WHREN Newsletter


NSF Reports

Volume 2, Issue 1
January 31, 2006

The Western Hemisphere Research and Education Networks (WHREN)-Links Interconnecting Latin America (LILA) Report summarizes activities from participating networks. The WHREN-LILA Report is published under National Science Foundation (NSF) Award # 0441095 and Academic Network at São Paulo (ANSP) award Projeto Fapesp no. 04/14414-2.

January 2006 Issue:

  • WHREN Activities
  • FIU-AMPATH Activities
  • CENIC Activities
  • Pacific Wave Activities
  • RedCLARA Activities


WHREN Activities

A workshop on Cyberinfrastructure for International Biodiversity Research Collaboration was held on January 10-13, 2006, in Panama City, Panama. The workshop was jointly sponsored by the government science agencies of Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia and the United States.  The principal organizers were Jim Beach from the University of Kansas, and Julio Ibarra of Florida International University.  The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for members of the WHREN community to raise awareness of the available high-performance research networks that connect the nations of Central America to the U.S. and to South America.  Participating from WHREN and the research and education networking community of the Americas were Florencio Utreras (CLARA), Carlos Casasus (CUDI), Ana Preston (Internet2), Steve Hutter (Network Startup Resource Center), Dewayne Hendricks (Dandin Group), and Julio Escobar (SENACYT, Panama).

At this workshop, a mix of 60 biology researchers, cyberinfrastructure technologists and funding agency representatives from the United States, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia, plus Guatemala, the Caribbean, Peru, Latin America and Germany, examined current issues and challenges facing the domains for biodiversity research and ecological informatics, and explored opportunities for international informatics collaboration, towards helping each other improve, innovate and expand the biodiversity and ecology domain practices mediated through cyberinfrastructure technologies.  The workshop web site is at http://www.ciara.fiu.edu/biocyber/

FIU-AMPATH Activities

AMPATH recently underwent an upgrade to its core routing infrastructure to provide a more robust network with higher throughput and expansion capabilities. Upgrades include a new Cisco 7609 router with more multiple 10 GigE interfaces. This new routing platform also includes the latest Cisco modular IOS release as well as an expanded support for various media ( 100 Mbits, Copper GigE ) to terminate at this core router.

There was also an upgrade to the WHREN-LILA Circuit between Miami and Sao Paolo. This circuit had been a STM-4 (VC4-4C) provided by LAN Nautilus. Previously, the STM-4 terminated at Layer 3 on both AMPATH’s and ANSP’s core routers. With this new upgrade engineers were able to migrate the circuit to Layer 2 via a Cisco ONS 15454 SDH Chassis installed in Miami and Sao Paulo. This achievement was a coordinated effort between the engineering teams in Miami and Sao Paulo. The new WHREN-LILA circuit is now configured as a VC4-8C and can now carry multiple VLANs across it. This upgrade has had a significant impact in traffic capacity, moving the link speed to 1.2 Gbps, and accomplishes a significant milestone of establishing the infrastructure for a distributed exchange between Miami and Sao Paulo.

The next step in the progression of the WHREN-LILA circuit will be to implement VCAT, LCAS and GFP over the VC4-8C circuit. This will allow the network engineers to better shape and distribute traffic. It will provide a more granular approach to allocating bandwidth and will enable the engineers to maximize bandwidth utilization. The plan is to implement VCAT, LCAS and GFP during the first half of 2006.

For more information on AMPATH, visit http://www.ampath.fiu.edu/

CENIC Activities

Nothing new to report.

Pacific Wave Activities

Pacific Wave participants took advantage of the one half terabit per second of network capacity created by PNWGP and its partners to provide real-time demonstrations of technology at the recent Supercomputing '05 (See http://sc05.supercomputing.org/). The conference was held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington and was attended by government agencies, research and education groups, and commercial firms from around the world, all showing their latest high-end, computing and network intensive applications and equipment.

The winner of the Bandwidth Challenge, "Distributed TeraByte Particle Physics Data Sample" <http://sc05.supercomputing.org/schedule/event_detail.php?evid=5289> used Pacific Wave facilities.

For graphs of the challenge see http://scinet.supercomp.org/2005/bwc/results/summary.html

Examples of other demonstrations made possible by Pacific Wave were:

Data Reservoir on very-long-distance IPv6 / IPv4 network
see: http://sc05.supercomputing.org/schedule/event_detail.php?evid=5295

ResearchChannel took the art of the interactive HD videoconference to the next level at SC05. The conference included participants at the University of Washington in Seattle, University of Wisconsin in Madison, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, University of Southern California in Los Angeles, as will as overseas locations in the Netherlands, Australia (AARNet), and Japan (WIDE). See: http://www.researchchannel.org/inside/news/press/SC05%20Demo.pdf

Pacific Wave also assisted NTT Labs with their demonstration at the "NTT Group Communications Expo" held in Tokyo, Japan December 20-22, 2005. NTT connected the exhibition venue (Tokyo International Forum) to two places in Chile to conduct a remote astronomical telescope observation and a remote operation of copper mine machines. This connection involved use of Pacific Wave facilities and CENIC's connection to the RED CLARA network.

In January, John Silvester and Jacqueline Brown co-chaired the session "Next Generation Application over Next Generation Exchanges" at the 21st APAN Meeting held in Tokyo, Japan. This session explored the applications that are taking advantage of the exchange and GLIF capabilities provided by open exchanges.

Other talks given at the APAN meeting include:

- Open Exchanges and Lambda Networks: Is this the Future of the (Inter)Net.  John Silvester. 24 January 2006.

- The Pacific Wave Future Driven by the Experiences of iGRID2005 and SC|05.  Ron Johnson.  25 January 2006.

For more on these and other efforts, visit the Pacific Wave website at http://www.pacificwave.net/.

RedCLARA Activities

Three new countries join the RedCLARA Network - Guatemala, Ecuador and El Salvador recently connected to RedCLARA ring

Researchers and academics in Latin America will benefit from a wider pool of collaborative talent, with the recent connections of Guatemala, Ecuador and El Salvador to RedCLARA. Guatemala and El Salvador both have a 10 Mbps connection to the RedCLARA PoP in Tijuana, Mexico. Ecuador connects at 10 Mbps to Santiago, Chile.

The NRENs of Guatemala (RAGIE) and El Salvador (RAICES) were connected to RedCLARA on 14 December 2005. The equipment for the connection of Ecuador’s NREN (CEDIA) has also been installed and is operating successfully.

One of the main achievements of the ALICE project, in creating RedCLARA, is the stimulating effect it has had on the development of national networks, particularly in Central America. Partners like RAGIE have seized the opportunity to connect to their neighbors, and have strengthened their own organization and developed their national infrastructure.

The deployment of the network has also seen increased collaboration between researchers in Latin America and Europe. One of the projects aiming to utilize the connection between RedCLARA and GÉANT2 is AUGERACCESS, which stands for “Integrating Auger Observatory and European Research Institutions into a worldwide Grid”. The initiative is one of a number which aim to develop shared e-Infrastructures between the two continents.

Connections to Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua and Paraguay are expected in the near future.

Source: ALICE, http://alice.dante.net/server/show/conWebDoc.1633


The WHREN-LILA newsletter is intended to provide useful, up-to-date information about WHREN-LILA through short articles with web links and email addresses. Newsletters will be posted on the WHREN-LILA website (www.ciara.fiu.edu/whren). If you have colleagues who would like to subscribe to this monthly newsletter, send them to: http://www.ampath.net/mailman/listinfo/whren-today.

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