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GENI Goes Global

International Global Environment for Network Innovations (iGENI), a New Advanced Networking Research Initiative

Chicago, October 27, 2009 -- At this week's 9th Annual LambdaGrid Workshop held in Korea, a Consortium of network researchers announced that they received a three-year grant from the U.S. Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) program to develop a major new national and international distributed infrastructure called "iGENI," the "International GENI." GENI is an open and broadly inclusive research initiative established by NSF to provide a virtual laboratory for exploring future internets at scale. It creates major opportunities for academia, industry and the public to understand, innovate and transform networks and their interactions for the benefit of society in the 21st-century. iGENI makes GENI truly global.

Tom DeFanti
Calit2's Tom DeFanti is a co-PI of the iGENI Cosnortium

Led by the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, the consortium includes the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego; Cisco Systems, Inc.; and the BBN Technologies GENI Program Office (GPO). This project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through BBN Technologies to enable research at the frontiers of network science and engineering.

Members of the iGENI Consortium partner with many of the participants of the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), the organizers of this week's LambdaGrid Workshop. GLIF participants are National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), consortia and institutions involved in optical networking and research, and are engaged in creating and exploring prototypes of multiple, innovative communication services and technologies. "The iGENI initiative will enable our Consortium to extend and build on these partnerships in order to develop and implement a large-scale distributed environment for GENI researchers, and to make that environment available to many more research communities," explains principal investigator Joe Mambretti of iCAIR.

"One of the Consortium's major strengths has been its ability to develop teams, tools, and infrastructure on an accelerated schedule," says co-principal investigator Maxine Brown of EVL, "to enable global collaborations for complex problem solving. Each Consortium member has over a decade of experience of active involvement in international networking infrastructure, projects and community development."

iGENI will integrate multiple network resources, including those at the StarLight international communications exchange in Chicago, segments of national research and education network infrastructures, and a national wide-area private network operated by Cisco called C-Wave, as well as components of the international optical-networking GLIF fabric.

iGENI will be a unique distributed infrastructure that supports research and development for next-generation network communication services and technologies. This infrastructure will be integrated with current and planned GENI resources, and operated for use by GENI researchers conducting experiments that involve multiple aggregates (at multiple sites). The iGENI infrastructure will connect resources managed by iCAIR and EVL with current GENI national backbone transport resources, with current and planned GENI regional transport resources, and with international research networks and projects, such as the European Union's FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experimentation). In addition, the iGENI Consortium plans to integrate its global infrastructure with the Open Resource Control Architecture (ORCA) control framework, developed by GENI-funded colleagues at RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute) and Duke University, to enable GENI researchers to dynamically control international network services, associated transport resources and GENI aggregates.

iGENI also provides an open forum to attract new tools and technologies. Tom DeFanti, co-principal investigator from Calit2, is very interested in advancing new types of resource utilization technology. For example, DeFanti currently has NSF support to create innovative methods to measure resource requirements of modern information communication technology systems. "Using iGENI," says DeFanti, "we can demonstrate the utility of new types of measurements within the GENI environment, providing the GENI community with an important additional perspective."

This latest round of GENI funding will accelerate the prototyping of a suite of infrastructure for the GENI project with federation and shakedown experiments to guide future GENI system design. The GPO is spearheading an intensive campaign of research experimentation, which will enable it to refine and extend today's prototypes, with a particular focus on security, architecture, workflow tools, user interfaces, and thorough instrumentation.

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About the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University

The International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University accelerates leading-edge innovation and enhanced global communications through advanced technologies, in partnership with numerous international community, and national partners. iCAIR partners with EVL at University of Illinois at Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Canada ’s CANARIE and the Netherlands ’ SURFnet, to manage and grow the StarLight optical network exchange. www.evl.uic.edu www.icair.org

About the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is a graduate research laboratory specializing in the design and development of high-resolution visualization and virtual-reality display systems, collaboration software for use on multi-gigabit networks, and advanced networking infrastructure. EVL partners with iCAIR at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Canada ’s CANARIE and the Netherlands ’ SURFnet, to manage and grow the StarLight optical network exchange. www.evl.uic.edu

About Calit2 at the University of California , San Diego

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) represents a new mechanism to address large-scale societal issues by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of the best minds (both on and beyond University of California campuses) in a way that had been impossible earlier. www.calit2.net

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc., (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. www.cisco.com

About the GENI Project Office

GENI, a virtual laboratory for exploring future internets at scale, creates major opportunities to understand, innovate and transform global networks and their interactions with society. Dynamic and adaptive, GENI opens up new areas of research at the frontiers of network science and engineering, and increases the opportunity for significant socio-economic impact. GENI will support at-scale experimentation on shared, heterogeneous, highly instrumented infrastructure; enable deep programmability throughout the network, promoting innovations in network science, security, technologies, services and applications; and provide collaborative and exploratory environments for academia, industry and the public to catalyze groundbreaking discoveries and innovation. The GENI Project Office provides system engineering and project management expertise to guide the planning and prototyping efforts of the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). GPO systems engineers engage in system design, identify and track technical risks, capture and manage system requirements, provide oversight and support to GENI working groups, and monitor and coordinate prototyping subcontracts. www.geni.net 

About StarLight

StarLight is the world’s largest optical networking exchange facility. StarLight provides advanced networking services and technologies that are optimized for high-performance, large-scale metro, regional, national and global applications. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), StarLight was designed and developed by researchers, for researchers. StarLight is managed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago , the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University , and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with Canada ’s CANARIE national networking organization and The Netherlands’ SURFnet. www.startap.net/starlight

About the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF)

The Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF) is an international virtual organization that promotes the paradigm of lambda networking (primarily using lightpaths on optical fiber). GLIF participants are National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), consortia and institutions working with lambdas. Participation in GLIF is open to any organization that subscribes to the GLIF vision and can contribute to the GLIF activities. www.glif.is

Related Links

iCAIR
Electronic Visualization Lab
Calit2
Cisco Systems
GENI Project Office
StarLight
GLIF

Media Contacts

Joe Mambretti, iCAIR, Northwestern University, j-mambretti@northwestern.edu
Maxine D. Brown, EVL, University of Illinois at Chicago, maxine@uic.edu