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NLR Blog

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays to the NLR Community

On behalf of all of us at NLR, best wishes to our members, users and friends for a pleasant, restful holiday season and peace and joy in the coming year.

We look forward to an exciting 2011, and new opportunities to serve you by providing the world's most advanced, high-performance network infrastructure dedicated to U.S. research and education.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NLR at SC10: High-Powered Networking for 40+ Leading Research Groups

NLR was big presence behind the scenes providing a big chunk of the networking for SC10's powerful SCinet infrastructure, but also in the booths of more than 40 collaborators from some of the world's top research organizations. Here's a sampling of photos from the Exhibit Floor.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NLR team at SC10 - more pics to come

NLR again was a major provider of networking power for the annual Supercomputing conference. Here are Ken Goodwin and Bonnie Hurst of NLR's Experiments Support Services team at NLR's counter in the booth of NLR member Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NLR Powers Several Demos at GEC9

At the recent GENI Engineering Conference in Washington, DC, GEC9, NLR provided the network infrastructure for several demos, including one on 'NowCasting' by the University of Massachusetts and CASA, a NSF Engineering Research Center. NowCasting uses vast amounts of streaming data produced by geographically distributed experimental radar systems to detect in real time the shifts in weather patterns that can lead to severe weather.

OpenFlow, which uses networking capabilities from NLR, was used as a substrate for several of the plenary demos including Pathlet, SmartRE and Aster*x.

Abstracts for most GEC9 demos can be found at:
Thursday, November 4, 2010

NLR speaks at international ed conference

NLR's Kurt Snodgrass, Chief Administrative and Financial Officer, spoke last week on the new, global TelePresence inter-network and the opportunities this presents for the research and education community at the 8th International Conference on Emerging e-Learning Technologies and Applications.

NLR TelePresence users Paradise Valley Unified School District outside of Phoenix and the Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia also presented.

For abstract and slides of Kurt's talk, see:
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Transcontinental Workshop - via TelePresence on NLR

The Technical University of Kosice (TUKE) in Slovakia and Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) outside of Phoenix recently co-hosted a two-week bootcamp on Cisco networking over TelePresence on NLR. Great demonstration of how TelePresence bridges distance and time zones.

Here's the view from TUKE, to three difference PVUSD sites:

And, the view of the participant in Phoenix of the instructor across continents and the big pond to Slovakia:
Sunday, September 26, 2010

NLR TelePresence Exchange Links Boston, Arizona Schools

Students at Boston's John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science were able to compare course notes and talk about social media with counterparts 2,600 miles away, in Paradise Valley outside of Phoenix, Arizona over Cisco TelePresence made possible by NLR's Research and Education TelePresence Exchange.

The O'Bryant school is connected to Internet2 via Harvard University and Paradise Valley is on the NLR network.

For coverage of the demo in Harvard's Gazette, see:
Saturday, August 14, 2010

TGen: New 10G pipe into NLR, Turbocharging Life Sciences Research

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) based in Phoenix, Arizona and connected to NLR via Arizona State University, announced on Friday a new, dedicated 10-Gigabit Ethernet link to Saguaro 2, Arizona State University’s supercomputer on its main campus in Tempe.

The transfer and processing of data sets containing trillions of bits of DNA information that once took more than a week will now be done in just a few hours, accelerating TGen’s molecular research into diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and many types of cancer.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

CENIC, PNWGP 10Gig Link to Amazon

This past week NLR members CENIC and the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP (PNWGP) announced two 10Gbps connections to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for the use of CENIC’s members in California, as well as PNWGP’s multistate K-20 research and education community.

“The ability to use cost-effective cloud services to store and process large amounts of data is vital for researchers in many of the most active areas of research,” says CENIC President and CEO, and NLR Board Chair, Jim Dolgonas. “Collaborative research is dependent on the ability to share, and seamlessly access and manipulate data. With these new peering connections to Amazon Web Services, both the CENIC and PNWGP communities can obtain maximum speed and benefit from AWS cloud services.”

For full release, see:
Monday, July 12, 2010

Broadband Grants Fill Commercial Gap: New York Times

A feature in yesterday's New York Times provided several examples of the expected impact to individuals, businesses and community anchors of the recently announced NTIA broadband grants, which included $62 million to NLR and research and education partners.

The grants will connect institutions like schools and hospitals in regions "that big Internet providers have bypassed because the expected revenue was too small to justify the big investments needed," according to the article.

A good read.
Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quilt's Tour of New Duke TelePresence Classroom: 1st to Fill 12 Segments on NLR Exchange

The Quilt's virtual tour, via Cisco TelePresence, of Duke University's new TelePresence Classroom was a smashing success, utilizing, for the first time on the NLR-operated Research and Education Cisco TelePresence Exchange, all 12 available segments for a single TelePresence session. The event was open to any site connected to NLR or Internet2.

Here's Duke's innovative hall, enabling educators from three different locations to interact with students. We're hoping to share photos soon of the actual Quilt event.

For more info on TelePresence over NLR, please visit:

Modeling Oil Spill's Trajectory

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), managed by NLR member the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) with NSF funding, released a detailed computer modeling study showing oil from April's Gulf of Mexico disaster might soon extend along thousands of miles of U.S. Atlantic coast.

NCAR researchers, with collaborating organizations, used supercomputers at two NLR members, the New Mexico Computer Applications Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

For more info on the study and the discouraging animation of its results, see:
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More All Hands Meeting Photos

More photos . . . first of our distinguished member and user panel with, from left, Cas d'Angelo, Chief Network Architect, Georgia Tech; Peter O'Neil, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Crossroads; Dave Reese, CTO, CENIC; Linda Winkler, Senior Network Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory and MREN; NLR pres and CEO Glenn Ricart. . . then Glenn giving his update to participants.

Visit NLR's Flickr site to see all our pics.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All Hands Meeting Photos

Photos from today's All Hands Meeting program and reception at the GRNOC at Indiana University have been posted to NLR's Flickr site.

Here are a few. More to come from Day 2. Also favorites from other participating photographers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cisco News: NLR "America's Most Advanced Network"

NLR's the subject of several feature stories appearing this week on Cisco's online newsroom.

One of the articles highlights that NLR is an unfettered resource for research and commercial innovation, that it is the only national fiber optic network in the world that hosts research traffic from universities and government agencies alongside data from corporations, and that NLR has catalyzed regional broadband development around the country.

NLR Director of Engineering and Operations Grover Browning was interviewed on NLR's aggresive reliability standards, and he describes how NLR's reliability is now as good or better than that of virtually any other network. "We try to be conservative in our reliability estimates, but in most all cases we are now hitting at 99.999 percent reliability or better."

A separate story revolves around how Sandford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is using the NLR network to conduct research under a $100 million NIH grant, connecting its campuses is Florida and California.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great read on PennREN, BTOP and NLR's Wendy Huntoon

An excellent narrative in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the Pennsylvania Research and Education Network's (PennREN) journey to securing $99.6 million in BTOP stimulus funding to bring broadband to the most rural parts of the state.

PennREN's proposal was for a broadband network headquartered at 13 anchor facilities and about 50 satellite sites, which would together provide a radius of connectivity through 39 Pennsylvania counties. The successful funding application was orchestrated by Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center director of networking and NLR Vice Chair Wendy Huntoon, who is interviewed in the article.

It's a great read:
Thursday, April 15, 2010

NLR's Glenn Ricart on Internet Evolution Radio

This morning NLR president and CEO Glenn Ricart had a wide-ranging, live audiocast conversation with Internet Evolution editor-in-chief Terry Sweeney on NLR's technology vision and strategy, high-end e-science applications NLR's seeing over its platform, NLR's role in the discussion around national broadband to communities and homes, etc.

Check it out, as well as Glenn's live-chat posts with participants at:
Sunday, March 28, 2010

NLR, Internet2 at University of Kentucky's CI Days

Here's a photo from the joint NLR - Internet2 poster session at Cyberinfastructure (CI) Days at the University of Kentucky February 22-23, by Dan Updegrove, a consultant to NLR, and Russ Hobby, a chief technical architect for Internet2 .

Dan and Russ described how high-powered research and education networks like NLR and Internet2 are enabling innovative applications ranging from collaborative science, open science grid, remote instrumentation, multipoint conferencing and TelePresence.

CI Days are sponsored by a consortium of federal agencies to raise awareness of the benefits of an integrated, cyberinfrastructure and identify gaps in current capabilities.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

White House: Call for student-led innovation, also on R&E nets

A March 25 post on the White House blog by Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Tom Kalil, deputy director for policy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy suggested that promoting student-led innovation on "killer apps" for broadband would help achieve a key component of the recently released National Broadband Plan, the development of broadband applications.

Such an initiative could be led by the private sector and build on investments already made on high-speed research networks such as Internet2 and National LambdaRail, according to the blog.

The authors invite ideas and feedback at
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CENIC Award to Former NLR CEO Tom West

CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), announced its 2010 Innovations in Networking Awards today, at the CENIC annual conference.

The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution went to former NLR President and CEO Tom West, who also served as CENIC's president and CEO from March 1999 to June 2004. According to CENIC's announcement, this was "a time of great expansion for CENIC, during which both the company and the communities it serves benefited tremendously from his extraordinary vision and ability to turn that vision into reality."

Congrats, Tom!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

University of Kentucky Hosts CI Days

The University of Kentucky in Lexington is hosting a Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Days Workshop February 22-23, 2010. Dan Updegrove for NLR and Russ Hobby for Internet2 are co-hosting a poster session on Research and Education Networks to help educate the university community on national resources available.

The workshop is part of a national series of workshops sponsored by a consortium of federal agencies and national organizations including NSF. Goals include helping UK faculty understand the potential benefits that CI can provide to their scholarship, teaching, research and outreach.
Friday, February 19, 2010

PA Wins $100M Broadband Grant

The Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research (KINBER), a coalition of Pennsylvania colleges and universities, research and health care organizations and economic development entities including NLR members PSC and the University of Pittsburgh, has been awarded a nearly $100M grant by NTIA for a statewide, broadband network.

When completed, the fiber optic cable network will extend nearly 1,700 miles through 39 Pennsylvania counties—including 22 currently considered unserved or underserved based on their access to affordable broadband services.

NLR congratulates all involved for achieving this historic opportunity for the state of Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NLR at Quilt/StateNets

NLR's paid-for fiber and equipment and lack of any acceptable use policy means it can deliver high bandwidth at low cost for the long term, NLR President and CEO Glenn Ricart told participants at last week's Quilt/StateNets meeting. Glenn also provided updates on how NLR is supporting major NSF and DOE grants, such as GENI, TeraGrid, OpenFlow and USLHCnet. His slides can be viewed at:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Duke: Global Learning via Cisco TelePresence

Today Duke University and Cisco announced a virtual lecture hall based on Cisco TelePresence to enable business school students with access to professors, business leaders and guest lecturers located around the globe, extending the in-person classroom environment across campuses and into the business world.

The Cisco announcement included recognition of NLR's national Cisco TelePresence Exchange and its role in promoting use of TelePresence among higher education across the country.

For news release and video of Cisco CEO John Chambers participating via TelePresence from San Jose in the launch festitivites, visit:
Monday, February 8, 2010

NLR, Internet2 on TelePresence at Joint Techs

A preview of the new unified Cisco TelePresence service for research and education (R&E), formally announced today by Internet2 and NLR, was provided at last week’s ESCC/Internet2’s Joint Techs Conference by Ben Fineman (Internet2) and Brent Sweeny (Indiana University, GRNOC and NLR Engineering).

In a joint presentation, Ben and Brent described the shared objective of connecting islands and making Cisco TelePresence widely available to US R&E in a presentation that can be viewed at: For video, see:

More details about the new service will be announced. In the meantime, questions or comments can be sent to or To subscribe to a mailing list: or

Photos of the Joint Techs workshop can be found at:
Thursday, January 28, 2010

NLR at White House Office of Science and Tech Policy

NLR Vice Chair (and Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Director of Networking) Wendy Huntoon and NLR Legal Counsel Randy Lowe represented NLR at a meeting with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) today in Washington. The hour meeting was intended to get the OSTP up to speed on the capabilities of the R&E networks to provide the broader range of public service envisioned in the Obama broadband initiative.

NLR at Westnet: The case for R&E networks

At the recent conference sponsored by the Westnet Gigapop, NLR President and CEO Glenn Ricart argued that NLR is a strategic, national asset and an essential innovation platform for research and education.

NLR, as a community-owned network with paid-for fiber and equipment, is able to pass on technology cost savings to its users. With no Acceptable Usage Policy as imposed by commercial carriers, NLR offers unrestricted usage and can also be used to support economic development activities. NLR's technical expertise and project support is tailored to the needs of the research and education community, and its financials are solid with no debt. As a result of these many factors, NLR is uniquely able to provide high bandwidth at a reasonable cost, thus ensuring that advanced research, education and public service are able to control their own destiny.

To see Glenn's preso, visit:
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NLR's Glenn Ricart in InfoWorld

In case you missed it, NLR and NLR President and CEO Glenn Ricart made InfoWorld's 'Top Underreported Tech Trends of 2009' story, on the topic of dark fiber getting hard, and expensive, to find. Now prices are soaring and could affect the connectivity choices open to enterprises.

The shortage is not uniform, Glenn is quoted in the article. Enterprises in the largest markets can still find the capacity they need, but in second- and third-tier cities, there is a crunch. His advice: "If I were a CIO in a lower-tier market, I would think about locking in connectivity.",8