National LambdaRail

NLR Blog

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!