Experimental networking testbed gets bandwidth

The Global Environment for Network Innovation has received a pledge from Internet2 of a dedicated 10-Gbps circuit to support its research efforts

The Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI), a research project being funded by the National Science Foundation, has received a pledge from Internet2 of a dedicated 10-Gbps circuit to support its research efforts.

GENI is intended to give researchers an environment to experiment with networking problems and protocols without being tied to production networks and the requirements of real users. At the same time, large-scale user populations will be available to support experiments.

The project is hosted by BBN Technologies, a research and development organization that helped to develop the ARPAnet and Internet.

GENI received an NSF grant last year, and is being proposed this year as a Major Research and Equipment Facility Construction project, the NSF channel for funding large infrastructure projects.

Most of the GENI Program Office's work will be performed through subcontracts to academic and industrial teams, but no subcontracts for technical work have been awarded. BBN is currently negotiating with potential subcontractors who responded to a solicitation for proposals earlier this year and expects to announce the subcontracts shortly.

Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium that provides a nationwide high-performance network for the education and research communities. Last year it completed a major overhaul of its infrastructure with a tenfold increase in its capacity to 100 Gbps.

Internet2 will contribute a 10-Gbps dedicated circuit throughout its entire network. GENI subcontractors and developers will be able to access the circuit at every connection point on the network to enable nationwide collaboration.

The donation is seen as a win for both organizations. For Internet2 it is an opportunity to leverage the new capacity to support cutting edge research on development of future generations of the Internet, said Internet2 chief executive officer Douglas Van Houweling. For GENI it provides the ability to link a large research community expected to participate in the program.

"Internet2 connects over 300 major research institutions, many of whom are contributing to the engineering of GENI and nearly all of whom will, we expect, be using GENI once it is constructed,' said Chip Elliott, GENI project director.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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