National LambdaRail

NLR Blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Time to smell the gingerbread or the eggnog or the chestnuts . . .

NLR extends to our members, users, partners and other associates our very best wishes for this holiday season. May it be filled with cheer and an opportunity for rest and renewal.

US-UK-Georgia TelePresence Link with Help from NLR

Three locations were able to join via Cisco TelePresence in celebrating the opening of a new IPv6 lab in Tbilisi, Georgia. John Morgridge, Cisco CEO emeritus, donated the equipment and participated from Cisco's San Jose, CA office (in photo at right). And the director and CTO of Cisco's Consulting Engineering group connected in from London to the lab at the Georgian Research and Education Networking Association (GRENA) in Tbilisi. Attendees in Tbilisi including the deputy minister of science and education.

The TelePresence session ran over national research and education network (NREN) infrastructures (NLR for the US portion) and was made possible by a link between the NLR and AT&T TelePresence Exchanges. TelePresence connectivity is supported over this link between NLR-connected universities and more than 650 Cisco TelePresence rooms worldwide.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SC09: NLR's Unique TelePresence Know-How

At SC09 NLR's providing the show's only Cisco TelePresence meeting room. And daily NLR's demonstrating how it's using this pioneering, high-end audio-visual collaboration platform in its own operations.

Here are photos of TelePresence sessions with NLR's Director, Engineering and Operations Grover Browning at Indiana University and, from the Los Angeles area-based NLR/CENIC team (left to right), Tammy Sopo, executive assistant, Cindy Abercrombie, manager, NLR Layer 1 Network Operations Center, and Mary Jane Fortin, administrative manager).

NLR Users in Spotlight at SC09

At the NLR booth this year at Supercomputing (SC09), it's all about NLR users and their cutting-edge research. NLR's supporting 13 different international institutions collaborating with several dozen other groups, from a total of 10 countries.

To help promote awareness of NLR users' activities, NLR's running a t-shirt promotion in its booth and showing a video showcase of NLR community innovations.
Thursday, November 5, 2009

EDUCAUSE Conference: NLR Session, TelePresence with Cisco

NLR made several important contributions to this week's EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver.

NLR Board Director Ron Hutchins presented on how NLR is an extended resource for universities and colleges, giving examples of the value NLR provides Georgia Tech and other institutions on Southern Light Rail, such as flexibility of service offerings, fast turn up of new circuits and very cost effective pricing structure relative to commercial providers. Ron's presentation is available on the NLR website.

New CEO Glenn Ricart also spoke briefly about his commitment to ensuring NLR remains a highly valuable asset for the research and education community.

In addition, NLR was the platform for Cisco's TelePresence demonstrations, with TelePresence capability managed out of NLR's TelePresence Exchange in Kansas City and coming in to the show floor via NLR's Denver PoP. Wendy Huntoon, Vice Chair of the NLR Board, participated in several TelePresence sessions with visitors to Cisco's booth from her office at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), talking on how PSC and NLR increasingly use TelePresence to reduce physical travel and enhance collaboration and productivity. Conference attendee comments on TelePresence in the Cisco booth with NLR are available on Cisco's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NLR Now on YouTube!

National LambdaRail (NLR) now has its own YouTube video channel, which currently has videos from NLR staff and users on NLR services, network features, how to get started with a research project, TelePresence on NLR, NLR history and other topics:

We'll be expanding this, including this week from the Educause conference in Denver, where NLR is providing the platform for Cisco TelePresence and Board Director Ron Hutchins is talking on new and noteworthy happenings at NLR and in the NLR community.
Friday, October 30, 2009

GENI Goes Global

At this week’s 9th Annual LambdaGrid Workshop held in Korea, a consortium of network researchers announced that they received a three-year grant from the U.S. Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) program, which NLR supports with Layer 2/Layer 3 services, to develop a major new national and international distributed infrastructure called “iGENI,” the “International GENI.”

Led by the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, the consortium includes the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego; Cisco Systems, Inc.; and, the BBN Technologies GENI Program Office (GPO). This project is funded by NSF through BBN Technologies to enable research at the frontiers of network science and engineering.

For full news announcement, see:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IU Team Wins Grant for GENI Network Tools

NLR congratulates the Indiana University team, including PI Beth Plale and co-PI Chris Small of IU's Global Research Network Operations Center for being awarded a $484,485 grant from the National Science Foundation to provide essential tools related to the history and authenticity of an experiment's data set (called "provenance") for the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) computer network. Such tools are essential because as computer network experiments increase in complexity and size, it has become increasingly difficult to fully understand the circumstances under which a network experiment was run, particularly when it comes time to reproduce the results.

For complete news release, visit:
Monday, October 19, 2009

New NSF Grant for GENI

BBN Technologies, an advanced technology solutions firm, announced today a $10.5M National Science Foundation grant to fund additional prototyping for GENI, the virtual laboratory for exploring future internets at scale supported by NLR which is also using NLR's national network backbone for much of its research. NLR is one of the PIs for the grant.

The new NSF funding will enable three sets of collaborating academic/industrial research teams to replicate those GENI prototype systems that have gained significant traction, based on GENI-enabled commercial hardware, across 14 U.S. campuses, NLR and Internet2. These prototypes will serve as a foundation for creating major opportunities for early experiments on an end-to-end suite of GENI infrastructure at a scale significantly larger than has been possible until now.

For more details, see
Monday, September 21, 2009

TelePresence in Action at Quilt Workshop

At the Quilt's TelePresence Workshop last week in Kansas City, Missouri, NLR was able to participate -- from across the country -- thanks to Cisco TelePresence on the NLR TelePresence Exchange.

TelePresence meeting rooms from as many as six different locations were simultaneously connected to the live event, enabling remote attendees to literally join around the conference table with those on-site and in several cases sparing speakers the need to invest a couple of days' worth of travel for an hour presentation.

Participating were two TelePresence rooms from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (where NLR Vice Chair Wendy Huntoon joined); one from MOREnet, the Missouri Research and Education Network; and at least three from various Cisco offices coast to coast.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First University-Corporate Telepresence Connection across a Research and Education Network

The first university-corporate Cisco TelePresence session through interconnection of a research and education telepresence exchange (National LambdaRail) and a commercial telepresence exchange has taken place. This significantly expands the collaboration potential of the telepresence platform for the academic and research communities.

National LambdaRail (NLR), AT&T and Cisco successfully tested and demonstrated the interconnection of the NLR Telepresence Exchange with the AT&T Telepresence Solution via the AT&T Business Exchange. NLR and AT&T are now working out the details of an ongoing interconnect service enabling additional universities or research organizations with access to NLR and a Cisco TelePresence endpoint to quickly and seamlessly use the AT&T Business Exchange to collaborate with partners in private industry.

The telepresence session involved four separate locations and worked flawlessly. Participating were: Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers from Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose; Bruce Klein, Cisco SVP of Public Sector, from Cisco offices in Herndon, Virginia; and the Duke University leadership team from two locations on the Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina.

NLR’s very excited about the increasing opportunities presented by telepresence for researchers and research groups to collaborate with colleagues around the country and the world – and now with access to the AT&T Business Exchange and to partners in the commercial space. We’ll keep you posted of the new interconnect service as plans firm up.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

NLR Partner Darkstrand Teams with NCSA

Heads up NLR business alliance partner Darkstrand announced a collaboration with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The joint effort will enable major corporations working with NCSA to shorten the path from discovery to product development by taking advantage of the advanced connectivity Darkstrand offers on the NLR network platform.

The collaboration agreement with Darkstrand complements Darkstrand's previously announced relationships with Calit2 at the University of California, San Diego; the New Mexico Computing Applications Center; the Ohio Supercomputer Center; the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

For further details, please visit
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

40GigE Line Up, Tested for SC09

A native 40-Gigabit Ethernet wave is up and tested in preparation for Supercomputing (SC) 09. Runs between NLR's Seattle CRS-1, which is shooting a 40-GigE alien signal (no transponder) to the Seattle 15454, then to the Portland 15454 and back to Seattle.

This 40-GigE connection will be available to all interested NLR users for the conference in November.
Thursday, July 9, 2009

NLR Keynote, TelePresence at QUESTnet

It’s a busy week for National LambdaRail (NLR) at QUESTnet, Australia’s network technology conference in Queensland. NLR CEO Tom West gave the opening keynote yesterday on The Research and Education Network as Innovation Catalyst. NLR, in cooperation with QUESTnet and Cisco, hosted several sessions via Cisco TelePresence. And the Georgia Institute of Technology presented on their partnership with Barrow County (Georgia) Schools, which uses high-powered networks (including NLR) and video to bring scientists into classrooms.

In his remarks, Tom addressed how a ready and primed infrastructure like NLR’s, with established technical expertise, at an attractive price point, is in a compelling position to enable broad-based transformation. Tom’s presentation has been posted to the NLR website:

The TelePresence sessions included multi-point between the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) in North Carolina, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and Indiana University in Indianapolis on How to Connect and Use Cisco TelePresence. Other topics covered were the Indiana University Global Network Operations Center (from Indianapolis) and Cloud Computing (from Pittsburgh). All sessions were handled by NLR’s TelePresence Exchange, running over NLR in the US and peering at PacificWave in Seattle with AARNet of Australia.

GeorgiaTech’s Claudia Huff and Warren Matthews presented the Direct-to-Discovery program which aims to enhance K-12 science and math learning. More information available in NLR’s June/July 2009 newsletter:
Thursday, May 28, 2009

NLR Selected for Large Hadron Collider Network

NLR announced today that it has been selected as a provider of 10-gigabit circuits linking U.S. institutions to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy accelerator, in Geneva, Switzerland. The project roadmap calls for introducing 40-gigabit and 100-gigabit technologies in the future to help facilitate the cutting-edge physics research made possible by the LHC.

“A robust and high-performance, highly available network interconnecting U.S. institutions and CERN is an essential resource for U.S. participation in the LHC experiments,” according to Harvey Newman, Professor of Physics at Caltech and Principal Investigator of US LHCNet. “NLR’s leading-edge optical infrastructure and long experience serving the research and education community were key factors in the decision to award NLR this contract. We also were pleased with NLR's flexibility and responsiveness in helping us to select the most cost-effective diverse routes between New York and Chicago.”

For full news release, please see:
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Philadelphia Upgrade Completed

The upgrade to the NLR Philadelphia node has been completed. Philadelphia is now an Add/Drop node and a FrameNet switch has been added as well.

As a result, all NLR services are now available out of Philadelphia. If interested in using any services from this newly enhanced node, please contact NLR's Experiments Support Services at
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New NLR Board Chair: Kurt Snodgrass, Oklahoma State Regents

NLR is very pleased to announce the appointment of Kurt Snodgrass, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Telecommunications with the Oklahoma State Regents, as Chairman of NLR's Board of Directors. Please see news release available at:

Snodgrass, also the Chief Operating Officer of longtime NLR member OneNet, Oklahoma's telecommunications network for education and government, has served on the NLR Board for many years and in various capacities.

"With his deep roots in both regional networks and information technology, Kurt Snodgrass is very well positioned to help guide NLR as it embarks on its next chapters as the network for advanced research and innovation," said outgoing chair Erv Blythe, VP, Information Technology, Virginia Tech. Blythe is stepping down to pursue a new strategic initiative for the university related to the convergence of technologies and protocols utilized for cyber and physical security.

According to Snodgrass, he is looking forward "to working with the NLR Board, staff and member organizations to harness NLR's unique capabilities to support the adoption of new technologies, applications and public/private partnerships that will grow opportunities for NLR members and move our nation to the forefront in network technologies and telecommunications."
Thursday, May 21, 2009

NSF Solicitation Published: International Research Network Connections

Heads up today NSF published its solicitation for International Research Networks Connections grants that support infrastructure and services for international collaboration and communication that advance science and engineering.

More specifically, NSF expects to make a set of awards to: provide network connections linking U.S. research networks with peer networks in other parts of the world; leverage existing international network connectivity; improve the quality of end-to-end networking on international paths; explore experimental networking; stimulate the deployment and operational understanding of emerging technologies such as IPv6 in an international context.

Deadline for full proposals is August 21, 2009.

For details, see NSF solicitation 09-564 at:
Friday, May 15, 2009

NLR Platform for Darkstrand-PSC Collaboration

NLR business alliance partner Darkstrand announced a collaboration agreement with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC). The agreement enables corporate customers of Darkstrand to collaborate in real time with PSC on high-performance computing projects over NLR’s infrastructure.

“American business will have ready access not only to the amazing hardware and software tools that have transformed scientific research over the last 20 years but also, and just as importantly, they will be able to interact with a consulting staff second-to-none in knowing how to use these tools to get results. This is an important win for U.S. economic competitiveness,” said PSC Executive Director David Moses.

This is similar to an arrangement announced last month between Darkstrand and Calit2:

For more information, please see:
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NSF Solicitation for Academic Research Infrastructure

The NSF has published its solicitation for Academic Research Infrastructure awards under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

Purpose of the program is to “enhance the Nation's existing research facilities where sponsored and/or unsponsored research activities and research training take place to enable next-generation research infrastructure that integrates shared resources across user communities.”

Any US-based universities, colleges and non-profit research organizations are eligible to apply. For full details see link above to solicitation.

Letter of intent deadline is July 1. Full proposal deadline is August 24.
Thursday, May 7, 2009

NLR Rolls out Multi-Point TelePresence Capability

NLR has successfully completed a demonstration of multi-point TelePresence, with a session linking the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Pennsylvania State University's College of Information Sciences and Technology with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC).

"NLR's TelePresence Exchange and its pre-set "meeting rooms," makes it very straightforward for RENCI to take advantage of the latest in TelePresence technologies to communicate with colleagues around the country and, going forward, around the world," said Alan Blatecky, Interim Director, Renaissance Computing Institute. "While the TelePresence capability significantly reduces the need for travel and its expense, the more important value is that researchers have the ability to share ideas and explore new opportunities on a moment's notice. That's something that can't be done even through travel."

"The recent demonstration of multi-point TelePresence between PSC, Pennsylvania State University and RENCI reinforces that TelePresence is the leading-edge in live video tele-conferencing," said Wendy Huntoon, director of networking at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and NLR director of operations. "It's a clear step forward in both visual quality and ease of use. For PSC, this extends our ongoing productive collaboration with Cisco and close partnership with NLR."

NLR's TelePresence Exchange, located in Kansas City and based on Cisco technologies, can link together up to 12 different, physical locations with 3 TelePresence screens each.

For full news release on NLR's multi-point TelePresence demo, please see:

For more information on TelePresence and how to connect to NLR's TelePresence Exchange for point-to-point and multi-point TelePresence sessions with other TelePresence-ready institutions in the US and abroad, please see:
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Iowa Health System Peers with NLR for National Tele-Health, Tele-Medicine Applications

Iowa Health System is peering with National LambdaRail (NLR), leveraging NLR’s high-speed national backbone to connect its statewide fiber-optic network to world-class medical facilities and research organizations across the country. As a result, Iowa Health System will be rolling out a series of leading-edge tele-health and tele-medicine applications.

Once its statewide network is fully implemented, Iowa Health System will be one of the first programs to receive funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program. It is already serving as an example for other states and regions of how high-performance, national connectivity can better serve the health needs of rural populations.

Iowa Health System is connected to NLR with 10-Gigabit Ethernet through the MREN gigapop at the Starlight communications exchange facility on Northwestern University’s Chicago campus.

Through this connection Iowa Health System will be able to exchange health-related advanced research and education information with regional, national and international communities. This information will allow participating healthcare providers in Iowa to ensure that they can provide the best possible services to their communities, including those that require data intensive networking such as high-definition images, complex multi-modal images, and collaborative discussions with remote specialists.

Iowa-based healthcare organizations will now be able to undertake cooperative research projects with health care professionals and researchers around the country and around the world, engaged in advanced specialized educational activities, and connect to even the largest and most sophisticated medical databases, such as the Genome database.

Founded in 1995, Iowa Health System is the seventh largest non-denominational healthcare provider in the country with annual revenues of $2 billion and serves nearly one of every three patients in Iowa. Iowa Health System includes 11 hospitals in seven large Iowa communities and in Rock Island and Moline, Ill., a system of hospitals in 14 rural communities and group practices of physicians and clinics in 71communities in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. For more information on Iowa Health System, please visit
Monday, April 27, 2009

NLR Supercharges Infrastructure with Community's Assistance

The upgrade of NLR's northern loop to a next-generation optical transport platform has been completed in record time, thanks to strong support from across NLR's community.

Further boosting the performance of the NLR backbone, the upgrade sets the stage for total capacity increases beyond the current 400 gigabits per second (Gbps).

The massive effort involved installing 143 Cisco ONS 15454 DWDM platforms and 200 transponder cards in 116 physical locations across 6,750 miles of NLR's total 12,000 mile footprint. Covered Los Angeles through Seattle, Chicago and Washington, DC to Jacksonville, Florida.

Many thanks to BoreasNet, CENIC, Pacific Northwest Gigapop, MCNC and Internet2 who loaned or leased fiber and waves to NLR to ensure uninterrupted service for NLR users during the upgrade. Also our appreciation to LightRiver Technologies, for handling the physical installation, turn-up, performance testing and removal of the obsolete gear, to Level 3 Communications for running new fiber cross-connects and helping with the preparation for the installation and to Cisco which, in addition to providing the 15454's, performed service quality and platform monitoring and testing services.

More info can be found at:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Darkstrand, Calit2 Collaborate with NLR as Platform

NLR business alliance partner Darkstrand announced this past week a collaboration agreement with the California Institute for Communications and Information Technology or Calit2, at the University of California, San Diego. Calit2 participates in NLR through its association with the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, CENIC.

Darkstrand commercial customers can now connect to Calit2 over NLR’s infrastructure and take advantage of research facilities and expertise at Calit2.

“It’s really about empowering research and industry by closing the technology gap that impedes innovation now,” said Thomas A. DeFanti, senior research scientist at Calit2 and a globally recognized pioneer in visualization technologies and cyberinfrastructure, as quoted in Darkstrand’s announcement.

For additional details, see
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Int'l R&E TelePresence Call

The first TelePresence session between national research and education networks was achieved as a result of joint efforts of NLR and its counterpart in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ANKABUT.

Demonstrating tremendous new opportunities to bridge physical distances and enable researchers and educators from other sides of the globe to collaborate live, literally face to face, NLR and ANKABUT announced they successfully arranged for and managed a Cisco TelePresence connection between the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

As a result, PSC engineers were able to join via TelePresence His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UAE and Dr. Arif Sultan Al-Hammadi, Interim President of Khalifa University in a joint session at the UAE Forum on Information and Communication Technology Research 2009 held in Abu Dhabi.

This connection was the result of tremendous teamwork across NLR and ANKABUT and kudos to all involved.

For more information, please see:
Thursday, April 9, 2009

NLR in 2009/10: More Financially Feasible; Same Leading-Edge, Flexible Infrastructure

A reminder to check out, if you haven't already, NLR's 2009/10 membership benefits and costs.

The cost structure, reduced over the prior year, demonstrates NLR's commitment to providing a highly financially feasible infrastructure for the research and education community while maintaining NLR's leading-edge, completely flexible infrastructure and customized project support.

Careful budget management, longer-term infrastructure planning and advances in technology and productivity tools have all contributed to NLR being able to make its infrastructure much more accessible and affordable to its members and their participants.

The new guidelines are effective July 1, and can be found at links below on


Complete Membership Benefits and Guidelines:
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Full Agenda at All Hands Meeting

This week's All Hands Meeting at Calit2, University of California at San Diego and attended by NLR members from around the country covered a lot of ground. Here's a quick take on key topics.

The backbone upgrade to Cisco 10454's has been completed in record time, thanks to a tremendous team effort led to Grover Browning, Ron Milford and others. Related engineering changes, capacity planning and new opportunities for members were a major topic of discussion.

Also, transition to 40 GE and what it means to NLR, the NLR Dynamic VLAN service via Sherpa and NLRView performance tests.

TelePresence on the NLR infrastructure also received a good chunk of the agenda. NLR provided guidance on specific steps needed for members to become Cisco TelePresence ready, how TelePresence can be supported in a campus/RON environment and opportunies presented by the NLR TelePresence Exchange.

Several updates provided on research running on NLR, including Open Cloud Computing and GENI.

A highlight was Tom DeFanti of Calit2 and his teams hosting several bleeding-edge demos on next-gen virtual reality and graphics. More on these and NLR's role in a separate post soon.

Some Pics from All Hands Meeting

A few faces from the Monday, March 23 reception on the eve of the All Hands Meeting at Calit2, University of California San Diego. Good company, good discussions, good learnings. For those members who couldn't make it, we missed you.

Full Agenda at All Hands Meeting

This week's All Hands Meeting at Calit2, University of California at San Diego and attended by NLR members from around the country covered a lot of ground. Here's a quick take on key topics.

The backbone upgrade to Cisco 10454's has been completed in record time, thanks to a tremendous team effort led to Grover Browning, Ron Milford and others. Related engineering changes, capacity planning and new opportunities for members were a major topic of discussion.

Also, transition to 40 GE and what it means to NLR, the NLR Dynamic VLAN service via Sherpa and NLRView performance tests.

TelePresence on the NLR infrastructure also received a good chunk of the agenda. NLR provided guidance on specific steps needed for members to become Cisco TelePresence ready, how TelePresence can be supported in a campus/RON environment and opportunies presented by the NLR TelePresence Exchange.

Several updates provided on research running on NLR, including Open Cloud Computing and GENI.

A highlight was Tom DeFanti of Calit2 and his teams hosting several bleeding-edge demos on next-gen virtual reality and graphics. More on these and NLR's role in a separate post soon.
Friday, February 20, 2009

NLR Partner Darkstrand Names Technology Luminary CTO

NLR partner Darkstrand has named Dr. William Wing, a recognized expert in high-performance computing and networking research and one of the few individuals in the world who has successfully built a 10G fiber-optic network, as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Prior to joining Darkstrand, Dr. Wing was a Senior Research Staff Member in the Network Research Group of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Dr. Wing's charter will be to assist Darkstrand's commercial customers with fully leveraging NLR's infrastructure and expertise, building collaboration between NLR and companies in need of advanced production and infrastructure capabilities.

For additional background on Dr. Wing's appointment, see:
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Linking New Mexico to Hollywood: NLR, Members Enable Digital Media Delivery

NLR and members ABQG University of New Mexico and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) provided the ultra high-speed network linking a DreamWorks/Cerelink digital media studio in Rio Rancho with Hollywood. The demonstration, on February 17, showcased how large, 3D animation files can be created in New Mexico and delivered quickly, securely and reliably to Hollywoood studios.

NLR provided a 1-Gigabit FrameNet circuits between the New Mexico and the Los Angeles points-of-presence (PoPs). New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson referred to the demonstration as a "major advance in digital media production."

Governor's Office of New Mexico news release pdf (PDF - 27 KB)
Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Quilt Creates First President and CEO Position

The Board of Directors of The Quilt, Inc. is pleased to announce the selection of Jen Leasure to serve as the organization's President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Leasure was appointed to the position of President and CEO by a unanimous vote of the Board on Thursday, January 29.

The Quilt, Inc., a coalition of 30 advanced regional network organizations, enters its second year as an independent organization. The Quilt provides a dynamic forum where leaders from the advanced research and education network community build on the intellectual capital and best practices of network service providers worldwide.

Four-year universities create opportunities with ARE-ON

All of Arkansas’s four-year public universities will soon be connected to ARE-ON, the high-speed fiber based optical communications network that will expand research, academic, healthcare and emergency preparedness capabilities throughout the state.

ARE-ON (Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network) provides access to national/international high speed infrastructure such as the National LambdaRail, an ultra-fast national Internet infrastructure that will allow researchers to send and receive large files; give classrooms access to ultra high-definition video conferencing and expand opportunities in telemedicine for the state’s healthcare providers, among other benefits.

FY 2008 Data Show Downward Trend in Federal R&D Funding

From the National Science Foundation:

"The most recent data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) show a $3.5 billion decline—from $116.7 billion in FY 2007 to $113.2 billion in FY 2008—in federal funds obligated for research and development and R&D plant (facilities and fixed equipment). Adjusted for inflation, the data reflect a 4.8% decrease in R&D and R&D plant obligations."
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Community Update

We're excited about the many contributions NLR has made recently to the research and education community and we wanted to take this opportunity to give you a brief update. The update focuses on three areas: 1) magnitude of research use of NLR; 2) cost-value examples of dedicated capacity; and 3: financial strength of NLR. You can find the full update at

Search Firm Retained, New CEO Position Description Available

NLR has retained the services of Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in the CEO search. A new position description has been posted at .
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Open Cloud Consortium

Editor note: Bob Grossman and the Open Cloud Consortium use NLR WaveNet.

From the folks at Network World:

The Open Cloud Consortium (OCC), [is] a newly formed group of universities that is both trying to improve the performance of storage and computing clouds spread across geographically disparate data centers and promote open frameworks that will let clouds operated by different entities work seamlessly together.

“There’s so much noise in the space that it’s hard to have technical discussions sometimes,” says Robert Grossman, chairman of the Open Cloud Consortium and director of the Laboratory for Advanced Computing (LAC) and the National Center for Data Mining (NCDM) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

OCC members include the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago, and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Cisco is the first major IT vendor to publicly join the OCC, though more could be on the way.

The consortium’s key infrastructure is the Open Cloud Testbed, a testbed consisting of two racks in Chicago, one at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and one at Calit2 in La Jolla, all joined with 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NLR Upgrade: Just the Facts

Number of Routes to be Upgraded: Four

The Four Stages: 

  • Stage One: Jacksonville to Washington, D.C.
  • Stage Two: Los Angeles to Seattle
  • Stage Three: Chicago to Washington, D.C.
  • State Four: Seattle to Chicago
Participants in the upgrade: NLR, Cisco, Light River, Level 3, NLR Members, NLR Users

Approximate cost of installed gear for the total upgrade: $5.5M 

Stages completed: Stage One

Heroes in Stage One: Mark Johnson at MCNC for providing alternate fiber routes, Dave Pokorney at Florida LambdaRail for providing hardware spares and Julio Ibarra at Atlantic Wave for providing resources.

Number of Cisco 454’s installed in Stage One: 25

NLR is on the move, literally

NLR Headquarters is moving on January 26 into its new offices.  

Phone numbers will remain the same for Tom West, Mary Jane Fortin and Tammy Sopo.

All mail should go to: PO Box 1610, Cypress, CA 90630

Overnight deliveries and visitors: 16700 Valley View, 4th floor, Suite 400, La Mirada, CA 90638
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NLR FrameHealth

In a speech at George Mason University in Virginia, President-elect Obama said that Health IT “will cut waste, eliminate red tape and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests. But it just won’t save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs — it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health care system.”

NLR’s FrameHealth network provides a pathway that improves the flow of health information and communications among patients and providers. FrameHealth carves out up to a 10 gigabit per second network on NLR’s Layer 2 FrameNet and provides a private virtual network specifically focused and tuned to health IT information flows. It is available to university and research institutions that are participants in NLR as well as participants in the FCC’s Rural Health Pilot Program.

Since NLR and its members own the underlying infrastructure, customization and tailoring to health IT needs is possible. NLR’s FrameHealth provides a private and secure vehicle for real information flow. It provides the logical next step in moving the nation’s Health IT agenda forward.

If you are ready to participate in NLR FrameHealth, contact your local NLR member or NLR's Experiment Support group at or 866-657-9283.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

National Public LightPath

The folks at report the following:

If the new president is looking for anti-Depression projects reminiscent of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, with lots of bootstraps and shovels, the National Public Lightpath has potential.

In public media, it would interconnect the pockets of fiber-equipped stations and media centers, such as Louisiana, where the state has been working toward a statewide fiber network for years and has linked several universities together.The Lightpath would interconnect with the National LambdaRail, a network that already provides 10 Gigabits-per-second transmission among more than 400 public universities. So it wouldn’t have to dig ditches across a continent. Telecom companies stand ready to lease access to long-distance backbones between and through big cities. What remains to be done is laying fiber lines to schools and nonprofits, to low-income neighborhoods and to low-density rural communities where there are no supercomputers.

NLR Services Document Now Available

An updated NLR Services document is now available. It includes a map that shows services available at each node (WaveNet, FrameNet, PacketNet.) It gives you a blurb about those services so you can figure out which ones work for your application. AND, you can find out a bit more about NLR newest services -- Sherpa which helps you configure FrameNet services and Cisco TelePresence service; which allows you to connect your Cisco gear to PacketNet.

Download it. Send it to your friends. Post it by your desk. It also makes a lovely companion piece to the NLR Contact Map and RON Listing which you can find on the home page of the NLR web.

You Can Bet Your Life on IT

The folks at Government Health IT report the following:

A new report from a national consulting firm calls for shifting the focus of the national health information technology strategy away from electronic health records and toward the sharing of information.

Booz Allen Hamilton released the report, “Toward Health Information Liquidity: Realization of Better, More Efficient Care From the Free Flow of Health Information,” at a press conference in Washington today. The Federation of American Hospitals, which represents for-profit hospitals, helped pay for the report.

“We urge consideration of a strategy that accelerates the exchange of critical consumer health information such as prescription drug information, lab results and medical imaging,” the report states. It calls on the government to adopt new policies toward that end.

You can get the report here:

GENI People Post Progress

From our friends at the GENI Project Office:

GPO system engineers have now established detailed documentation for
each GENI Spiral 1 project on the wiki. Check out:

There is contact and summary information for each project, as well as
quarterly status reports and a complete list of the project's
deliverables (with timeline and dates). Everything is fully visible to
all. Definitely fun to browse, and it’s all maintained through the
Trac ticket system. We encourage every project to start personalizing
their own wiki entry – add photographs, presentations, links to your
web sites, and whatever you like.
Monday, January 5, 2009

National LambdaRail Group on Linked In

National LambdaRail has formed a group on Linked In. You can join by searching for National LambdaRail under GROUPS. This provides you with direct personal links to other interested National LambdaRail participants.

Please note that there is an approval process.
Friday, January 2, 2009

Ringing in 2009

2009 is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for National LambdaRail. A few of the highlights for the upcoming year include:
* Our CEO search is underway.
* The massive upgrade of NLR's hardware has begun and is on schedule to complete in the first quarter. (40 Gbps anyone?)
* Visionary researchers from across the country are utilizing NLR's resources to advance science and research.
* GENI has awarded its initial contracts and a number of the awardees are planning to utilize NLR's infrastructure for their groundbreaking network discoveries.
* NLR's Cisco TelePresence-ready infrastructure is tested and is ready to support researchers nationwide.
* The U.S. president-elect understands the vital importance of communications infrastructure.

It's going to be a great year!