By: Er. Amit Mahajan
WHAT IS INTERNET2
Internet2 is a not-for-profit advanced networking consortium comprising more
than 200 U.S. universities in cooperation with 70 leading corporations, 45 government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning as well as over 50 international partner organizations.
WHAT IT DOES
Internet2 operates the Internet2 Network, a next-generation Internet Protocol and optical network that delivers production network services to meet the high-performance demands of research and education, and provides a secure network testing and research environment.
WHY IT DOES SO
To increase the potential of Internet technology, not only in the field of the research and education community, but to commerce and business, to healthcare and science, to the arts and humanities and beyond.
and maintaining a leadingedge network. Fully exploiting the capabilities of broadband connections through the use of new-generation applications. Transferring new network services and applications to all levels of educational use, and eventually the broader Internet community.
Internet2 is a consortium initiated by the University Cooperation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) in October, 1996. Its aim is to develop advanced Internet technology and applications for research and educational purposes now, eventually extending to the commercial sector. The project is currently led by 202 U.S. universities that collaborate with other similar industrial and federal initiatives such as the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, and with initiatives from other countries.
ALIBENE vBNS BANDWIDTH GIGA
PoPs MIDDLEWARE QUALITY OF SERVICE
At the core of Internet2 is a high-bandwidth backbone named Abilene connecting eleven regional sites across the United States. Fifteen high-speed fiber-optic lines connect core sites in Seattle, Sunnyvale, Los Angeles, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta, New York, and Washington, D.C. The Abilene backbone consists of 13,000 miles of fiber optic cable and transfers about 1,600 terabytes of data per month. Abilene is managed from a Network Operations Center at Indiana University in Indianapolis and is monitored 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
While Abilene serves as the primary backbone of Internet2, another network called vBNS (very high performance Backbone Network Service) also contributes to Internet2. vBNS, developed in 1995 by the National Science Foundation and MCI, connects several governmental and university research institutions and initially served as the primary backbone of Internet2. Abilene and vBNS now connect to each other, allowing users of either network full connectivity to Internet2. In 2000, vBNS evolved into the commercial service Vbns+ .
Abilene is currently undergoing an upgrade from OC-48 (Optical Carrier level 28) to OC192 (Optical Carrier level 192) connections. Optical Carrier lines run over highperformance fiber optic cable and are commonly used in backbone networks. An OC1 line runs at 51.84 Mbps, and higher-level OC lines run at multiples of this speed. Thus, OC48 lines, which currently form slowest part of the Abilene backbone, run at 51.84 * 28 = 2488.32 Mbps, or 2.488 Gbps. Similarly, the next-generation OC-192 Abilene links provide a maximum bandwidth of 10 Gbps.
In addition to the core nodes of the Abilene backbone, Internet2 uses several regional gigaPoPs to provide connectivity to multiple institutions. A gigaPoP, or gigabit capacity point of presence, is intended to be a meeting place between the Internet2 backbone and up to 12 institutional networks. Some gigPoPs may also provide connectivity to additional networks. The following map shows the 32 gigaPoPs connected to Internet2
Middleware is the layer of software that mediates the connection between the network infrastructure and the applications which use it. It acts as a standard for various services such as security and directories, thus preventing cross-platform compatibility issues and ensuring a high level of reliability. Middleware is also the name of the working group established under Internet2 to look into developing this software interface. The group has since focused their attention on five key sub-areas:
Directories - they allow users and applications to search for information about other users and applications on the network. Identifiers - they are labels for users, applications and other entities on the network. By systematically allocating identifiers to entities on the network, it becomes easier to produce applications which work with these entities. It also allows better protection of user privacy and network security. Authentication - it is the process that ensures that the use of identifiers is valid and secure. The main work is in studying various ways of verifying the identity of a user, such as through passwords or biometrics.
Authorization - it is the process which sets the tasks and information that the user is permitted to access. For example, a scientist at a certain laboratory would be allowed to access equipment and data from his workplace by means of his identifier. Public Key Infrastructure - it refers to a very promising but complex and hard-to-implement set of techniques for electronic security. This security is achieved by the exchange of electronic credentials known as certificates. Certificates form the basis on which the other four sub-areas are built: they are stored in directories, tied with related identifiers, and are applied in authentication and authorization processes.
QUALITY OF SERVICES
Many of todayís advanced network applications such as video conferencing and telesurgery work with large amounts of real-time data that needs to be sent quickly on dedicated channels across the Internet without any loss. However, the Internet tends to treat all data indiscriminately and packets of high priority information are frequently dropped as a result of congestion from lower priority traffic such as emails. Quality-of-Service (QoS) guarantees are created to solve this problem. Important data are tagged to ensure that network routers send them down dedicated bandwidths. At the same time, less important information are not dropped in times of congestion but queued to ensure that they are eventually sent. This reduces the need to resend data when it fails to get through, and hence lessens unnecessary congestion on the Internet.
Today's Internet uses a model of communication known as unicast, where the data source creates a distinct copy of data for every recipient. This creates a huge problem of network congestion when many people try to access the same piece of information, such as the live telecast of a show, at the same time. Multicast is a method that solves this problem by sending only one copy of the information along the network, and duplicating it at a point close to the recipients to minimize the bandwidth used along a large part of the network. Many different applications such as distance learning, video conferencing and digital video libraries stand to benefit from multicasting. Multicasting has been deployed fully on the Internet2
IPV6 AND INTERNET2
One of the goals in creating Internet2 was to test and implement improved networking technologies, including IPv6. An IPv6 Working Group was formed within the Internet2 organization specifically for this task. As the Internet2 backbone developed, care was taken to upgrade and choose equipment to support the new version of IP. In addition, the working group aims to educate and motivate Internet2 institutions to support IPv6 in their equipment and networks. Today, the Abilene backbone provides full IPv6 support, as do many hosts connected to it.
The Internet2 Network's physical implementation is made up of several robust, logically different, but related networks, each on its own overlaid infrastructure. These networks include:
Advanced IP network Dynamic Circuit network Core optical network
IP Network The IP network is built across a carrier-class infrastructure and supports leading edge IPv4, IPv6, multicast, and other advanced networking protocols, as well as the ability to more easily and flexibly increase its capacity beyond any other network in the world. Dynamic Circuit Network This is a completely new service that realizes the community’s vision of hybrid (IP and dynamic circuit) networking. The Internet2 Dynamic Circuit (DC) Network is a network unlike any other before it. It uses community-developed, standards-based technologies and protocols to provide on-demand dedicated optical paths between endpoints.
Services enabled by the DC Network include short-term, point-to-point circuits, setup by the requestor or application in standard SONET bandwidth increments up to 10 Gbps.
Static Circuit ServicesInternet2 provides a unified service for Internet2 members looking for long-term, static, point-to-point circuits to cost-effectively extend their network connectivity. Circuits are provisioned by Internet2 over the Internet2-controlled optical infrastructure
HEALTH ORIENTED APPLICATIONS BIOSCIENCE ORIENTED APPLICATIONS DIGITAL LIBRARIES DIGITAL LABORATORIES ARTS AND HUMANITIES
HEALTH ORIENTED APPLICATIONS
Human Embryo Development The purpose of this project is to better understand and communicate information on human embryo development in a 3D visual form, utilizing a network of workstations equipped with advanced technology. High resolution images of the human embryo can be annotated and used for collaborative research, diagnoses, clinical case management, and medical education.
Anatomy & Surgery Workbenches In this project, the network is used to test the workbenches' effectiveness as teaching tools. It links laboratories, classrooms, clinical departments, and medical libraries.
NLM (National Library of Medicine) This Internet2 network offers users a wide array of abilities, including MPEG-2 videoconferencing, telemedicine, videomicroscopes, and digital stethoscopes.
Telescience Alpha Project This allows scientists real-time access to instruments and resources to examine biological specimens over a network
Biomedical Informatics Research Network The network built in this project is used to share digital MRIs, 3D microscope images, and other data pertinent to understanding brain-related diseases.
Virtual Laboratories Enables a group of researchers located in separate locations to work together on a common project Digital Libraries Access to online catalogs Abstracting and indexing databases Primary content, such as journals in electronic formats Continuous digital video and audio
One common use of Internet2 for many applications is videoconferencing. In the medical field, videoconferencing has the potential to enable remote collaboration between researchers and students and remote contact with a surgeon during a procedure. Videoconferencing is available and used on the standard Internet; however, the higher bandwidth available on Internet2 allow higher quality video and audio and more consistent connections. One application that has been tested over both the standard Internet and Internet2 is the live broadcast of laparoscopic surgery.
This procedure was carried out on the standard Internet on a connection between an ISDN line and a dial-up modem in 1997. Overall quality was poor, as the video appeared in a small 320x240 pixel window at just 1-2 frames per second, an average of 17% of audio packets were lost, and delays ranged from 0.5 to 2 seconds. A similar experiment done in 1998 over an Internet2 connection shows the clear benefits of using a nextgeneration connection. The additional bandwidth available at both ends of the connection allowed transmission of full-screen TV-quality at a rate close to 2 Mbps. Viewers reported excellent quality, delays were less than 1 second, and packet loss was just 0.1%.
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATIONS
To discuss the technical performance of applications over a network such as Internet2, it is useful to speak of four key performance metrics: bandwidth, latency, packet loss, and jitter.
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred in a given amount of time. It is closely related to throughput. Latency is a measure of delay, or how long it takes information to travel across a network from source to destination.
The effects of latency are often apparent when browsing the web; after clicking a link there may be a brief delay, after which the resulting page loads rapidly.
Jitter is closely related to latency and is a measure of its variation. Because network conditions constantly change and data does not always take the same path from source to destination, latency can vary. Packet loss describes the random loss of pieces of information that never reach their destination due to congestion or poor connections.
New applications exist that push the performance limitations of the current Internet. While Internet2ís biggest strength is the large amounts of bandwidth it offers, it can also improve the performance of applications by offering lower latency and packet loss. In addition, the creation of Internet2 as a separate network rather than an addition to the existing Internet is allowing the testing and implementation of new protocols that increase the quality of connections and can potentially guarantee levels of service. Internet2 has made many improvements over the standard Internet and has made new applications possible.
At the same time, these new applications have begun to push the limits of even Internet2 and are encouraging network technologies to continually improve.
http://abilene.internet2.edu http://loadrunner.uits.iu.edu/upgrade/ http://www.springerlink.com http://www.wpi.edu/Admin/IT/Internet2/histor y. http://internet2.stanford.edu http://news.internet2.edu/prAreaSelect.cfm