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Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Developments in R&E network architectures

[Over the past several weeks there has been a lot of exciting developments in the R&E network community at the Spring Internet 2 meeting and more recently at the Terena meeting in Prague about new Internet architectures built around GOLEs – GLIF Open Lightpath Exchanges.
There is a growing consensus amongst most of the major R&E networks that we need to move away from traditional hierarchical networks to GOLEs enabling the direct peering of networks, institutions and/or researchers. This is primarily being driven by the data demands of global collaborative research. GOLEs enable a policy free interconnection with no bandwidth constraints or blocking between the connecting parties and therefore research is not constrained by policy or bandwidth issues as on traditional networks. GOLEs are also important for the R&E networks in the new research intensive nations like Brazil, China, South Africa, Korea, etc. In the future networks and researchers of these nations will be far less dependent on having to transit intermediary networks by peering directly with networks or institutions in designated host nations. The CANARIE UCLP (User Controlled LightPaths) and more recently Internet 2’s OS3E service are intended to allow institutions, or even researchers to establish their own private networks for specific VOs or communities of interest who can interconnect at these GOLEs.

There is no question that GOLEs are going to challenge traditional business models for R&E networking, but the first priority must be to enable the needs of the researchers themselves in the exponential growth of data driven science. Here are 2 excellent slide presentations explaining this explosion of data driven science and why we need GOLES – BSA]

The Missing Link: Dedicated End-to-End 10Gbps Optical Lightpaths for Clusters, Grids, and Clouds
Dr Larry Smarr

Dynamically Provisioned Networks as a Substrate for Science
David Foster CERN

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