National LambdaRail

NLR Blog

Friday, December 19, 2008

Top Ten IT Trends for Higher Education in 2009

A very interesting thought piece from one of NLR's esteemed members, Lev Gonick. Definitely worth reading.

"Combined, economic blues, end-user fatigue, and a growing sense of collective vulnerability to the forces who would seek to harm us has the campus technology community facing its biggest set of challenges in 25 years."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN)

Promoting a more effective marketplace, greater competition, and increased choice through accessibility to accurate information on healthcare costs, quality, and outcomes The Office of the National Coordinator is advancing the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) as a ‘network of networks,” which will connect diverse entities that need to exchange health information, such as state and regional health information exchanges (HIEs), integrated delivery systems, health plans that provide care, personally controlled health records, Federal agencies, and other networks as well as the systems they, in turn, connect.

ONC is advancing the development of the NHIN using a three-phased approach:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Printable NLR Map Available

A new map of NLR that includes a list of regional optical member contacts is now available on the NLR website.

The direct connection is
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Mexico Computing Applications Center Brings One of the World's Fastest Supercomputers to Darkstrand Network

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 19, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, Darkstrand, a pioneer in corporate high-speed connectivity bridging research and commercialization, announced a strategic partnership agreement with the New Mexico Computing Applications Center (NMCAC), a premier research institution dedicated to applications-driven high-speed computer problem solving. NMCAC currently hosts the 12th fastest supercomputer in the world, according to the biannual TOP500 Project, known as "Encanto," and this alliance opens a virtual gateway for corporate America to the vast supercomputing resources and expertise that NMCAC holds. Corporations with connectivity to the Darkstrand fiber optic network will now have the power to drive innovative, high-performance computing (HPC) initiatives in real-time collaboration with NMCAC supercomputer and its affiliated institutions.
Monday, November 24, 2008

Calendar Added to the NLR Web Site

A calendar was added to the NLR web site. You can find it on the home page, left nav bar.
Friday, November 21, 2008

CEO Search Underway

National LamdbaRail has begun a search for a CEO.

The announcement of the search can be found here:

More information about position can be found in this pdf file:

If you have a confidential inquiry or would like to find out additional information, you can send email to or contact Paul Giebel, of Moran Technology Consulting, at: 877-212-6539
Friday, October 10, 2008

California Scientists Demonstrate How to Use Advanced Fiber-Optic Backbone for Research

How can super-fast networking among research institutions in California help scientists make new discoveries? Researchers, campus administrators and networking infrastructure officials converged on the University of California, San Diego in September to find out.

Taking advantage of the statewide, fiber-based California Research & Education Network (CalREN) and campus fiber-optic connections in and out of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) building on the UC San Diego campus, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) held a two-day workshop showcasing end-to-end advanced scientific applications enabled by CalREN's high-performance "experimental-developmental" (CalREN-XD) and "high performance & research" (CalREN-HPR) infrastructure.

"We brought together the community in order to educate researchers in a variety of disciplines about new cyberinfrastructure technologies to enable new ways of doing science," said Jim Dolgonas, president of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC). "We expect to continue doing these types of workshops, because they give domain scientists very concrete examples of how their colleagues are benefiting from access to California's considerable investment in a world-class networking infrastructure."
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NLR All Hands Meeting Scheduled

NLR is hosting an All Hands Meeting next month. The meeting is open to members and member participating institutions.

Dates: Tuesday, October 7 and Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Location: Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park

More information about the event including the draft agenda and hotel information can be found at

NLR is accepting proposals for presentations at the event. If you would like to submit a proposal, please contact Bonnie Hurst. You should also contact Bonnie if you wish to attend the meeting but are not a member or a participating institution of a member.

Upgrade Install Update - Cross-connects, colo, designs, and more

We've been working hard on a variety of projects related to getting out colo in shape for the installs/upgrades. We've consolidated racks in Boise, Ogden, and Denver and upgraded the power in the newly freed up racks to support our new 15454 systems. Power upgrades are just starting to deliver from Level(3) right now. Our new colo through the heartland and East coast is almost ready to deliver and we'll be doing work in McLean/DC, Atlanta, and Jacksonville very shortly in order to consolidate the racks there, and in Sunnyvale and LA along with our partners, Cisco Systems.

Cross-connect orders for the East coast and middle of the country (McLean/DC to Seattle) have been placed. We're holding off on the order for the West coast until CENIC is done with the fiber (the loaner fiber there is coming from them). I am concerned that a jumper may be prematurely pulled if we were to order now. On the East & West coast we have loaner fiber from MCNC and CENIC, and will be having the final cross-connect plugged in by Level(3) when ordered. In the middle, we're just having the jumpers pre-run in case we have a problem with the existing cross-connects. All of this is because the 15808's use FC connectors and 15454's use LC. We'll be attaching a small pigtail to convert the FC to an LC during the upgrade, to get around any potential scheduling problems with Level3 and the FSX, but we'll be removing the pigtails after the route is up, one a night, in order to gain back the loss we introduced and simplify the layout.

We have completed designs, but are just now finishing up the final tweaks to them: assigning specific channels to specific customers and layout out their gen cross-connects. We have final designs for CHIC-KANS and WASH-JACK and have passed them on to Lightriver, our installation contactor. The other routes are waiting upon the delivery of the brand new CTP v9 and its support for RAMA amplification, which the other routes all use.

Colo delivers, cross-connect deliver, design finalization, and equipment delivery is all having an impact on the schedule. Currently we are scheduled to begin screwdriver installs around October 15 and perform the last handover in mid-January. Slippage on the colo delivery, cross-connect delivery, or equipment delivery will impact those dates.

Our first route installed & turned up will be WASH-JACK, and we're preparing the rerouting of several of our customer waves even as I type. We're bringing up new circuits from Starlight to Atlanta to shorten the latency of the wave reroutes that JACK-ATLA customers would otherwise face. I expect to talk to those customers at the end of the week to work out a schedule and solution that's best for them.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

NLR to Provide Optical Network Services to the Global Environment for Network Innovations

National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) and BBN Technologies (BBN) announced today that NLR will provide strategic optical services on its national optical infrastructure to support the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) Project Office (GPO), located at BBN, to build and test prototypes of the GENI system.

NLR is providing up to 30 Gbps of capacity on three different networks on NLR infrastructure. At layer 2, NLR and Cisco are providing nondedicated prototype abilities on two unique network infrastructures; FrameNet and CWave. NLR’s FrameNet will support up to 10 Gbps of nondedicated configurable Virtual Private Network services to GENI’s Development and Prototyping engineering teams. Cisco’s CWave will provide up to an additional 10 Gbps on a breakable, configurable MPLS network – a unique opportunity for teams to test prototype software on a national infrastructure.

The bandwidth will be used by teams of subcontractors working with BBN to test components of GENI. BBN is currently negotiating with potential subcontractors who responded to the GPO’s solicitation earlier this year and expects to announce the subcontracts shortly.

For more, visit
Monday, July 21, 2008

Selecting the Installation Vendor

NLR created an RFP in late June in order to solicit & retain the services of an installation vendor for our new Cisco 1545 equipment that's going in to replace the Cisco 15808 equipment on our Northern/phase 1 routes. We released the RFP in late June, and requested responses back prior the July 4th break. We had 6 reponses that made it in, resulting in quite a pile of paperwork to take home on a Thursday afternoon. [Mental Note - This is NOT the best way to enjoy a 3-day holiday weekend ...]

NLR took the next week to review the proposals and we selected one that we felt was the best fit given our Research & Education nature and the challenges faced in upgrading a working system.

I'm happy to announce that Lightriver Technologies will be performing the heavy lifting of the nw installs. We've already had a preliminary phone call with their team and they'll be visiting the GlobalNOC at Indiana University at the end of this week to begin discussing the logistics & technicial challenges we face in the upcoming process.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PSC staff and resources make possible an unprecedented experiment in “ensemble” forecasting of severe storms

For the full story, visit

[The experiment team utilized the NLR PacketNet service for their research.]

The night of May 4, 2007 won’t fade soon from the memory of people in Greensburg, Kansas. An extremely powerful tornado took only a few minutes to flatten almost every above-ground structure in this southwest Kansas town, claiming 10 lives. Catastrophic as it was, the loss would have been worse but for a very strongly worded warning from the National Weather Service office in Dodge City, about a half-hour in advance of the funnel’s arrival, that residents credit with allowing most people to find safe shelter.

What if the warning had come a half-day in advance? Thunderstorms are difficult to predict, and “supercells,” the high-energy vortex systems that spin-off tornados, are notoriously difficult. Nevertheless, if it were possible six or eight hours or more in advance to say when, where and with how much force a severe storm would strike, millions of dollars annually — if not billions — and countless lives would be saved.

PHOTO: Voth and Blood

Ming Xue, director of CAPS, Steven Weiss, science and operations officer of the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman

Scientists at the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at the University of Oklahoma, Norman know that it is possible to dramatically improve severe-storm forecasting, and their ground-breaking work over the past 15 years — often in partnership with PSC — has convinced many skeptics. They took a further large step this spring, collaborating with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), PSC and others in an unprecedented experiment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Researchers Rebuild Their Effort to Rebuild the Internet

Reinventing the Internet isn't easy. Researchers working on a federally supported effort to design a replacement recently had to go back to the drawing board. They now think the best way to do it is to try several "best ways" instead of searching for just one — and to invite help from social scientists rather than just self-described computer geeks.

The current global computer network, born at colleges and at corporate and military research laboratories, was never intended to grow as large and last as long as it has. Some think it's already heading for collapse, threatened by the growing problems of spam and electronic attacks....more

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NLR Chooses Cisco IP NGN Infrastructure for Upgrade

NLR announced that it has chosen the Cisco® ONS 15454 DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) solution for its strategic Internet Protocol Next-Generational Network (IP NGN) upgrade. NLR’s nationwide optical infrastructure, used extensively by the research community in the U.S., will benefit by having more reliable services and future enhancements to higher capacity and faster speeds in line with emerging standards.

“The Cisco ONS 15454 platform gives NLR users a great advantage,” said Grover Browning, NLR’s director of engineering and leader of the evaluation team. “Because the Cisco equipment has an extended-reach capability and is much less expensive to deploy, we can lower the barriers of optical networking access and encourage researchers to utilize fast network pipes. We evaluated vendors across the DWDM spectrum and chose Cisco as the complete solution – offering low cost, great reliability and proven technical features -- paired with a corporate commitment to our academic community.”

“The high-bandwidth, data-intensive applications that characterize many of NLR’s larger customers makes its infrastructure an ideal environment to showcase the performance and integrity of Cisco’s optical transport platform,” said Surya Panditi, vice president and general manager of Cisco access and transport technology group, which includes the Cisco optical business unit. “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with National LambdaRail, and its selection of our ONS 15454 is evidence of our solution’s strength, value and our vision of how IP transport will evolve.”

“The Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP platform also provides NLR with an industry-leading, IP next-generation network transport solution capable of supporting IP-over-DWDM architecture and scaling in-service up to 40-gigabits-per-second and up to100 gigabits DWDM,” Panditi said.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Joel Hartman Receives 2008 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award

Joel Hartman, vice provost for information technologies and resources at the University of Central Florida, is the recipient of the 2008 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award.

The award, the organization's highest individual recognition, was given to Hartman for his efforts in advancing learning technologies, developing education and research networks, and leading statewide and national information-technology organizations.

Hartman serves on Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. higher education advisory groups and is chairman of the board for Florida LambdaRail -- Florida's research and education network.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Global Lambda Integrated Facility Infrastructure Maps

These illustrations of GLIF infrastructure show the international research and education network bandwidth made available for scheduled application and middleware research experiments as of May 2008. Visualization courtesy of Robert Patterson of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign UIUC); data compilation by Maxine Brown, Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Funding was provided by GLIF, NCSA, and US National Science Foundation grants # SCI-04-38712 to NCSA/UIUC and # OCI-0441094 to EVL/UIC.

Cool stuff.

Ginger Armbrust Named Lowell and Frankie Wakefield Professor

Dean Arthur Nowell named Professor Ginger Armbrust as a Lowell and Frankie Wakefield Professor of Ocean and Fishery Sciences. She and her oceanography colleagues Professors Ger van den Engh, Gabrielle Rocap and Bob Morris moved recently to be co-located with faculty from several other departments focussing UW's work in environmental genomics. In the same ways that genome sciences have advanced our understanding of human health, these researchers work toward new insights into how oceanic ecosystems respond to environmental change. Their brand new laboratory is located in Benjamin Hall Interdisciplinary Research Building on the southwest fringe of campus. One highlight of this state-of-the-art facility is an advanced computing visualization system, the OptIPortal: a 63 megapixel display that catalyzes understanding of massive sets of data and is connected to a cooperative center at UC San Diego via the National LambdaRail.
Monday, June 23, 2008

Optical Upgrade RFP Issued

NLR has issued an RFP from qualified providers for optical equipment installation, test and turn-up and de-installation services. This will support NLR's soon-to-be-announced network upgrade beginning in 2008. Interested providers should contact Grover Browning, NLR's Engineering Director, via email at Proposals must be received by July 3, 2008.
Saturday, June 7, 2008

Schools Close On Linking to Network: LambdaRail about 100 times faster than commercial Internet

(Albuquerque Journal (NM) (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jun. 6--Two New Mexico universities are close to tapping into LambdaRail, the high-speed nationwide data network that's about 100 times faster than the commercial Internet.
Thursday, June 5, 2008

HealthGrid 2008 Papers Online

HealthGrid is an interdisciplinary community of computer scientists, physicians, medical educators and students, epidemiologists, bioinformatics and medical informatics experts, military medicine specialists, security and policy makers, economists and futurists.

The conference program included a number of high-profile keynote presentations, complemented by a set of refereed papers.

Chicago firm to sell untapped fiber bandwidth

A Chicago-based company has bought half of a high-powered fiber-optic network and will sell that capacity to businesses, giving them access to technology that used to be the exclusive property of academic researchers.

Darkstrand Inc. will announce [did announce] Thursday its purchase of half of National LambdaRail, a 5-year-old network that spans 12,000 miles and is owned by a consortium of universities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

SC08 Technical Paper Abstracts Due April 4

The SC08 Technical Papers program is the premier forum for disseminating innovative and important advances in high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis from academic, government and corporate institutions around the world. Submissions on all aspects of applications, architecture, grids, networks, performance, storage systems, and system software are encouraged. Submissions that relate high-performance computing to the two SC08 Technology Thrusts - Energy and Biomedical Informatics - are also encouraged. A two-part submission process is again being used this year. Submissions will be rigorously reviewed by the Papers Committee with technical soundness and timeliness as the predominant acceptance criteria. Awards will be given for Best Paper and Best Student Paper. For more information visit:

Abstracts Due: Friday, April 4, 2008
Papers Due: Monday, April 14, 2008

SC08 submissions site :
For more information:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why Connect to NLR and the Regional Optical Networks

Why Connect

  • Your research and/or education needs demand cost-effective networking
  • Your research and/or education needs demand high performance networks that enable collaboration with colleagues globally
  • Your research and/or education needs demand that you remove the boundaries of the laboratory and give colleagues an opportunity to participate remotely
  • You want to attract high-caliber research and/or education faculty with state-of-the-art network connectivity

How to Connect

For almost all of the NLR services, NLR provides the national backbone, or wide-area network component, of an end-to-end service with an NLR Member or Associate organization providing or coordinating the regional component and an individual institution the local component.

While NLR does not provide the regional components of its service, it is able to facilitate the entire connection either through providing contacts for each end site or through providing the coordination necessary to implement the entire path.

In addition, the NLR members list shows the administrative and technical contact information for each of the NLR Members, including the RONs. These contacts can provide additional technical and cost information for the regional components of the services.

NLR staff, in cooperation with RONs, will assist researchers in developing preliminary costs for their proposals. Researchers can send costing requests to

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

University of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories Sign MOU to Attract Top Students and Improve Research Opportunities

UNM President David J. Schmidly and Sandia National Laboratories President Tom Hunter have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation between the two institutions.

“This MOU brings together two of the greatest gems we have in New Mexico, to partner with one another in a mutually beneficial way – a way that will strengthen UNM, a way that will strengthen Sandia Labs and a way that will be better for all of New Mexico,” said Schmidly.

The partners will work to enhance the opportunities for top students from UNM to find placement at Sandia, and to assure that the university is viewed as one of the most competitive suppliers of top talent to Sandia.

Working together, they will help to secure external funding for research projects in computing and information infrastructure that include LambdaRail, a new, high-speed version of the Internet.

Other highlighted areas include informatics (an emerging area of information research with a wealth of applications in data-rich fields like biology, ecology, climate science and homeland defense), and cognition (targeting rapid advances in health sciences and national security).

Another part of the MOU is the creation of the Institute for Science and Engineering Studies (ISES) that will support joint recruiting and appointments and facilitate shared access to laboratory facilities and intellectual property agreements.

Friday, March 14, 2008

NLR NOC Weekly Reports

Were you ever curious about what is really going on in the operational guts of NLR? The NLR NOC creates three weekly reports that cover the network layers: 1 (WaveNet), 2 (FrameNet) and 3 (PacketNet). You can find information on what happened that week plus upcoming maintenance windows. Allow yourself a geeky moment and surround yourself with the warmth of network operations data at:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CineGrid Receives CENIC 2008 Innovations in Networking Award for World’s First 4K-over-IP Live Performance Transmission from Amsterdam to San Diego

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives (CENIC), which operates CalREN, the California Research and Education Network, honored CineGrid, the one year old international research consortium for networked media arts, with a CENIC 2008 Innovations in Networking Award at its annual conference in Oakland, Calif.

The CENIC award recognized CineGrid’s contribution to “Experimental/Developmental Applications” through its ground-breaking efforts in June 2007 to successfully organize and produce the first successful demonstration of trans-Atlantic streaming over photonic IP networks of 4K digital motion pictures. The transmission carried four times the resolution of today’s consumer high-definition TV with 5.1 surround sound, live from the Holland Festival in Amsterdam to a 4K theater at the University of California, San Diego.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

ARIN Survey on IPv6 Use

[Ed: Please encourage your institution to participate in this survey if possible.]

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), in cooperation with the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), is conducting a survey to gather data regarding the current and future use of IPv6 throughout the ARIN Region. For a complete list of countries go to:

The survey will open on 10 March and remain available until noon ET on 24 March. The results of the survey will be presented and discussed at the ARIN XXI Public Policy and Members Meeting to be held in Denver 6-9 April 2008, and the survey data will support ongoing research.

Please take a few moments to complete the survey located at:
Friday, March 7, 2008

Caltech Researchers to Receive An Award

Caltech researchers will be rewarded for better connecting physicists worldwide

Lead project scientist Harvey Newman, professor of physics at Caltech, Julian Bunn of the Caltech Center for Advanced Computing Research, and their international team of researchers will receive a trophy for Innovations in Networking at a ceremony in Oakland on March 11, said a Caltech spokesperson.

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California will reward the Caltech researchers for better connecting physicists worldwide, said Caltech spokesperson Elisabeth Nadin.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Northeast Connection Opportunities Expanded -- Boston Node Open for Business

National LambdaRail has built a new node in the Boston area. Now research and education institutions in New England have a much shorter path to connect directly to the NLR optical backbone. All NLR services are offered at the node including connections to our WaveNet (layer 1), FrameNet (layer 2) and PacketNet (layer 3) services. You can find out more about these services at the NLR web site under the Services link.

Connections to this node can be made through the NorthEast LambdaRail organization. NLR's Experiments Support Services staff would be happy to work with you to find contact information, understand the services available and help you understand how your application can best use NLR and its member RONs. You can reach them via email at or via phone at 1-866 NLR WAVE or 317-278-6627.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

University of Arkansas Appoints Executive Director for Arkansas Research and Optical Network

Michael Abbiatti, the associate commissioner of information and learning technology for the Louisiana Board of Regents, has been appointed as executive director of the Arkansas Research and Optical Network at the University of Arkansas. He will begin his duties on July 1, 2008.

ARE-ON, a high-speed, fiber-based optical communications network established and operated by a consortium of public four-year universities in Arkansas, is a state entity governed by the presidents and chancellors of participating institutions, in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Abbiatti brings a wealth of experience to his new position. He co-founded and co-created the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, which was designed as an economic tool empowering research and academic communities to become a more effective economic development resource. Abbiatti was also Louisiana's initial member of the National LambdaRail board of directors and was responsible for the creation and management of the Louisiana Education and Research Network as a statewide Internet2 resource.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

TransitRail is Growing

TransitRail now has 5 geographically diverse points of interconnection that NLR members can utilize to improve network performance and reduce the overall cost of, and reliance on, commodity Internet transit services.

TransitRail is deployed and operated by Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP (PNWGP). TransitRail uses the transport and services of National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR, Inc.) for both its backbone infrastructure and subscriber access.

For more information or to find out how to connect, visit

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NSF Partners With Google and IBM to Enhance Academic Research Opportunities

The National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate announced the creation of a strategic relationship with Google Inc. and IBM. The Cluster Exploratory (CluE) relationship will enable the academic research community to conduct experiments and test new theories and ideas using a large-scale, massively distributed computing cluster.

In an open letter to the academic computing research community, Jeannette Wing, the assistant director at NSF for CISE, said that the relationship will give the academic computer science research community access to resources that would be unavailable to it otherwise.

While the timeline for releasing the formal request for proposals to the academic community is still being developed, NSF anticipates being able to support 10 to 15 research projects in the first year of the program, and will likely expand the number of projects in the future.

Information about the Google-IBM Academic Cluster Computing Initiative can be found at

Friday, February 22, 2008

TelePresence FAQ

We've just added a TelePresence FAQ to the NLR web site. If you are interested in finding out more about TelePresence and how you can utilize it via NLR, take a look.

Or visit the home page and follow the link under the What's New section.
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ciena's CoreDirector Selected by Caltech for Multi National Research Networking

From TMCnet at

Caltech is instrumental in organizing the U.S. Large Hadron Collider Network (U.S. LHCNet), a network which interconnects large research facilities throughout the U.S. and Europe. Caltech also designs and manages implementation of the network to support distributed scientific computing and research.

Harvey Newman, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology said, “In managing the implementation of U.S. LHCNet, we were looking for the easiest and most efficient way to optimize bandwidth utilization while connecting sites across vast distances.”

Commenting on Ciena’s CoreDirector platform Newman said, “Ciena’s CoreDirector platform has a rich set of features that allow for Layer 1 and Layer 2Ethernet
lightpath switching, making complicated optical network connections easier to accomplish by automating dynamic provisioning. We are also working on integrating the CoreDirector functionality with some of our distributed monitoring and control software to further support our scientific collaborations on a global scale.”

Louisiana Research Team Receives $9M to Develop Cyber Tools

From Grid Today at

A team of faculty researchers representing nine Louisiana universities has been awarded a $9 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop new cyber tools aimed at enabling significant advances in science and engineering.

With matching funds of $3 million from the Board of Regents Support Fund and $3.2 million from the participating institutions, the total of the three-year award is over $15.2 million.

It is the third consecutive $9 million Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) award that Louisiana has received from NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

"This grant will allow Louisiana university researchers to capitalize on the state's recent investments in cyberinfrastructure," said Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie. "The project will take full advantage of the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), the high-speed optic network that connects supercomputers at our major universities and research centers and links Louisiana to the National Lambda Rail, one of the nation's most advanced grid-based, distributing and computing infrastructures."
Sunday, February 17, 2008

Preprint: FY 2009 Supplement to the President's Budget for the NITRD Program

On Monday, February 11, 2008, the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development delivered a preprint version of the FY 2009 Supplement to the President’s Budget for the NITRD Program to OSTP, OMB, and Congressional Staff Members. The R&D budget testimony of the Science Advisor to the President was presented before the House Science and Technology Committee on Thursday, February 14, 2008.

The final print version of the FY 2009 NITRD Supplement will be out by the end of February 2008.

The preprint version is now available at

Friday, February 15, 2008

NLR Tech Talk

Slides are now available at the NLR web site (http:/// from the NLR NOC technical talk at the recent Joint Techs meeting. Look for the link in the What's New section.
Thursday, February 14, 2008

GENI Engineering Conference 2

The 2nd GENI Engineering Conference will be held 3-4 March at the National Science Foundation. The GENI Engineering Conference is the GPO's regular open working meeting to support design, planning, construction and operation of the GENI facility. It is the place where researchers, developers, industrial and international partners and the GENI Project Office regularly meet to advance GENI facility planning and prototyping. Registration information is available at
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cisco, Scottish Centre for Telehealth, and NHS Scotland Launch First Cisco Health Presence Trial

NLR has installed Cisco TelePresence equipment on its PacketNet service accessible to the universities and other NLR affiliates that have telepresence capabilities. With NLR's nationwide optical network infrastructure connected to nearly 20 regional optical networks, the solution deployment makes it simple for researchers, educators and administrators to leverage this next generation service.

Cisco is expanding it reach with HealthPresence - an extension of its TelePresence capability. NLR looks forward to working with Cisco and the healthcare community in the US.

For the full article, visit:

Friday, February 8, 2008

2007 NLR Summary Report

Check out NLR's 2007 Summary Report now available on our Web site under the "What's New" section. This short summary gives an excellent overview of what was accomplished in 2007 as well as the variety of NLR services available through NLR member networks.
Thursday, February 7, 2008

NLR Support for GENI Projects

To: Prospective GENI Participants

NLR is a consortium of regional Research and Education (R&E) networking organizations that owns, controls and manages a national network infrastructure. In particular NLR owns its own national footprint dark fiber plant and its own DWDM optical systems that would allow it to provision dedicated AUP-free waves at a cost to network researchers significantly below the market price.

Specifically, NLR’s founding principles are consistent with the overall goals for the GENI project. NLR is committed to supporting network research, not just the use of high bandwidth and internet based connectivity for applications and users. In fact, NLR’s bylaws state that 50% of its DWDM system capacity and 50% of its switched Ethernet capacity (VLANs) should be used for networking research purposes. Furthermore, as a network of networks, NLR’s infrastructure has the flexibility to support a broad range of experiments, services and users, thus is able to support the radical network experimentation and development required by the GENI program.

NLR’s highly cost-efficient and AUP-free infrastructure makes it suitable for a full and open range of GENI participants including user traffic that will allow effective experimentation with different architectures, services and applications, as proposed for GENI.

NLR also offers highly flexible support resources especially via its Experiments Support Services (ESS) which is able to customize NLR infrastructure for individual user or project needs in terms of access, equipment collocation, instrumentation, measurement and provisioning of backbone services.

Therefore, given its founding principle of commitment to networking research and given that it owns its infrastructure, NLR is prepared to offer winning proposals to the GPO solicitation access to its facilities, services and capabilities as well as support resources at the cost that is available to its members, especially during the GENI pre-construction prototyping and development phase. We encourage researchers submitting proposals to contact the NLR ESS directly for information regarding NLR’s infrastructure and services as well as for letters of support for their proposals.

NLR looks forward to work with the GPO and NSF toward making this major initiative highly successful.

Tom West, President and CEO
National LambdaRail

UCSC and CENIC Introduce Fiber-Optic Internet

UC Santa Cruz has paved the way for “Fiber to the Future,” a project to install a new high-performance fiber-optic Internet connection that will provide UCSC students and faculty access to a statewide research and education network.

UCSC and Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) recently announced their plan to install California Research and Education Network (CalREN), which will directly connect the UCSC campus to the Silicon Valley Extension Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center.


University officials unveiled plans Thursday to connect UC Santa Cruz to a statewide fiber optic computer network, a move that promises to improve connection speeds on campus 10 times once installed.

UCSC is partnering with the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives, a nonprofit corporation started in part by the University of California, to plug in the university to the California Research and Education Network hub in Sunnyvale. UCSC is the last of the 10 UC campuses to connect to the fiber network.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Project Service Provider Conference Call

Hold the date.

The USAC folks have scheduled a service provider conference call for Thursday, February 7 at 2 pm Eastern time. Details will be posted here when available.

This call is for service providers who might want to bid on the Rural Health Care projects. Services such as network design, network management, and circuit provisioning will be discussed.

A Blueprint for Big Broadband

Our friends at Educause rescently released a new paper entitled "A Blueprint for Big Broadband." Why should you care, you ask? Because universities are still leading the way in deploying and utilizing broadband through local, regional, national and international networks to support their local communities of students, faculty and staff. AND universities are training the next generation of workers who will demand, build and support big broadband.

This report proposes bringing the federal government, state governments, and the private sector together as part of a new approach to making high-speed Internet services available across the country. The report also contains a detailed analysis of broadband deployment in the United States and in key countries around the world.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Calit2 and University of Melbourne Initiate Australia's Ultra-Resolution Global Collaboration Laboratory

[Ed Note: a great example of an application utilizing the network capabilities of regional, national, and international optical networks.]

Bringing the OptIPortal and gigabit/s super-broadband networking together is the cutting-edge expertise of two of the world’s leading telecommunications research units: the University of Melbourne School of Engineering’s Centre for Ultra Broadband Information Networks (CUBIN), and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a UCSD/UC Irvine partnership.

The link-up was made possible by use of the high-capacity backbone of AARNet, Australia’s academic and research network, with a connection to the U.S. West Coast using SXTransPORT on the Southern Cross Cable Network to the Calit2 network in San Diego via Pacific Wave and CENIC.

Calit2 Director Larry Smarr notes that today’s demonstration marks the entry of Australia into the growing OptIPlanet Collaboratory, enabling innovators around the world to work together on major data-intensive scientific, medical, and environmental challlenges: “Based on today’s success, we will connect other Australian universities with universities in the United States and around the world using these advanced technologies in 2008.”

For the full article, visit
Friday, January 25, 2008

NIST Publishes a Draft IPv6 Profile in the U.S. Government

On January 23, 2008, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a draft of its document "A Profile for IPv6 in the U.S. Government - Version 1.0." It defines a standards profile for IPv6 in the US Government for non-classified, non-national security federal IT systems. In particular, "This standards profile is meant to: (a) define a simple taxonomy of common network devices; (b) define their minimal mandatory IPv6 capabilities and identify significant configuration options so as to assist agencies in the development of more specific acquisition and deployment plans; and, (c) provide the basis to further define the technical meaning of specific USG policies." Check it out at
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

GRNOC Real-time Atlas

The Indiana GRNOC announced the availability of its new Real-time Atlas. The Atlas marries network visualization with real-time telemetry. You can use the Atlas at Both the NLR FrameNet and PacketNet maps are available.You can find more details in this PDF presentation:

SANRAD Delivers Disaster Recovery

The Northwest Regional Data Center (NWRDC),Florida's leading
computing data center for educational and governmental communities,
has deployed six SANRAD V-Switches to manage growing volumes of
archived data and protect against loss.

NWRDC provides data security, accessibility and connectivity
services to more than 80 Florida-based customers, including K-20
educational facilities, major research universities and local
governments. With a growing customer base and increasing amounts of
data to protect, NWRDC was facing a mounting disaster recovery risk
and dealing with a manual off-site storage process for archive tapes
that was cumbersome and difficult to manage. The NWRDC solution
connects the organization's mainframe system to a pair of SANRAD
V-Switches, which transfer data via the Florida Lambda Rail and
Southern Light Rail dark fiber networks to a Category 5 hot site in
Atlanta. There, NWRDC's data is securely housed and easily recovered
in the event of downtime or disaster.

See the entire release at
Monday, January 21, 2008

NLR Update at Joint Techs

John Silvester gave an update of NLR activities at the Joint Techs workshop. You can find his slides in both Powerpoint and HTML format at

Highlights include:
Lighting of the Boston node
Cisco Telepresence support hardware available for use
Availability of dynamic VLAN provisioning
Friday, January 18, 2008

Peering with the National University of Singapore

NLR is pleased to announce that the National University of Singapore (AS7610) has brought up IPv4 unicast peering with NLR Packetnet through PacWave in Los Angeles. You can see them at Welcome!

Science and Engineering Indicators 2008

The National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 is now available online. The report presents information on science, mathematics, and engineering education at all levels; the scientific and engineering workforce; U.S. and international research and development performance and competitiveness in high technology; and public attitudes and understanding of science and engineering.

Visit for more information.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

MIT Launches Regional Optical Network

By Mark Silis

It's huge and it's fast and it's just been unleashed. The new MIT Regional Optical Network provides connectivity to key Internet exchange points with speeds beyond 10 Gbps, the equivalent of transmitting 10 full-length, high-definition movies in 30 seconds. This all-optical intelligent network is one of the world's largest institutional networks for research and collaboration.

IS&T partnered with Nortel to create this next-generation network, acquiring already-laid fiber-optic lines (“dark fiber”) from Level 3 Communications and Vermont Telephone. The network is designed to accommodate faster technologies and upgrades as they become available. Initially, it is being deployed across the northeast United States, connecting MIT's main campus to New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore via 1500 miles of fiber, with optical equipment at seventeen locations across seven states. Plans include linking to LHCnet, the research network maintained by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet); and the National LambdaRail. All are comprised of millions of network elements.

Diagram of MIT Ring Design

Regional Map Image

Tech Specs
IS&T's ultimate objective is to help create the fastest and most flexible network possible, one with the potential to revolutionize education, collaboration, and the sharing of research. The solution is built on Nortel's Common Photonic Layer (CPL). CPL provides for rapid provisioning of changing service and traffic patterns across the network. The CPL, combined with the Nortel Optical Multiservice Edge 6500, enables the flexibility to add a multitude of network services across the 10G infrastructure as required.


Conrad named vice chancellor for information technology, chief information officer

Larry D. Conrad, associate vice president for technology integration and chief information officer at Florida State University, has been named the new vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The UNC Board of Trustees approved Conrad’s appointment, effective Feb. 1, 2008. Conrad will succeed Dan Reed, who became director of scalable computing at Microsoft Research earlier this month.

Conrad led the effort to define and build a new high-speed research and education network in Florida known as the Florida LambdaRail, which provides opportunities for Florida university faculty, researchers and students to collaborate with colleagues worldwide.

In addition, he previously served on the board of the National LambdaRail, a nationwide high-speed research network initiative.

For the full press release, visit
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program Website is Up

The Federal Communications Commission dedicated over $417 million for its Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP) November 19, 2007 for the construction of 69 statewide or regional broadband telehealth networks in 42 states and three U.S. territories.

You can find everything you need for the RHCPP at their new website. USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company) will provide the selected participants with guidance on the process to receive funding, how to fill out the proper forms, and other program related information.

Check it out at
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

TeraGrid-II: a vision toward the 21st century integrated knowledge infrastructure

An interesting article in Human Sciences Weekly...

Knowledge in the twenty-first century is profoundly determined by the convergence of multiple disciplines and approaches for problem solving. Collaboration is required to help not only improve but understand intersections in scientific endeavor while creating a common language that permits close interaction among researchers, administrative personnel, and society in general. Creation of new knowledge –the expected outcome at the end of the line in Science– is a process that requires infrastructure to support information exchange, analysis, and representation as well as collaborations. The Grid in the latter sense has become an essential fabric for that Cyberinfrastructure: it attempts to provide coordination of computing infrastructure in a seamless way with increasing efficacy while considering security, privacy and efficiency following the metaphor of the electric power grid where users connect as long as the meet the technical specifications3."

To read more visit
Friday, January 11, 2008

FCC Rural Health Pilot Program Update

On Tuesday, September 26, 2006, the Federal Communications Commission announced the establishment of a pilot program to help public and non-profit health care providers build state and region-wide broadband networks dedicated to the provision of health care services, and connect those networks to Internet2 or National LambdaRail. The pilot program will fund up to 85% of the costs incurred to deploy state or regional broadband networks dedicated to health care and up to 85% of the costs of connecting the regional and/or statewide to Internet2 or National LambdaRail.

All service providers (including RONs) that wish to participate in the Rural Health Care Program must have a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) issued by USAC.

The Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) is a unique number assigned to each service provider by USAC. The SPIN serves as USAC's tool to ensure that support is directed to the correct service provider. Once USAC establishes the SPIN, the service provider's name, contact information, and SPIN are forwarded to USAC to confirm eligibility.

For more information about obtaining a SPIN, call USAC's Client Services Bureau at 1-888-641-8722 or visit the USAC website at
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Downloadable Map and Regional Contacts List

A downloadable map combined with a list of NLR member contacts is now available on the NLR website. This new version of the map shows the Regional Optical NLR member that serves each state and includes a contact person for the member. Questions regarding regional connectivity options can be addressed with these contacts.

The map is formatted to conveniently be printed on one 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper.

NLR connectivity is easy. NLR provides a variety of national backbone options. An NLR member or associate organization coordinates the regional networking components. An individual institution coordinates a local campus connection.
Friday, January 4, 2008

Joint Techs Workshops in January

Today is the last day for early registration for the Winter 2008 Joint Techs workshops in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 20 through the 24th.

Joint Techs Workshops are an international conference of networking engineers featuring presentations, Birds-of-a-Feather meetings and demonstrations of state-of-the-art high-performance networking technologies. The Winter 2008 Joint Techs will focus on Hybrid Networking, The Coming Crisis in Routing and Addressing, and Security.
Thursday, January 3, 2008

NLR Weathermaps

Did you ever wonder what was going on in your part of the National LambdaRail? Wonder no more by accessing the Weathernaps on the NLR Network Operations site.

Click on the Weathermap under the different NLR services -- Wavenet, Framenet and Packetnet to see traffic levels.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008

'Shot in the Dark' Star Explosion Stuns Astronomers

[A great example of how research networking plays a key role in real science.]

'Shot in the Dark' Star Explosion Stuns Astronomers

By W. Scott Kardel, Public Affairs Coordinator, Palomar Observatory

Last January, NASA's Swift satellite detected another gamma-ray burst and quickly sent its alert to ground-based astronomers. Palomar Observatory's 60-inch telescope was one of the first to respond. The 60-inch, and indeed the entire observatory, is linked into the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN). HPWREN enabled the message from Swift to be received, allowing the automated 60-inch telescope to quickly measure the fast-fading visible-light afterglow of the GRB. Data was then sent away from Palomar. Measurements prompted observations with the giant 8-meter Gemini North telescope and the 10-meter Keck I telescope. From this astronomers were able to determine the distance to the GRB - 9.4 billion light-years distant. The burst are short lived. Without the rapid transfer of data in and out from Palomar the response to the burst wouldn't be possible.


Image credit: B. Cenko, et al. and the W. M. Keck Observatory.

Measurements indicated that this burst was likely produced by the collapse and explosion of a massive star. These stars "live fast and die young" and are expected to be found in a galaxy where new stars are being produced, yet deep images from Keck failed to find any signs of a galaxy. This means there shouldn't have been that type of star there.

So where did this burst come from? Maybe a faint tidal tail, produced as galaxies collide, is lurking too faint for even Keck to see. Maybe our understanding of this type of GRB is flawed. Deep searches with the Hubble Space Telescope hope to answer the question soon. Stay tuned.

The full story is at: