National LambdaRail

NLR Blog

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.