National LambdaRail

NLR Blog

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.