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Machine Learning : Article
RENCI Selects Infinera's Bandwidth Virtualization Capabilities for N.C. Research Network
RENCI, Infinera Collaborate on Programmable Optical Network Proposal for GENI
|By Virtualization News
|July 28, 2008 08:00 AM EDT
The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) has selected
Infinera to support its research on the experimental network testbed dubbed BEN
(Breakable Experimental Network), which links RENCI to sites at three
universities in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park.
In addition, RENCI, Duke University
and Infinera are collaborating on a proposal to the National Science Foundation
(NSF) for the GENI project, a federally backed research effort to build a
nationwide networking testbed to enable the exploration of technologies for a
future Internet with enhanced security, stability, and advanced features.
The Infinera equipment will support RENCI's research agenda
for BEN, which serves as a testbed for experimentation with disruptive
technologies such as enabling researcher access to the dark fiber, experiments
with new transmission, modulation, and coding formats, interaction between the
optical plane and the packet forwarding plane in the network, network
virtualization and remote visualization of high-definition images on
visualization walls using multiple optical wavelengths. BEN connects sites at Duke University, North Carolina
State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RENCI's main office
in Chapel Hill and enables university
researchers to test their software and hardware by placing equipment at these
sites. North Carolina's MCNC, which manages
the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), is also
collaborating with RENCI on BEN and its offices in Research Triangle
Park will connect to the
For its experiments using BEN, RENCI chose an Infinera
Digital Optical Network because Infinera's scalability, flexibility, and ease
of operations make it an ideal platform for an advanced research network where
researchers are experimenting with cutting-edge technologies and applications
using large volumes of bandwidth and requiring frequent reconfiguration.
Infinera's Bandwidth Virtualization capabilities also enabled the joint GENI
GENI's Vision for a "Sliceable, Programmable"
Last year, the NSF launched an ambitious multimillion dollar
project, the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), to design and
construct a large-scale network that will enable the worldwide research
community to test ideas and clean-slate designs in a range of technology areas
including network design, distributed systems, and cyber-security. GENI's aim
is to forge new solutions to problems facing today's Internet including
inadequate security, reliability, manageability and scalability. RENCI, Duke University,
and Infinera have collaborated on a proposal that envisages a sliceable and
highly programmable optical network that connects diverse storage and computing
resources to enable dynamic, reliable network provisioning. End-to-end slicing,
which combines provisioning of edge computer and storage resources as well as core
network resources, is considered one of the top technical risks by GENI.
The Infinera optical platform can deliver these advanced
experimental features because of its innovative design. Based on large-scale
photonic integrated circuits (PICs) which integrate more than 60 optical
devices on a pair of chips, the Infinera system delivers bandwidth in
increments of 100 Gigabits/second (Gb/s) and is scalable to 800 Gb/s today and
more with Infinera's next-generation ILS2 line system. The Infinera paradigm of
Bandwidth Virtualization creates a "pool" of available bandwidth that
can be deployed and reconfigured to deliver a wide range of optical services,
from 1 Gb/s to 40 Gb/s services today, and 100 Gb/s services in the future. The
Infinera PIC-based optical engine enables a highly flexible pool of bandwidth,
which can be configured through service adapters to support a wide variety of
services, with the entire architecture controllable with advanced GMPLS-powered
The RENCI-Duke-Infinera proposal for GENI leverages the
strengths of each organization. RENCI and Duke will use ORCA -- a software
framework developed at Duke -- to implement a model for the GENI management
plane and deploy it on BEN in order to create a 'GENI island' -- a miniature
version of the future GENI testbed. Infinera has used its innovative photonic
integrated circuits and Bandwidth Virtualization feature to enable an
unsurpassed level of flexibility and programmability in an optical platform for
"We partnered with Infinera because we needed a
scalable and flexible solution to accommodate our wide-ranging research agenda
for BEN, and because we needed a product that would meet the demands for
cutting-edge research necessary to participate in the GENI initiative,"
said Ilia Baldine, manager of network research and infrastructure at RENCI.
"Infinera's solutions provided us with the best pathway to create a
high-speed reconfigurable experimental network and to become a leader in
developing the next generation of advanced research networks."
"We are excited to partner with RENCI on its Breakable
Experimental Network and on the GENI proposal," said Infinera Chief
Technology Officer Drew Perkins. "Leading-edge research like that
envisaged by GENI will play a vital role in developing new technologies for a
more powerful, flexible, scalable Internet that can support the applications of
The Infinera DTN is a Digital ROADM for long-haul and metro
core networks, combining high-capacity DWDM transport, integrated digital
bandwidth management, and GMPLS-powered service intelligence in a single platform.
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