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Research and Education Community Collaborates to Deploy Dynamic Circuit Network Capabilities

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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Research and Education Community Collaborates to Deploy Dynamic Circuit Network Capabilities
  • Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 15:02:34 -0400

Research and Education Community Collaborates to Deploy Breakthrough Dynamic
Circuit Network Capabilities to Enable High Performance Applications

Arlington, VA – April 23, 2008 – Since the completion of the new Internet2
Network infrastructure last fall, many organizations in the research and
education community, including Internet2, several regional network
Connectors, universities, national laboratories, as well as international
and corporate partners have collaborated to deploy developmental dynamic
circuit networking (DCN) capabilities to support a variety of large-scale
research projects that require high-performance networking.

Dynamic Circuit Networking-enabled backbone networks, such as Internet2, the
Department of Energy’s ESnet, and the pan-European GÉANT2 AutoBAHN network,
as well as several regional U.S. networks allow users to set up short-term
dedicated network paths on demand for high-performance data transfers. In
contrast with shared IP-based networks such as the commercial Internet, DCNs
offer unprecedented control over dedicated network resources and enable
demanding applications to maximize their utilization of the network.

Several researchers are now poised to become the very first users of these
new dynamic circuit networks, which will fundamentally change the way
science medicine, the arts and humanities, distance learning and beyond is

"We are pleased to be working together with many regional network partners
and university members to successfully implement several connections to the
Internet2 DCN. As these early adopters are able to increasingly experience
the enhanced performance and reliability this technology can deliver, we
believe DCN will rapidly progress beyond its developmental stage and see
significant growth in the number of users who can reach and benefit from the
service," said Rick Summerhill, Internet2 chief technology officer.

Currently there are seven DCN-enabled regional networks in the United States
and the number continues to grow. Among the DCN connectors is the Merit
Network in Michigan, which is currently working with the University of
Michigan (U-M) to provision a connection to the Internet2 DCN. Merit sees
this type of architecture as a significant next step in the evolution of
networks that will benefit their researchers, such as the high-energy
physicists involved in the Large Hadron Collider ATLAS experiment. These
researchers need to transmit and analyze several terabytes of information
every few weeks, but only have very short windows of time in which to do so
which makes it an ideal application for DCN technology.

"Adding dynamic capabilities to the network allows a wider range of
specialized applications to be handled within the production network. This
can reduce the overhead for network service providers like Merit while at
the same time vastly improving performance and service for the end user,"
said Robert Duncan, backbone engineering manager at Merit Network.

Shawn McKee, a high-energy astrophysicist, research scientist and US ATLAS
Great Lakes Tier-2 center director at U-M is participating in the ATLAS
project at the LHC. Starting later in 2008, the ATLAS detector will search
for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily
high energy. ATLAS will learn about the basic forces that have shaped the
universe since the beginning of time and that will determine its fate
including mass, extra dimensions of space, microscopic black holes, and
evidence for dark matter candidates in the universe.

"DCN will significantly boost the productivity and efficiency of our LHC
work. By properly balancing user requirements, DCN helps us avoid the
possibility that computers sit idle because of unexpected network congestion
that can slow transfers. The overall distributed system becomes both more
effective and efficient which means more users can get their work done and
resources are more highly utilized,” said McKee.

Similarly to Merit, NYSERNet, which provides advanced networking for the
research and education community in New York, sees significant potential in
the use of dynamic networking and has begun to deploy the capabilities with
hopes of - in the short term - supporting researchers involved in big
science projects like the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave
Observatory (LIGO).

With funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation and designed and
operated by the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, LIGO was created for the purpose of detecting
cosmic gravitational waves and for the development of gravitational-wave
observations as an astronomical tool. Research is carried out by the LIGO
Scientific Collaboration, a group of close to six hundred scientists at
universities around the U.S. and in 11 foreign countries.

A Syracuse University researcher is among the scientists involved in this
global effort. According to Bill Owens, director of advanced technology and
networking for NYSERNet, the LIGO collaboration is nearly tailor-made for
DCN since many of its researchers require only occasional access to several
terabytes of data from other remotely-located LIGO participants.

Owens is extending DCN capabilities through the NYSERNet regional network to
support the LIGO research, and in the longer term believes other application
communities will adopt these resources to improve their application
performance and enhance utilization of the network. Today two NYSERNet
member campuses are connected to the Internet2 DCN while three others are in
the process of installing a connection.

“At all levels - campus, regional and connections to national backbone - we
are challenged by the presence of individual applications that have very
high peak utilization, but only occasional needs,” said Owens. “It’s not
cost effective for us to overbuild the network to support all of them, and
then have the bandwidth go unused most of the time. Dynamic circuit
networking offers us a platform to support those needs.”

As additional regional networks become DCN-enabled, more users and
applications will be able to benefit from its performance and capabilities.
For instance, members may look to explore how projects involving
high-definition video applications might benefit from dedicated circuits.
The arts and humanities and tele-health communities have also begun thinking
how DCN might augment or improve their current network-based programs.

The Internet2 Dynamic Circuit Network is currently deployed as a persistent
developmental service. To support the development, deployment, and use of
the DCN capabilities, Internet2 has initiated a no-fee trial of the
Internet2 DCN for 2008.

The annual Internet2 Spring Member Meeting is being held this week in
Arlington, VA. Sessions on DCN technology included:

For more information, visit:

  • Research and Education Community Collaborates to Deploy Dynamic Circuit Network Capabilities, Lauren Rotman, 04/23/2008

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