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End-to-End 10 Gbps Wavelength Inaugurates New Optical Networking Infrastructure

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
  • To:
  • Subject: End-to-End 10 Gbps Wavelength Inaugurates New Optical Networking Infrastructure
  • Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2004 10:10:56 -0500
  • Organization: National LambdaRail


CAVEwave Provides OptIPuter Researchers Unprecedented Access and
End-to-End Control of National Optical Networking Capabilities

CHICAGO, Illinois - November 2, 2004 - Marking a new era in control over
and accessibility to national-scale optical networking capabilities for
the U.S. research community, the Electronic Visualization Laboratory
(EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has acquired a
dedicated 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) wavelength on the National
LambdaRail (NLR) infrastructure from Chicago to San Diego. The
3,200-mile wavelength, known as the CAVEwave(TM), will initially support
the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded OptIPuter project shared
between UIC and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

"CAVEwave provides researchers with a deterministic network, with
guaranteed bandwidth, schedulable times and known latency
characteristics, in order to understand requirements for the real-time
visualization, analysis and correlation of terabytes and petabytes of
data from multiple storage sites," explained EVL director Tom DeFanti,
"All this bandwidth, which supplements our existing network
infrastructure, for less than the cost of a 32-node cluster at each end!"

NLR is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private
sector technology companies to provide a cutting-edge national scale
network infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking
technologies. The defining characteristic of the NLR infrastructure is
its ability to support many distinct networks for the U.S. research
community using the same core infrastructure. The OptIPuter will be
among several demonstrations supported by the NLR infrastructure at the
upcoming SC2004 conference being held in Pittsburgh, Penn. from November

"Without the visionary establishment of NLR, the national-scale of our
OptIPuter research would be impossible," says OptIPuter principal
investigator Larry Smarr, who is also director of the California
Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a UCSD and
University of California, Irvine (UCI) partnership. "The OptIPuter team
is excited to be an early adopter of NLR and CAVEwave services, and
enthusiastically accepted NLR’s invitation to showcase our research
efforts in the NLR booth at SC2004."

"As the first national optical networking infrastructure owned and
controlled by the U.S. research community, NLR enables unprecedented
control and flexibility in meeting the needs of cutting-edge research
projects," said Tom West, CEO of NLR. "As the CAVEwave demonstrates, NLR
is a cost-effective way to meet a range of needs, from project-specific,
dedicated experimental networks to shared regional and national research
and education production networks."

CAVEwave extends from the EVL laboratory to the StarLight optical
internet exchange in Chicago, to the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP (PNWGP)
in Seattle, to the UCSD campus. It is connected via campus dark fiber to
OptIPuter laboratories at UCSD, and to OptIPuter sites on the UCI and
University of Southern California campuses via CENIC’s eXperimental
Development (XD) multi-gigabit network. This configuration enables
future research among Chicago, San Diego, the University of Washington,
and international colleagues who connect to the PNWGP via Pacific Wave
on the U.S. west coast, or to StarLight in Chicago.

"CAVEwave’s connectivity, and the applications it enables, represents a
milestone," says PNWGP and University of Washington vice president of
computing and communications Ron Johnson. "The network research
community connecting to CAVEwave is orchestrating many major new
developments that will have major implications in how researchers
interact with one another and their data in the months and years to come."

In initial tests between Chicago and San Diego to prepare for SC2004
demonstrations, EVL researchers successfully retrieved datasets from a
storage cluster at the UCSD San Diego Supercomputing Center and
displayed them on a 30-megapixel display in Chicago. A seismic dataset
from UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) was rendered and
visualized using EVL’s Vol-a-Tile, a volume rendering tool for very
large, time-series scientific datasets. Rat cerebellum
ultra-high-resolution microscopy data from UCSD’s National Center for
Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) was displayed using EVL’s
JuxtaView, a tool for visualizing very-high-resolution two-dimensional
imagery on scalable tiled displays. Both Vol-a-Tile and JuxtaView are
being developed under the OptIPuter grant.

# # #

About CAVEwave(TM)
The University of Illinois at Chicago has a persistent 10 Gigabit
Ethernet (GE) connection to the University of Washington in Seattle and
the University of California in San Diego via its own private wavelength
on the National LambdaRail (NLR) infrastructure. Called “CAVEwave,” this
link is dedicated to networking research and development. The CAVEwave
is also available to transport experimental traffic between Federal
agencies, international research centers, and corporate research
projects that bring 1-10 GE wavelengths to Chicago, Seattle, and San
Diego. The CAVEwave can be used to prototype and measure applications
that can be moved to production later on, mitigating the risk of early
adoption by mission critical users. The CAVE(R) is EVL’s virtual reality
room invention; the CAVE was successfully licensed for
commercialization. The CAVEwave is so named because funds derived from
this licensing were spent to procure the 10GE wavelength. CAVE and
CAVEwave are trademarks of the Board of Trustees of the University of

About the Electronic Visualization Laboratory
The Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of
Illinois at Chicago is a graduate research laboratory specializing in
high-performance networked visualization; it is a joint effort of UIC’s
College of Engineering and School of Art and Design, and represents the
oldest formal collaboration between engineering and art in the country
offering graduate MS, PhD and MFA degrees. Having received worldwide
recognition for developing the original CAVE(R) and ImmersaDesk(TM)
virtual-reality systems, EVL’s current research focus is grounded in
collaborative visualization and virtual reality having users in
different locations around the world work together over high-speed
networks in shared, virtual environments, as if they were together in
the same room. For more information, see <>.

About OptIPuter
The OptIPuter is a five-year, $13.5-million project funded by the
National Science Foundation. It will enable scientists who are
generating massive amounts of data to interactively visualize, analyze,
and correlate their data from multiple storage sites connected via
optical networks. University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) lead the research team, with
academic partners at Northwestern University; San Diego State
University; University of Southern California/Information Sciences
Institute; University of California, Irvine; University of Texas A&M;
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/National Center for
Supercomputing Applications; and affiliate partners at the U.S.
Geological Survey EROS Data Center, University of Amsterdam and NASA;
and, industrial partners Big Bangwidth, Calient Networks, CANARIE,
Chiaro Networks, Cisco, Glimmerglass Networks, HP, IBM, Level (3)
Communications, Lucent Technologies, Sun Microsystems and Telcordia. For
more information, see <>.

About National LambdaRail, Inc.
National LambdaRail (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research
universities and private sector technology companies to provide a
national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in
networking technologies and applications. NLR puts the control, the
power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the
hands of our nation’s scientists and researchers. For more information,
see <>.

About Pacific Northwest GigaPoP
The Pacific NorthWest GigaPoP (PNWGP) is a leading next-generation
international and domestic network, exchange and testbed facility and a
provider of advanced networking capabilities across the northwest.
PNWGP is a founder of both National LambdaRail (NLR) and of Pacific
Wave, the distributed U.S. west coast-based international and national
interconnection and exchange infrastructure which it operates in
partnership with CENIC. For more information about PNWGP, see
<>; For more information about Pacific Wave, see

About StarLight
StarLight is an advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for
network services optimized for high-performance applications.
Operational since summer 2001, StarLight is a 1GE and 10GE switch/router
facility for high-performance access to participating networks and also
offers true optical switching for wavelengths. StarLight is being
developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the International Center for
Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, and the
Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National
Laboratory, in partnership with Canada's CANARIE and the Netherlands'
SURFnet. STAR TAP and StarLight are made possible by major funding from
the US National Science Foundation to UIC. StarLight is a service mark
of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. See

National LambdaRail, Inc.
Greg Wood
(202) 331-5360

Maxine Brown
(312) 996-3002

  • End-to-End 10 Gbps Wavelength Inaugurates New Optical Networking Infrastructure, Greg Wood, 11/02/2004

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