gateways are currently deployed at Internet2 IP backbone nodes, gateways can also be installed at any regional network and university campus having an Internet2 DCN connection to experiment with the technology to provide even greater application performance improvements. NYSERNet, the advanced networking provider for the New York research and education community, is among the early users of Phoebus technology to support a Syracuse University researcher involved with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.

Funded by the NSF and operated by the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, LIGO was created for the purpose of detecting cosmic gravitational waves and for the development of gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Researchers involved in this project require occasional access to several terabytes of data from other remotely-located LIGO participants.

"To date, our Phoebus testing has shown dramatic performance increases, even while using well-tuned applications that were already achieving good performance over the routed IP network," said Bill Owens, director of advanced technology and networking for NYSERNet. "For instance, one LIGO researcher in our region has been able to increase his application performance by over 10 times, reducing the time needed to transfer a dataset that is central to his research from 40 days to less than four."

Phoebus developers will continue to work with the Internet2 member community and working groups to refine existing functionality and identify additional features that address user needs that will enable it to potentially progress beyond an experimental prototype.

Martin Swany, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, University of Delaware and lead developer of Phoebus will present a session on the technology at the ESCC/Internet2 Joint Techs Workshop, July 22, 2008 at 3:20pm CDT. The session will be netcast for worldwide viewing. For more information, visit: 067&event=281

The netcast will be archived for future viewing.

For more information on Phoebus, visit:

About Internet2

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. For more information:

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