National LambdaRail

NLR Blog

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: