Information on the Internet 2 initiative (fwd)

Colin Steele
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 08:23:57 +1000


For info.


>Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 18:05:26 +0100 (BST)
>From: Mr Bruce Royan <>
>Subject: Information on the Internet 2 initiative (fwd)
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>Apologies for cross-posting
>--------- Forwarded message ----------
>The "Internet 2" initiative has been much discussed and in
>the news over the last week to ten days, particularly so as
>a result of the article in the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
>and President Clinton's announcement in Knoxville last week.
>I am pleased to attach some additional, rather more technical
>information about this important initiative, prepared and made
>available by Michael Roberts, Educom V.P. and acting director
>of the Internet 2 project.
>Paul Evan Peters                                 
>Executive Director                                     fax 202-872-0884
>Coalition for Networked Information                        202-296-5098
>21 Dupont Circle                           
>Washington, DC 20036                        gopher://
>            General information about the Internet II Project
>At a meeting in Chicago on October 1, representatives of the thirty-
>four universities attending agreed unanimously to endorse the goals of the
>project, committed their institutions to finding the resources necessary
>to participate in the project, and pledged initial funding to enable
>current intensive planning efforts to proceed without delay. As of
>October 8, three additional charter members have joined.
>Five working committees were formed, and chairs appointed as noted below.
>The committee chairs will comprise an interim steering committee while
>a permanent project organization is formed and staffed.  Gary Augustson
>of Penn St. has agreed to chair the steering committee in order to maintain
>good coordination with the Educom Networking and Telecommunications Task
>Force, whose steering committee he also chairs.
>It was agreed that charter membership in the project will remain open for
>a limited time for additional institutions who are in a position to
>commit the resources necessary for participation.
>The current draft of the project charter statement and list of members is
>appended. Additional informaion may be obtained from any of the
>individuals listed below.
>               Internet II Project working committees
>Steering Committee Chair - Gary Augustson (Penn St) []
>Applications - Bill Graves (UNC), Chair  []
>Engineering - Greg Jackson (Chicago), Chair  []
>Charter and Goals - Raman Khanna (Stanford) []
>Organization - Stuart Lynn (UC), Chair []
>Search - Doug Van Houweling (Michigan), Chair []
>Project Director (Acting) - Mike Roberts (Educom) []
>                                                       Updated 10/8/96
>                             INTERNET II PROJECT
>Building on the tremendous success of the last ten years in generalizing
>and adapting research Internet technology to academic needs, a number of
>universities (see list at end of this document) are now joining together
>with government and industry partners to accelerate the next stage of
>Internet development in academia. The Internet II project, as it is known,
>will bring focus, energy and resources to the development of a new family
>of advanced applications to meet emerging academic requirements in
>research, teaching and learning.
>The project will address major challenges of the next generation of
>university networks.  First and most importantly, a leading edge network
>capability for the national research community will be created and
>sustained. For a number of years beginning in 1987, the network services
>of NSFnet were unequaled anywhere else.  But the privatization of that
>network and the frequent congestion of its commercial replacement have
>deprived many faculty of the network capability needed to support world
>class research.  This unintended result has had a significant negative
>impact on the university research community.
>Second, network development efforts will be directed to enabling a new
>generation of applications that fully exploit the capabilities of broadband
>networks - media integration, interactivity, real time collaboration - to
>name a few.  This work is essential if new priorities within higher
>education for support of national research objectives, distance education,
>lifelong learning, and related efforts are to be fulfilled.
>Third, the work of the Internet II project will be integrated with ongoing
>efforts to improve production Internet services for all members of the
>academic community. A major goal of the project is to rapidly transfer new
>network services and applications to all levels of educational use and to
>the broader Internet community, both nationally and internationally.
>The project will be conducted in phases over the next three to five years,
>with initial participation expected from fifty to one hundred universities,
>a number of federal agencies, and many of the leading computer and
>telecommunications firms, including IBM, Cisco Systems, AT&T, MCI, and Sun.
>The overall project technical plan and architecture is contained in a
>companion document to this statement entitled "Internet II Architecture."
>In the initial project phase, end to end broadband network services will be
>established among the participating universities.  On a parallel basis,
>applications design will commence using teams of university faculty,
>researchers, and industry experts.  It is expected that within
>approximately eighteen months, "beta" versions of a number of applications
>will be in operation among the Internet II participating universities.
>In most respects, the partnership and funding arrangements for the Internet
>II project will parallel those of previous joint networking efforts, of
>which the NSFnet project is a very successful example.  Industry partners
>will work with campus-based and regional university teams to create the
>advanced network services that are necessary to meet the requirements of
>broadband, networked applications.  Federal R&D agencies will provide grant
>support in their areas of program interest, such as the NSF vBNS
>meritorious high performance networking initiative.
>Funding for the Internet II project will include both financial and in kind
>services and products of various types that will be necessary for the
>project.  Since most of the project effort will occur on or near
>university campuses, it is anticipated that the majority of funding from
>government research agencies and industry partners will be in the form of
>grants to the participating universities.
>      Internet II Project Charter University Members (as of 10/1/96)
>University of Arizona
>Arizona State University
>California State University
>Univ of California System
>Univ of California - Berkeley
>Univ of California - Davis
>Carnegie Mellon University
>Case Western Reserve
>University of Chicago
>Colorado State University
>University of Colorado
>Cornell University
>Emory University
>George Washington Univ
>Harvard University
>University of Illinois-UC
>Indiana University
>University of Iowa
>Michigan State University
>University of Michigan
>University of Minnesota
>University of Nebraska
>Northwestern University
>University of North Carolina
>Ohio State University
>Pennsylvania State University
>University of Pennsylvania
>Princeton University
>Purdue University
>Stanford University
>Vanderbilt University
>Virginia Tech
>University of Virginia
>University of Washington
>University of Wisconsin
>Yale University
>                                                                Version 1.1
>                                                                    9/16/96
>                         Internet II Architecture
>This technical overview of the proposed architecture for the Internet II
>project was created by a working group composed of Scott Bradner (Harvard
>University), Scott Brim (Cornell University), Steve Corbato (Univ of
>Washington), Russ Hobby (Univ of Calif - Davis), and David Wasley (Univ of
>California System), with contributions from many other individuals,
>including in particular a presentation by Professor Larry Landweber of the
>University of Wisconsin at a workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in July 1996.
>It is intended to be a working document and will be updated as the Internet
>II project evolves.
>The Internet II project is a collaborative effort among a number of
>universities, federal R&D agencies, and private sector firms to develop a
>next generation Internet for research and education, including both
>enhanced network services as well as the multimedia applications which will
>be enabled by those services.  The work is developmental and pre-
>competitive in nature.  It is is more fully described in a companion
>document to this technical overview.
>The technical objectives of Internet II include:
> - Maintain a common bearer service to support new and existing applications
> - Move from best effort packet delivery to a differentiated communications
>   service
> - Provide the capability of tailoring network service characteristics to
>   meet specific applications requirements
> - Achieve an advanced communications infrastructure for the Research and
>   Education community
>In a number of technical meetings and workshops over the past several
>years, faculty members and other university representatives have identified
>a set of advanced applications that will greatly enrich teaching, learning,
>collaboration and research activities.  A major impediment to the
>realization of these applications is lack of advanced communications
>services.  The broad use of distance learning will require selectable
>quality of service and efficient "one-to-many" data transport in support of
>multimedia and shared information processing.  To support world class
>research on a continuing basis, the academic community requires high
>capacity and selectable quality of service to make effective use of
>national laboratories, computational facilities and large data
>Internet II is designed to provide a variety of services "on demand"  in
>support of advanced applications.  These dynamically selectable services
>will include guaranteed bounded delay, low data loss, and high capacity.
>For example, in order to support delivery of advanced multimedia teaching
>materials from a digital library repository to a dispersed audience of
>learners, it will be necessary for the service delivery infrastructure to
>support "multicast" data delivery with guaranteed upper bounds within the
>transport components on delay and data loss.
>New protocols to enable this functionality have already been defined and
>will be deployed early in the Internet-II project. These protocols include
>the IETF defined quality of service protocols such as RSVP and RTP along
>with IPv6, the IETF-developed replacement for the version of IP that is in
>current use on the Internet.  In addition, Internet-II will provide access
>to the underlying network infrastructure for those environments that can
>support that access and for those applications that can make use of
>specific capabilities offered by the infrastructure.
>At the heart of the Internet-II design is a new technology for providing
>advanced communications services.  The technology, referred to as a
>GigaPOP, is a complex of technologies developed over the first decade of
>the Internet integrated with new technologies developed by vendors and the
>Internet Engineering community.  The Internet-II project will demonstrate
>proof of concept of this new set of technologies and services so that they
>can become the basis for the next generation of commercial Internet service
>The GigaPOP is the point of interconnection and service delivery between
>one or more institutional members of the Internet-II development project
>and one or more service providers.  Typical institutional connections will
>be made via ATM or SONET services at very high bandwidth. The fundamental
>advance represented by the GigaPOP architecture is dynamically acquired
>"quality of service" in support of a broad range of new applications while
>maintaining a common interoperable "bearer service". Service
>characteristics will include end-user definable capacity as well as
>latency.  An essential part of the Internet-II project will be to determine
>the incremental costs associated with support of differentiated classes of
>service and to develop the mechanisms to collect data about the use of
>these resources by individual users.
>The architecture of the GigaPOP also will support service delivery to
>regional or state-based not-for-profit consortia such as the Virginia
>Educational Network, the Washington State K-20 network, or the combined
>University of California and California State University system.  It is
>envisioned that 20-30 GigaPOPs nationwide will comprise the Phase 1
>deployment.  These will be designed and managed collectively on behalf of
>the Internet-II project community.
>Equipment at a GigaPOP site will include:
>*  One or more very high capacity advanced function packet data
>switch/routers capable of supporting at least OC-12 (622 megabit/second)
>link speeds and switched data streams as well as packet data routing;
>*  Switch/routers supporting Internet Protocols (both version 4 and the new
>version 6), advanced routing protocols such as MOSPF, and "quality of
>service" protocols such as RSVP;
>*  SONET or ATM multiplexers to enable allocation of link capacity to
>different services such as highly reliable IP packet delivery, experimental
>testbeds for emerging protocols, or special requirements determined by new
>initiatives among the Internet-II member institutions;
>*  Traffic measurement and related data gathering to enable project staff
>to define flow characteristics as part of the operational and performance
>monitoring of the GigaPOPs.
>One or more wide area communications service providers will connect to the
>GigaPOPs in order to provide communications paths between the nationwide
>set of GigaPOPs and between GigaPOPs and the established commercial
>Internet.  Thus, participating institutions will be able to acquire a wide
>variety of commercial as well as pre-competitive communications services
>over a single high capacity communications link to the nearest GigaPOP
>facility.  In particular, to support high performance distance learning and
>remote collaboration initiatives, the GigaPOP architecture will facilitate
>local interconnectivity between the higher education community and those
>commercial providers offering emerging high-bandwidth home access
>The most advanced applications will require a set of communications paths
>among the GigaPOPs that are engineered especially for the Internet-II
>project.  It is essential that these interconnect pathways fully support
>the protocols and functions noted above.  Recently, NSF has proposed an
>expanded role for its vBNS infrastructure that potentially could attach as
>many as 100 sites nationally to the current OC-3 backbone and could provide
>a deployment platform for emerging applications in support of research and
>collaboration.  It is envisioned that the vBNS, with its proposed new
>capabilities, will be the initial interconnect network among the GigaPOPs.
>If the vBNS should prove insufficient for the full range of Internet-II
>requirements, other alternatives will be employed.
>Although direct SONET pathways might be most effective in providing the
>inter-GigaPOP pathways, it seems most likely that ATM-over-SONET will be
>the most commonly available commercial service.  Because Internet-II will
>use virtual connections within and between the GigaPOPs, a test network can
>be implemented along side of the production network without having to
>duplicate facilities.  This test network will be used to experiment with
>new capabilities of the network itself where the production network can be
>used to provide reliable service for applications.
>Clearly the design of the GigaPOPs must meet the requirements of very high
>reliability and availability.  Each GigaPOP site will be physically secure
>and environmentally conditioned, including backup power and resistance to
>damage from acts of nature.  Physically diverse fiber optic and wireless
>communications paths will maximize service robustness against the unlikely
>event of physical damage external to the site.  In addition, the
>Internet-II infrastructure will be designed to be secure from the threats
>of those who would seek to disrupt its operations.
>Not all GigaPOP sites will be staffed 24 hours per day.  Instead, redundant
>Network Operations Centers will monitor the operation of all equipment
>remotely via both in-band and out-of-band circuits and will dispatch
>problem resolution staff as needed to effect restoration of normal
>The Internet-II architecture has been chosen to demonstrate the
>effectiveness of new technologies in providing the next generation
>communications infrastructure. The success of Internet-II will allow
>higher education and research institutions to remain world leaders in the
>development of advanced applications of information technology.

Tony Barry
Acting for -

Colin Steele
University Librarian
Australian National University
Canberra  ACT 0200
Tel (06) 249 2003
Fax (06) 249 0058