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Web 2.0 (and Beyond): Developing the Next Generation of Connectivity

A Tennessee student remotely manipulates a research-grade microscope at a March GENI Engineering conference in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. National Science Foundation's Global Environment for Network Innovations recently partnered with non-profit US Ignite to host an event demonstrating the benefits of a low-latency fiber network for public safety applications.

Credit: Government Technology

The U.S. National Science Foundation's Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), a network of more than 50 sites in more than 30 countries, was established in 2007 to test next-generation networking concepts without being limited by the Internet.

A recent partnership between GENI and non-profit US Ignite hosted an event demonstrating how a low-latency fiber network could enable unprecedented functionality for public safety officials, such as a simulated vehicle crash that activated an automatic notification to a police station, while a drone shot video at the crash site for information-gathering purposes.

Software-defined networks (SDN) partly drive GENI's innovation. "SDN is the notion that you separate the data and the control into separate channels, so that way when you want to have a connection to a healthcare provider, the SDN checks [that the user has adequate clearance to do this] and then it creates what's called a flow, keeping it separate from other traffic," notes US Ignite's Glenn Ricart. More security is one benefit of the segregation offered by SDN, which also ameliorates bandwidth constraints and lowers latency via cross-network data distribution.

GENI products such as the OpenFlow open SDN standard are migrating to the regular Internet, while GENI project director Mark Berman says the network also aims to deliver detailed data flow control and intelligent software that accommodates fast-moving mobile devices.

From Government Technology
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