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Internet2: Full Speed Ahead


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The Internet2 nonprofit consortium is engaged in the development, implementation, and use of networking technologies that harness protocols such as IPv6 to tap a massive volume of new URL address space, along with a multitude of middleware and security capabilities that together will facilitate networking applications that are not currently possible with the existing global commercial Internet. The Internet2 Network merges IP and optical networking in a new Dynamic Circuit Network (DCN), which functions as a switching service that will establish short-term circuits among end users who need a large amount of dedicated bandwidth.

"In much the same way cloud computing has the potential to make computing resources available on demand, we're experimenting with DCN to make bandwidth available on demand," says Internet2 executive Gary Bachula.

Internet2's high-speed network is expected to be a key component in the testing of predictions of high-energy physics when CERN's Large Hadron Collider becomes fully operational in 2009. The collider is expected to generate approximately 15 million gigabytes of data per year, and more than 70 Internet2 university members and 3,000 American researchers will participate in the research, with each expected to download or transmit some 2 terabytes of data during a four-hour window every couple of weeks.

Dedicated, customizable, on-demand bandwidth will be allotted to each researcher by the DCN. It will be critical in the future for the U.S. emergency 911 system to accommodate text, data, video, and other formats that are becoming increasingly common in modern personal communications; doing so is the goal of the U.S. Transportation Department's project to build the Next Generation 911 system, which used contributions from a team directed by the telecommunications director at Texas A&M University's Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center.

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