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IU, Internet2 Celebrate 15-Year Partnership for Advanced Research and Education Networks

Posted on Sep 10, 2013 by Todd Sedmak
Tags: 100 gigabit Ethernet, Advanced Networking, Higher Education, Innovation Platform, Internet2 Network, Network Partnerships, Partnerships, Research & Education Networks

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.-—(September 10, 2013) For 15 years, the nation's most advanced research and education networks have operated from Indiana, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership between Indiana University and Internet2 that founded the Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC) at IU. Internet2 is the advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading universities.

Today, Indiana University will honor the GlobalNOC's past and future at a 15th anniversary celebration in the Informatics & Communications Technology Complex (ICTC) on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer, will lead the celebration, and IU President Michael A. McRobbie and Rob Vietzke, Internet2 vice president of network services, will offer comments.

"The GlobalNOC has been at the heart of Indiana University's leadership in managing high-speed international computer network services for the past 15 years, and its continued growth and success are further confirmation of IU's position as one of the world's leading international universities," said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. "Scholarship and research in just about every discipline from anthropology to zoology rely on collaboration between universities here and abroad, especially in the sciences. The international networks supported by the GlobalNOC make possible a level of collaboration among researchers at the world's major scientific and engineering institutions that couldn't even be imagined just 20 years ago."

"On a personal note, having been part of the team that early on recognized the unique opportunity that the GlobalNOC provided for the state and the university, I am immensely proud of all that has been achieved over these 15 years. The university and the state, working closely with Internet2, are now in a unique position to continue pushing the very frontiers of advanced research networks."

IU formed the GlobalNOC in 1998 to provide 24-hour network operations for the first national research and education network - Internet2. Engineering and operations from the GlobalNOC were again used to complete the new 100 gigabit Ethernet (GE) technology. With its launch last fall the Internet2 Network became the first 100GE open, national-scale Software-Defined Network (SDN) that employs OpenFlow standards. GlobalNOC's Service Desk, Network Engineering, and Software and Systems teams support the new network and these teams ensure reliability, performance, and advanced capabilities for Internet2 and more than 20 additional projects.

The new network is the cornerstone of the Internet2 Innovation Platform – a bundling of next-generation technologies. Members are adopting the new technologies to spur scientific discovery and drive competitiveness. Innovation Platform adopters now number more than 40 Internet2 member institutions and regional networks, with Indiana University being one of the first adopters in early 2012.

The Innovation Platform technologies provided by the new Internet2 Network enables IU researchers to push the frontiers of big data, grid computing and even technical innovation in the network itself. The GlobalNOC also manages networks to Asia, Europe and a direct link to China to enable researchers at US universities and around the world to collaborate at the frontiers of human discovery. Massive physics data from the Large Hadron Collider in Europe and astrological images worldwide move across these networks.

For the state of Indiana, the GlobalNOC is a true success story -- creating jobs, attracting talented people, and bringing in millions of dollars in research funding. Since 1998, it has grown from three to 80 highly skilled, full-time employees, creating jobs for college graduates and recruiting talent to Indiana. The GlobalNOC also attracts new IU faculty who study network performance, win federal research grants, and attract highly talented students.

"The GlobalNOC has been a triple success for IU's service to the state, the nation, and the world," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and CIO. "The university and the state have the service of some of the nation's most advanced network engineers via the I-Light network, and the GlobalNOC has helped stem and reverse the state's so-called 'brain drain' by creating jobs and recruiting staff and their families to Indiana. IU's networks team has earned the respect of networking teams around the country and brought in numerous federal projects."

"When 36 of the world's best research institutions created Internet2 in 1996, the mission was to remain steps ahead of all other Internet networks and to provide more advanced capabilities to support America's researchers, while maintaining superior execution," said H. David Lambert, president and chief executive officer of Internet2. "With support that extended to Indiana's legislature, Indiana University put forth a proposal in 1998 to become a critical partner to the Internet2 community's vision for advanced networking. Today, the continued success of that commitment is realized in Indiana through the continued growth of the GRNOC. Our partnership and wise investment to implement the Internet2 vision are benefitting Indiana and enabling the US research and education community to stay out in front."

GlobalNOC's current partners and projects include:

  • Internet2 Network: GlobalNOC supports Internet2's national 100 GE backbone for innovative network, cloud and trust applications that empower new research and education applications throughout the US.
  • TransPAC3: A 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) network directly connecting U.S. researchers with their colleagues in Asia. Notably, TransPAC3 provided the first US-China connection specifically dedicated to academic scientific research. TransPAC3 is funded by IU with National Science Foundation support, and in cooperation with partners Internet2 and the CNGI initiative in China.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) N-Wave: As NOAA's science network, N-Wave, leverages the national Internet2 backbone to connect researchers from a variety of fields (oceanography, chemistry, biology, meteorology, mathematics, physics, computer sciences and engineering) to the data and resources they need to advance environmental science.
  • America Connects to Europe (ACE): This network connects US scientists and researchers to their counterparts in the European Union. ACE played a key role in last year's discovery of the Higgs boson – by using the high-speed ACE network, scientists could easily move huge amounts of data from Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider to the US, speeding collaboration and discovery.
  • Pennsylvania Research and Education Network (PennREN): This is a statewide, fiber-optic cable network that extends over 1,600 miles and reaches 50 Pennsylvania counties – connecting higher education institutions, pre-K-12 programs, health care entities, libraries and not-for-profits for the first time.
  • Monon100: In 2012, Indiana became the first state to launch a high-speed 100-Gigabits per second (Gbps) network link dedicated to research and education. Named the Monon100, it lets scientists and medical researchers rapidly share the massive amounts of data created by modern digital instruments like gene sequencers, powerful microscopes, and the Large Hadron Collider.
  • I-Light: As Indiana's high-speed fiber optic network for the research and education community, I-Light connects all of the state's colleges and universities. The network supports education and collaboration through high-quality video connections, the exchange of large data files, access to supercomputers and scientific data storage facilities and more.


About Internet2® •
Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Internet2 consists of more than 245 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Emeryville, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

Media contacts:

IU Media

Ceci Jones Schrock Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and CIO 812-856-2337


Todd Sedmak
PR & Media Relations Manager