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Internet2 Demonstrates Optical Networking Firsts at SC|05 Supercomputing Conference

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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Internet2 Demonstrates Optical Networking Firsts at SC|05 Supercomputing Conference
  • Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 13:43:08 -0500

Internet2 Demonstrates Optical Networking Firsts at SC|05 Supercomputing

Consortium's Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure Testbed Links Radio
Telescopes Across the Globe For Real Time Data Analysis

Seattle, WA- November 16, 2005 - For the first time, three radio telescopes
distributed around the world will be connected via dynamically provisioned
dedicated optical circuits for an electronic Very-Long-Baseline
Interferometry (e-VLBI) observation. Internet2 announced this scientific and
networking achievement at the first major demonstration of its nationwide
Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) testbed, during the SC|05
conference held in Seattle, Washington this week. The demonstration marks a
critical milestone in dynamic or "on demand" optical networking that can
support even the most extreme applications used by the global research and
education community today.

Leveraging the HOPI infrastructure together with the NSF-funded DRAGON
testbed, the telescopes located in Westford Mass. US; Greenbelt, Md. US; and
Onsala, Sweden will be dynamically linked via dedicated low-latency optical
circuits to a central data correlator and simultaneously transmit multiple
gigabits-per-second of data during a 20-minute observation. The team will
also attempt to connect to a fourth telescope in Kashima, Japan during the
demonstration. Historically, radio astronomy data was recorded on magnetic
tape or disk at each site and shipped to the central processing location for
the analysis.

"VLBI is one of the most powerful techniques available for the
high-resolution imaging of distant radio sources in the universe and for
making accurate measurements of the motion of the earth in space," said Alan
Whitney, principal scientist at the MIT Haystack Observatory in Westford,
Massachusetts. "These capabilities also allow scientists to measure such
things as continental drift and to calibrate the orbits of GPS satellites to
enable more accurate position measurements on the surface on the Earth.
Advanced optical networks like HOPI and DRAGON, will undoubtedly open new
doors for radio-astronomy observations and important science."

As a part of Internet2's mission to design and deliver an advanced network
infrastructure to meet the emerging needs of the research and education
community, Internet2 has built the HOPI nationwide testbed to investigate
next-generation network architectures that combine the best qualities of
optical and packet technologies. The testbed is a model for the future of
Internet2's high performance Abilene network which serves as a platform for
both experimental networking applications as well as stable production IP

"The HOPI testbed has far-reaching applications in the scientific,
engineering, and medical arenas which have come to require far more
sophisticated network and resources than those previously available," said
Rick Summerhill, co-chair of the HOPI design team and Internet2 director of
network research, architecture and technologies. "Internet2's HOPI
investigation represents a new paradigm in networking that goes well beyond
traditional production services of today. In doing so, we hope to catalyze a
new era of advanced applications which at this point have only been

Not only will the demonstration highlight the capability to provision
on-demand light paths within an administrative domain, but it also proves
for the first time, the ability to provision those optical circuits across
multiple network administrative domains for global data transmissions.
Utilizing DRAGON-developed inter-domain Generalized Multiprotocol Label
Switching (GMPLS) capabilities, which provides control plane capabilities,
automated end-to-end circuit provisioning, and management of network
resources, the optical routes were seamlessly connected across scientific,
HOPI and DRAGON domains. The paths also crossed UKLight, SURFnet,
NorthernLight, Nordunet, SUnet, JGN2, StarlLight, GIG-EF, and BOSnet.

"We believe the control plane technologies DRAGON has developed and
integrated into HOPI pulls together a number of efforts within the R&E
community and the international Internet standards bodies to show that these
dynamic hybrid network architectures are indeed viable and of great value to
the scientific and academic communities," said Jerry Sobieski, lead
coordinator of the HOPI Testbed Support Center and project manager for the
DRAGON Project. "This demonstration opens the door for both significant
advances in radio astronomy and geodesy as well as establishes a foundation
on which the global networking community can expand the scope and
availability of these capabilities."

Designed to model future optical networking infrastructures, the HOPI
testbed utilizes facilities from Internet2's Abilene Network, the National
LambdaRail (NLR) infrastructure, The MAN LAN exchange point, and regional
optical networks. HOPI nodes, deployed in Seattle, Chicago, New York City,
Los Angeles and Washington D.C., each consists of a 10-Gigabit Ethernet
switch provided by Force10 Networks, a fiber cross connect switch provided
by Glimmerglass, and HP's servers to measure network performance and manage
control plane capabilities. For more information on the HOPI project visit:

The radio astronomy demonstration will be held during SC|05 at the Internet2
booth at the following times:

Internet2 BOOTH#2435:
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 11am-2pm PT
Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 11am-2pm PT

About Internet2(R)
Led by more than 200 U.S. universities working with industry and government,
Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and
technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of
tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia,
industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy.
For more information, visit:

About HOPI
Commissioned in early 2004, the Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure
(HOPI) initiative has brought together networking leaders from academia and
industry to examine a hybrid of packet and circuit switched optical
technologies and explore how to create scalable future networks to support
the evolving needs of the research and education community. Utilizing
facilities from both Internet2 and the National LambdaRail (NLR)
infrastructure, the nationwide testbed will provide a facility for
researchers and scientists from around the world to collaborate and
experiment with new networking technologies such as dynamically provisioned
bandwidth, circuit switched environments, and new transport protocols. For
more information, visit:

Media contact:
Lauren Rotman



  • Internet2 Demonstrates Optical Networking Firsts at SC|05 Supercomputing Conference, Lauren Rotman, 11/16/2005

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