ANN ARBOR, Mich - October 9, 2009 – Internet2 this week announced a new production network service that allows researchers the ability to easily create dedicated, customized circuits on demand. Internet2 ION allows users to provision bandwidth when they need it to meet their applications’ specific time and capacity requirements. Using a simple web interface, dedicated circuits can be created instantly or reserved in advance and can be provisioned on the Internet2 Network across partner networks like the Department of Energy’s ESnet to provide guaranteed network resources for the most demanding of scientific experiments.
“Researchers in a wide range of disciplines including high energy physics, radio astronomy and climate research are eager to have predictable capabilities and capacities for the intense requirements of their science. Internet2 ION provides researchers that require reliable dedicated network resources to support their work and to ensure new scientific discovery is only limited by imagination and not by network resources,” said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of network services. “We look forward to working with our regional network partners to roll out this service and to make it useful to our community across the country.”
Internet2 ION is built on technology developed in collaboration with key partners including GÉANT and ESnet. The service leverages OSCARS technology, developed in collaboration with ESnet in part through funding by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The service also leverages DRAGON technology, developed in part through National Science Foundation funding by MAX, USC ISI East, and George Mason University.
By leveraging these technologies, which are designed using widely deployed protocols, Internet2 ION is able to dynamically create circuits across the Internet2 Network and into partner regional, national and international networks, connecting researchers with their colleagues worldwide. For many distributed users and applications of today, this is an absolute requirement.
“The Internet2 ION service opens up a whole new range of options for High-Energy Physicists using the network. Using ION initiated connections will allow us to optimize our transport of high-priority data without having to worry about potentially disruptive protocols interfering with other users,” said Shawn McKee, research scientist at the University of Michigan. “In addition, having the ability to create circuits via ION will provide us with the possibility of prioritizing and protecting the most critical data flows within our globally distributed infrastructure. As such, ION should help us expedite the anticipated scientific discoveries as part of the Large Hadron Collider research.”
To create a circuit, the user signs into a simple, secure, web interface and follows a wizard-like, six-step process, setting start and end points, start and end times, bandwidth (available in 50Mbps increments up to 10Gbps) and other parameters. Reasonable default settings and helpful widgets speed the process, and context-sensitive help appears on screen. Users can also view sortable lists of current and past circuit reservations, create favorites, cancel reservations or modify start and end times, even jump-start a new circuit reservation by cloning an existing one.
Monitoring screens and maps are also provided, allowing users to review their circuit status and usage statistics—the up/down state of optical and Ethernet links, utilization, dropped packets, discarded packets and errored packets for ingress and egress points.
The research prototype version of the service was first known as DCN (Dynamic Circuit Network), but that term now refers to the underlying technology that enables services like Internet2 ION. The service's release signals the launch of a leading-edge production service, which represents the Internet2 community’s gateway to realizing the vision of dynamic circuit networking.
“ION brings to fruition the vision of dynamic circuit networking that has been developed through a community-based network research initiative over the past five years,” said George Loftus, president of OSHEAN and chair of the Internet2 Architecture and Operations Advisory Council. “We are confident that Internet2 members who need to deliver the most cutting edge services to researchers will find the ION service invaluable.”
Both the Internet2 AOAC, which advises on operations and architecture of the Internet2 Network, and the Research Advisory Council (RAC), which advises on network-focused research, have provided guidance on the development of the service and have endorsed its capabilities for the Internet2 community.
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:www.internet2.edu