Creating a Climate for Innovation on the Internet2 Network

Internet2 Innovative Application Awards Eric L. Boyd Senior Director, Strategic Projects, Internet2 The Internet2 Network is the first open, national-scale 100G network across the continental United States of America that employs SDN and OpenFlow standards. Built on equipment from Juniper Networks, Ciena, and Brocade, who are all Internet2 industry members, the Internet2 Network is designed to create a climate for innovation. Historically, the Research & Education (R&E) community, including Internet2, has played a key role in the advancement of networking and the development of applications able to take advantage of such innovative technologies. Companies like Akamai (MIT), Arbor Networking (University of Michigan), Cisco (Stanford), Facebook (Harvard), and Google (Stanford), to name just a few, have their roots in leading research universities with a long history of advanced networking exploration. However, during the early years of the 21st century, the locus of innovation shifted away from universities and towards the commercial sector. Together with its partners (campuses, regional networks, NRENs around the globe, and commercial companies), Internet2 has attempted to recreate that climate for innovation amongst R&E institutions by identifying and implementing three pillars of innovation in its own network and in regional and campus networks across the United States, thus creating the Internet2 Innovation Platform. First, the R&E community has historically offered abundant bandwidth in the university environment, relative to that available to the home. Internet2’s national network is 100G, along with similar deployments in campus and regional networks. Second, the R&E community has a long history of reinventing the networking paradigm. Internet2’s national network is fully implemented on a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) substrate. And third, the R&E community has led and continues to lead the need for supporting massive file transfers alongside traditional small network flows (also known as “elephant flows” and “mouse flows”). Internet2 campuses are deploying “Science DMZs,” a term coined by the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) to reflect network architectures that attempt to segregate such divergent flows to improve the performance and reliability of both. At the time of the writing of this abstract, a total of 31 U.S. universities have committed themselves to be pilot Innovative Campuses, deploying some or all of the aforementioned pillars of innovation, in many cases with the support of National Science Foundation Campus-Cyberinfrastructure Networking – Networking Infrastructure and Engineering (NSF CC-NIE) program awards. Building on the success of the Innovation Platform, Internet2 is now seeking to kickstart the development of applications capable of exploiting the capabilities of this advanced networking environment and thus demonstrate the potential of recent investment by the R&E community. In partnership with Juniper Networks (Gold sponsor), Ciena (Silver sponsor), and Brocade (Bronze sponsor), Internet2 announced the Innovative Application Awards contest in the spring of 2013 and issued a call for proposals. After a competitive review process, Internet2 selected eight finalists from the R&E community to work with to develop an array of next generation applications capable of solving challenges faced by research, education, and business networks today. Each finalist is building an application using Software-Defined Networking (SDN) to solve the challenges faced by research, education and business networks today. The selected applications received their initial awards to begin developing their open source, end-user applications, with the remainder awarded upon completion in fall of 2013. The applications make use of OpenFlow-enabled, software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities within switches and controllers like those found on the Internet2 network. The goal of the awards program is to produce examples of new and advanced applications that can help lead the transformation of Internet2 campus research, science and education by taking advantage of SDN and 100G capabilities of the Internet2 Innovation Platform. This talk will present an overview of the Internet2 Innovation Program, the efforts of the pilot Internet2 Innovation Campus participants, and the fruits of the very successful Innovative Application Awards program. In particular, the talk will give highlights of the selected projects, identify lessons learned in the administration of the program, and identify lessons learned in creating the compute, storage, and networking environment needed to support such applications. Finally, the talk will present ideas for advancing the state of R&E networking and the development of innovative applications in the years to come.



  • Eric Boyd

Part of session

Supporting Innovation

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