Research networks vs networks for research needs for international testbeds
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Research Networks vs Networks for Research Needs for International Testbeds. Peter Kirstein University College London. Contents of Talk. Early national testbeds - and reactions to them Potted history until the 90s Current status - nationally & internationally

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Research Networks vs Networks for Research Needs for International Testbeds

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Research Networks vs Networks for ResearchNeeds for International Testbeds

Peter Kirstein

University College London


Contents of Talk

  • Early national testbeds - and reactions to them

  • Potted history until the 90s

  • Current status - nationally & internationally

  • Strengthening the present initiatives

  • A proposed global project theme


The Central Theme

  • Large-scale network Test-beds are essential to explore vital aspects of Internet technology and applications

  • Their main aim must be research networks

    • Their use to support other research areas, should be mainly to exercise and validate the research results

  • Most such current funding is national, now further progress needs global test-beds


Success of Testbeds

  • Today 30th anniversary first UCLA Arpanet node

    • Probably most influential testbed ever

    • Growth 4 to 100M nodes in thirty years

      • 80% pa growth rate exceeds the 16% telephone growth over a century, but beaten by mobile tel

  • Clearly this has politicians’ attention


Political Requests

  • Vice-President Gore has claimed fatherhood of Internet

    • US NGI and other testbeds major US programme

  • Dutch (Surfnet) and Canadians (Canarie) have relatively large political programs

    • Which have mainly national testbeds

    • Include international connections



International Testbed Acceptance

  • Does the Internet-2 Qbone Diagram mean that our battles are over

    • No we will analyse this further

    • International testbeds are still the exception

    • While many are partially convinced, much more is needed.


Doubts on International Testbeds

  • In 1971, ICT was asked to give moral support to our proposal for an Arpanet link

    • We were told one would gain as much from a two week trip to Arpanet sites in the US

  • EU provided JAMES Net for research in ‘96/7

    • Most access was for occasional one-hour bursts

  • In 1997/98 a link between Canada and the European Research nets was provided

    • It was normally available only for one-off demos


Early European Views on Network Testbeds

  • National networks were first to develop technology, later to use it.

    • SERCNET, CYCLADES good examples

  • International networks were purely for technology development

    • EIN, most SATNET sites had no real traffic

  • Euronet was exception, but PTTs killed it

    • Ebit, James had same fate in the 90s!


Testbeds as Policy Instruments

  • In 1978 I was requested to drop work on TCP/IP for UK Coloured Book

  • UCL ‘80s work was tolerated partly to keep TCP/IP and EARN out of the UK

  • 1997 JAMES had to be ATM, first TEN-155 plans were similar


Possible Motivations for Testbeds

  • Specific technology developments

    • Must be beyond specific component testing or activity that can be completely simulated

  • Proof-of-concept of whole systems

    • e.g. scaleability, manageability, security, ease of interfacing applications, relative advantage, interoperability, unambiguous specification

  • Pilot total systems pre-commercially

    • May include also customer interest, economics ease of integration with other technologies, migration strategies, encourage applications


History of Testbeds - the ‘70s

  • Most were mainly technology testbeds

    • e.g PRNET, SATNET in the US; Cyclades, EIN in Europe

  • The technology was extended to networks to support research (NSRs)

    • e.g. Sercnet, UUNET, Euronet in Europe, UUNET

  • There were some proof of concept ones

    • In the US Arpanet, in the UK EPSS (BT) were real proof of concept systems

  • A few carrier data networks started

    • e.g. Transpac, Datapac, EDS, Telenet


History of Testbeds - the ‘80s

  • In the 80s, the Carriers concentrated on data-nets providing good and global coverage

    • Most did not use Internet standards

    • They seldom developed testbeds

  • Technology testbeds including new transmission and application-level techniques

    • VSAT and small size earth-stations in networks

    • ISDN pilots and early systems access to networks

    • Electronic mail, directories, graphics over networks

    • LAN-WAN gateways

    • First Secure net technologies


Networks to Support Research - ‘80s

  • During the ‘80s, most countries built networks to support research


    • Need for stability discouraged experimentation

    • Emphasis on connecting users via LANs

    • First international nets - EARN, Internet, DECnet

  • Networks & services needed management

    • DNS, Routing tables, Directories, SNMP

    • Normally did not need separate networks


Networks in the 90s

  • Explosive growth in technology

    • WAN speeds mainly due to fibre

    • Qualitative jump in access capability LAN, PSTN, Cable, ISDN, xDSL, wireless, power line carrier

    • Huge numbers of workstations due to cost and functionality of workstations, WWW applications

  • Resulted in large number of problems to be solved at all levels, in commercial arena

    • Technology, protocols, services, management


US Testbeds in Early ‘90s

  • DARPA concentrated on technology ones

    • Only multicast conferencing application on Dartnet

    • Limited applications on Gigabit - but built up carrier partnerships and national coverage by stealth

  • NSF really concentrated on Supercomputers, measurement and management of divestiture

  • ATDNET and VBNS became real testbeds -

    • VBNS moved to networks to support research

    • VBNS has limited international component


Testbeds in the 90s

  • Both technology and application testbeds were clearly needed, first tried to combine

    • ACTS and Gigabit tried to push technology and applications. Seldom worked with applications

    • SuperJanet promised to provide research part, it could not provide it because of conferencing

  • Some provided related networks, with one emphasising technology, another applications

    • CA*Net, SURFNET, parts of DFN did well here


Other Testbeds in early ‘90s

  • Most of these testbeds were mainly national

    • US ones were thus, with only some lower speed VBNS international services for supercomputers

    • CA*net-3, Berkom, SURFNET have/had strong testbed components, most others are only networks to support research

  • Recently fibre is being installed in such large bundles, that there is spare capacity

    • These were first used in Gigabit and Berkom in 91; it continued with most current high-speed testbeds


Later 90s Testbeds

  • Some high capacity fibre networks have been possible at non-commercial tariffs because:

    • Availability of fibre not yet needed commercially

    • Most Carriers see that they will have to have Internet technology, but many do not know its capabilities at high speed and size

    • They do not want, or cannot yet, offer these services to all commercial customers

  • Outside the US these partnerships are usually national, involve only one carrier, and limited

    • JAMES and CANTAT-3 in ‘96 were exceptions


European National Hosts

  • In 1994, the ACTS programme planned to provide National Hosts (NHs)

  • NHs were to be connected together, and to provide more general facilities

    • National Networks to support research

    • To support EU researchers to collaborate

    • National Research Networks

    • Mobile telephone, satellite, etc

  • In practice only the first two existed

    • Costs limited their use by industrial partners


US Testbeds

  • Internet-2 is planned to be an advanced testbed for networking and applications

    • There will be very broad connectivity for special applications

  • DARPA technology testbeds supplement it

    • with very high speeds, advanced technology, high reliability, active network elements, etc.

  • Most technology testbeds will be national, Internet-2 will have international links


Testbeds outside the US

  • Most of the testbeds are purely national

    • This is partly geographic, partly political, partly the very high local international tariffs

  • Some will connect to the US via STAR-TAP

  • In Europe there is enough concentration to discuss a regional equivalent to Internet 2

    • National issues may decide what form it should be

    • The Quantum project is the current interim


The Quantum Project

  • This is an interim three year project, partly funded by the European Union IST program

    • Mainly to provide stable links to National nets to support research at OC-3, and OC-12 by 2001

    • Has a number of planned working groups like those in Internet-2

    • Has a limited (a few Mbps) VPN capability - available for specific short experiments

    • Should support EU IST researchers also

    • Will have US, Japanese and East European links


Schematic of TEN-155


National vs International Testbeds

  • Pure technology testbeds can usually be national

    • Even here considerations from other countries may broaden both thinking and applicability

    • International involvement may speed up broad acceptance of the concepts

  • International testbeds are more costly and complex; benefits must be justified


Aspects of International Testbeds

  • Size and speed - to allow exploration of scaling

  • Heterogeneity - to allow different features environments and concepts to be explored

  • Availability - to permit applications to be built with the stress of real use

  • Sensible duration - to justify the effort by all who must commit to its success

  • User Commitment and Need- to ensure that the testbed is really exercised

  • Usually Multi-Carrier- because of the user com-munities in the different countries


Is TEN-155 such a testbed

  • TEN-155 has purchased bandwidth on a quasi-commercial basis

    • Cheaper than earlier, no comparison with Abilene

  • The need for stable services means real experimentation is very difficult

    • It is really meant for better standard services

    • It will try to provide advanced services, as long as they do not interfere with other service

  • In its present form it cannot be a real testbed


Internet-2 Internationalisation

  • Internet-2 has large support from Qwest, Nortel and Cisco.

    • It will be a high-capacity, application testbed

    • It will peer with many US networks

    • Via STAR-TAP/STAR-NODE will have several international connections

  • Has advanced programmes in QoS, IPv6, network storage, TV and Video, etc


Groups joining Internet-2


Needs in a Global Testbed

  • Enough research bandwidth to allow both advanced services and experimentation

  • A variety of access technologies and probably backbone technologies

    • Pure advanced technology can be done nationally

    • Impacts of satellites (LEO and DBS), mobile, xDSL, IPv6, secure infrastructures, QoS all vital

  • Over-provisioning of bandwidth

    • Possible at some cost to availability


Current Window of Opportunity

  • Over-provision of fibre

    • Temporary in Europe and internationally

  • Many national testbeds that could be added

  • Strong commercial interest in the questions that such a testbed could answer

  • Strong need for specific applications

    • e.g. HEP, earth observation, conferencing

  • Willingness by at least some large firms to participate as in Internet-2

  • Certainly EU Call which includes testbeds


Proposed Project

  • An international initiative - at least by end 2000

    • 15 countries in America, Asia, Australia and Europe

    • 10 terrestrial carriers participate,with six firms to provide switches, routers, Muxes, NOCs

    • 3 each of mobile, DBS, LEO and Cable operators

  • By the end of 2001, at least the following

    • OC-12 on major oceanic routes, OC-3 to national nets for experimentation

    • Able to fully participate in Internet-2 activities

    • Mobile terminals, UMTS, DBS facilities


Proposed Target by End 2001

  • Testbed service allowing 20-person, high bandwidth secured multicast conference

    • Mobile at a few hundred Kbps in 4 countries

    • Terrestrial at 10-20 Mbps over normal LANs

    • xDSL over telephone and cable into a QoS VPN

    • Use IPv6, QoS, IPSEC, Mobile IP, rugged M/c

    • Watched by 400 in ten countries, some with poorer communications and limited audio via I/N


Potential Problems

  • Would need several carriers

    • Not clear who would agree to participate together

  • Regulations may forbid discrimination/cartel

    • Must be arranged that participation in a cost-shared project would not incur penalties

  • Carriers often want only short-term projects

    • Would have to give longer commitment, even if there are changes in organisational structure

  • Funders must be prepared to see even international bandwidth under-used



  • Now is time for a large-scale research testbed

    • Link in National technology & applications testbeds

  • It should be wider in concept than Internet-2

    • Including many maturing advanced technologies

    • Heterogeneity in infrastructure and suppliers good

  • Include academia, industry & government

    • Easing Regulatory constraints if necessary

    • Preferably partnership not formal tender


The Future

  • Early indications from some possible industrial participants show strong interest

  • Let us try to bring in areas of the world currently left out

  • Let us start the new Millenium with making such a global projects a reality


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