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Caltech's VRVS Project Extends Its Research Collaboration

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  • From: "Lauren B. Kallens" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Caltech's VRVS Project Extends Its Research Collaboration
  • Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:16:13 -0400

Caltech's VRVS Project Extends Its Research Collaboration

Worldwide: The VRVS team will collaborate with Research and Education
networks and major research projects around the globe to provide the
academic community with a unique and reliable real-time infrastructure
supporting all protocols for advanced collaboration.

Pasadena, California, October 15, 2004: In response to strong demand, the
VRVS team will extend their research collaboration and service offerings
beyond High Energy and Nuclear Physics, to other research and academic
communities. The VRVS Project will offer each of its partners (initially all
the National and Education Networks or very large scientific research
projects) a dedicated "Community" of virtual rooms hosted in the VRVS Web
server, in exchange for appointing a designated full time administrator
working on behalf of the partner's field.

The VRVS (Virtual Room Videoconferencing System) is a unique, globally
scalable next-generation system for real-time collaboration by small
workgroups, medium and large teams engaged in research, education and
outreach. VRVS operates over an ensemble of national and international
networks. The system was initially built as a prototype-production system
serving the high energy and nuclear physics (HENP) community and some other
data-intensive science and engineering sectors. Since its first deployment
in 1997, its functions and features have been continually enhanced, and its
scalability has been upgraded substantially through use of the latest system
architectures. VRVS now provides the global collaboration infrastructure and
Web-enabled user interfaces required to meet the research and education
needs of many fields. It covers the full range of existing and emerging
network protocols, and the full range of client devices for collaboration,
from mobile systems through desktops to installations in large auditoria.

Today, around 12,000 users have been registered on the system. An average of
800 worldwide collaborative sessions are performed every month, involving
more than 3000 users and representing a cumulative time of 4700 hours of
research collaboration over the Internet. The VRVS infrastructure is
currently deployed on 82 reflectors (Linux servers) that manage, optimize
and direct the traffic VRVS media streams worldwide. VRVS supports users on
Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms. It is entirely web-based, so very
user-friendly. It has a scheduler for organizing collaboration meetings but
can also create permanent virtual rooms. It supports all the common
standards (H.323, Mbone and SIP). It is developed in partnership with Grid
projects and integrated the latest Grid monitoring software into the VRVS

The planned large-scale deployment and expanded set of partnerships will
provide us with critical data on the scalability and adaptability of the
system to diverse working environments. We will use this data and experience
to drive the design and development of our next generation Grid-enabled
Collaborative System. This system, whose goals include global scalability,
agent-based self-monitoring of operations, enhanced security and end-to-end
real time performance optimization, will be deployed in the near future.

The VRVS team will continue to work closely with our current national
research and education network partners: Internet2 (U.S.; via the
Internet2 Commons), REDIRIS (Spain), RNP (Brazil), REUNA (Chile), RENATER
(France), SANET (Slovakia), INFN (Italy), and FUNET (Finland), while we add
additional partners to the list.

For more information visit or send an email to

  • Caltech's VRVS Project Extends Its Research Collaboration, Lauren B. Kallens, 10/15/2004

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