|Worldwide Next Generation
Internet to be Established for Reasearch and Education
February 18, 2002
Key leaders in advanced networking announced today the formation of the
Global Terabit Research Network
(GTRN) - an international partnership to establish a true worldwide next
generation Internet to interconnect national and multinational high-speed
research and education networks. The partnership initially involves North
America through Internet2 in the US and CANARIE in Canada, and Europe
through the NREN Consortium. Participation of the Asia Pacific and other
regions is expected soon.
"The scientific community is now truly international in just about all
fields, and many vitally rely on the integration of computation, data,
instruments and arrays of sensors that enable e-science," said Douglas
Van Houweling, president and CEO of Internet2. "The GTRN will provide
a framework in which the advanced networking community can collectively
manage and provision the global scale, high-performance, persistent infrastructure
required by the research and education community."
Added Fernando Liello, Chairman of the European NREN Consortium. "The
GTRN will provide the connectivity and advanced Internet services needed
by major multinational scientific collaborations in areas such as high
energy physics, radio and optical astronomy, weather forecasting and climatology,
biological sciences, and earth sciences."
Recent years have seen the creation of a number of very successful national
and multinational advanced high-speed research networks such as the Internet2
Abilene network in the United States, the Canadian CA*net3 network in
North America, and the pan-European GEANT network. Though these networks
provide the bandwidth needed for e-science nationally and regionally,
development of e-science on an international scale has been hampered by
a lack of a global backbone comparable in speed and reliability to these
The GTRN will provide a coherent global solution to this problem by providing
a high-speed, stable, production-quality global backbone. This will allow
next generation advanced Internet services to be provided to the global
research and scientific community.
"Global availability of services such as quality of service, multicast
and IPv6 are an important prerequisite for a truly converged and scalable
global research network," said Andrew Bjerring - President and CEO of
CANARIE Inc., Canada's advanced Internet development organization and
a leader in the development, coordination and implementation of the national
optical Internet network CA*net3. "Pervasive global access to applications
such as reliable high quality video, telephony, remote instrument control,
and numerous other applications that are incompatible with the current
'best efforts' IP networks requires that these advanced services be an
integral part of a global research network."
"What has been seriously lacking is a true, persistent, production-quality
global research and education network - one that is capable eventually
of data rates of terabits per second", said Michael McRobbie, Vice President
for Information Technology and CIO at Indiana University and Chair of
Internet2's GTRN Committee. "The GTRN will provide this true global research
network connectivity, offering the very high bandwidth connections that
allow the national and regional networks to properly interconnect."
"All those involved in establishing the GTRN are to be congratulated
on taking a major step forward in establishing the kind of advanced global
network that is required by many international scientific research projects",
said Aubrey Bush, Director of the Advanced Networking Infrastructure and
Research Division in the National Science Foundation. "The NSF contributes
funding to many of these projects and regards a stable world-wide research
and education network that offers advanced services as being essential
The GTRN will support global research and education requiring access
to advanced high-performance Internet services. The GTRN will be run in
a highly transparent manner so that end to end performance characteristics
will be easily accessible to all parties responsible for ensuring the
appropriate quality of service.
"The GTRN will provide both an application deployment infrastructure
and a network testbed in support of advanced network services" said Dai
Davies, General Manager of DANTE, which built and manages GEANT. "This
will be an invaluable resource for the development of joint international
research initiatives, such as grids of various types, as well as for joint
network research initiatives."
The GTRN will consist of a global backbone initially connecting national
and multinational networks in North America and Europe. Later it is expected
to be expanded to Asia, Latin America, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.
Access to the GTRN will be provided at a number of points of presence
(GTRN Network Access Points - GNAPs).
The GTRN backbone will initially be composed of two OC-48 2.4 Gbit circuits
acquired by DANTE connecting the Internet2 Abilene network and the CANARIE
CA*net3 network to GEANT. These connect to the GEANT backbone in Europe
at GNAPs in London and Frankfurt and to Abilene and CA*net3 in North America
at the New York GNAP the GTRN partners have established. Additional high
speed connections from North America to GEANT to complement those acquired
by DANTE are being actively pursued, as are connections to other regions.
Internet2 will provide additional capacity on the Abilene network connecting
the New York GNAP to Starlight in Chicago and to the Pacific Wave GigaPoP
in Seattle to allow for the eventual connection of the Asia Pacific to
"StarLight is hosting experiments with dedicated end to end wavelengths
coming from Holland, CERN, Canada, Illinois, Indiana, Washington, and
California. Starlight will thus be a vital GNAP in the GTRN," said Tom
DeFanti, Director of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at
the University of Illinois at Chicago, and principal investigator of the
NSF Science, Technology And Research Transit Access Point (STAR TAP/StarLight).
"The GTRN will connect Starlight and several other GNAPs in North America
to several points on the GEANT network. As such the GTRN complements the
StarLight wavelength experiments, offering a unified solution to connectivity
between North America and Europe."
Ron Johnson, Vice President for Information Technology at the University
of Washington responsible for Pacific Wave, commented "Pacific Wave is
pre-positioned to be a key GNAP for integrating the Asia Pacific into
the GTRN. Pacific Wave already has connections to, and selective ultra
high-performance exchange among Japan, Australia, Canada and Taiwan network
fabrics, and the GTRN is the next logical step in the development of connectivity
across the Asia Pacific and evolution of a global teragrid."
These resources will form the initial GTRN backbone and Internet2, CANARIE
and the European NREN Consortium have agreed to manage all these facilities
in a coordinated and cooperative way. The Global Network Operations Center
(GNOC) at Indiana University will provide NOC services to the GTRN as
will the DANTE NOC and eventually a NOC in the Asia Pacific.
STAR TAP/Starlight (http://www.startap.net/starlight/)
Pacific Wave (http://pacificwave.net/)
Global NOC (http://globalnoc.iu.edu/)
Dai Davis (DANTE, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44-1223-302992)
Greg Wood (Internet2, email@example.com, 202-331-5360)
Susan Baldwin (CANARIE Inc., Susan.Baldwin@canarie.ca, 612-943-5399)
Karen Adams (Indiana University, firstname.lastname@example.org, 812-856-5596)