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NSF International Research Network Connections (IRNC) Program. Kevin Thompson NSF OD/OCI December 4, 2006. OCI Website - Visit often and provide feedback on the Vision document. www.nsf.gov/oci/. www.nsf.gov/od/oci/ci-v7.pdf. Mission of OCI.

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nsf international research network connections irnc program
NSF International Research Network Connections (IRNC) Program
  • Kevin Thompson
  • December 4, 2006

OCI Website - Visit often and provide feedback on the Vision document.



mission of oci
Mission of OCI

To provide strategic capacity for excellence in achieving NSFs stated mission to lead the development and support of a comprehensive cyberinfrastructure essential to 21st century advances in science and engineering. This mission is also implicit in many places in the new NSF Strategic Plan.

OCI will serve the Foundation and the NSF community in this mission through three types of activity:

1. provisioning of shared cyberinfrastructure together with mechanisms for flexible, secure, coordinated sharing among collections of individuals, institutions, and resources;

2. partnerships with others in science/engineering-driven, transformative use of CI in research and education; and

3. partnerships with others in the transfer of the fruits of relevant R&D into the next generation of CI.

OCI is fundamentally a cross-cutting enterprise that builds mutually beneficial relationships will all parts of the NSF, with other Federal agencies, and with the large and growing CI/e-science initiatives in other countries.

some science drivers
Some Science Drivers
  • Inherent complexity and multi-scale nature of todays frontier science challenges.
  • Requirement for multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator, multi-institutional approach (often international).
  • High data intensity from simulations, digital instruments, sensor nets, observatories.
  • Increased value of data and demand for data curation & preservation of access.
  • Exploiting infrastructure sharing to achieve better stewardship of research funding.
  • Strategic need for engaging more students in high quality, authentic science and engineering education.

Virtual Organizations

  • Distributed virtual organizations are based upon CI that provides flexible, secure, coordinated resource sharing among dynamic collections of individuals, institutions, and resources.
  • Resources and services include HPC, data/information management, sensor-nets/observatories, linked through global networking and middleware, and accessed by people through web portals and workflow environments.
  • Increasing numbers of virtual organizations are required by S&E research and education communities. Referred to by many names, e.g. collaboratory, co-laboratory, grid, gateway, portal,. hub, ....
  • Challenges being address include tools for more rapid building and ease of use, interoperability/middleware, high performance, end-to-end networking, and dynamic reconfiguration, social issues, assessment of impact, and economic and technical sustainability.








ci vo enabled science
CI/VO Enabled Science

Climate Change





The number of nation-scale projects is growing rapidly!

some existing potential interactions

staff R&D interactions

use of components

shared development

Some Existing & Potential Interactions

International Science Projects, e.g. ATLAS, CMS

U.S. Investments

• U.S. part of international science/engineering research projects.

• Open Science Grid (OSG)

• TeraGrid & Science Gateways

• Grid Interoperabilty Now (GIN)


• Condor Technologies

• Virtual Data Toolkit (VDT)

• NMI Build and Test

• Shibolleth

• GridShib

• Other?

Funding & science collaboration



• Experience with large, production, international Grid operation

• Other?


Other National/Regional Grid Projects

irnc program solicitation 2004
“NSF expects to make a small number of awards to provide network connections linking U.S. research networks with peer networks in other parts of the world”

“The availability of limited resources means that preference will be given to solutions which provide the best economy of scale and demonstrate the ability to link the largest communities of interest with the broadest services”

NSF 04-560 at www.nsf.gov

Follow-on to “High-Performance International Internet Services” (HPIIS) 1997

IRNC Program Solicitation 2004
irnc motivation goals
“Primary Goal – enable U.S. science&engineering in the international context through high performance network connections and services

Economy of scale – linking largest communities-of-interest

Increase capacity and reach into new and existing regions

Deploying new networking technologies driven by production needs

E.g. Insertion of layer2 and “hybrid” services

Leverage and share resources, tools, and ideas where feasible

Not just ideas and tech from within IRNC (e.g. EIN)

Maintain and build strong relationships with colleagues and partners outside U.S.

Opportunities to contribute directly to the Network Research community

Technical emphasis areas – security and measurement

IRNC Motivation & Goals
irnc 2004 2009
Program Funding - $25M over 5 years

5 Main Awards

TransLight/PacificWave - (Australia), PI - John Silvester, USC/ISI

Translight/Starlight - (Europe), PI - Tom Defanti, UIC

TransPac2 - (Japan and Asia), PI - Jim Williams, Indiana Univ.

WHREN - (Latin America), PI - Julio Ibarra, FIU

GLORIAD - (detail on next slide), PI - Greg Cole, UT Knoxville

IRNC 2004-2009
translight pacwave pacific connections



TλEX Tokyo





POPs (Tijuana)


AARnet-SX Transport


POP Sydney

Translight/PacWave Pacific Connections
translight starlight funds two trans atlantic links
TransLight/StarLightFunds Two Trans-Atlantic Links





  • OC-192 routed connection between MAN LAN in New York City and the Amsterdam Internet Exchange that connects the USA Abilene and ESnet networks to the pan-European GÉANT2 network
  • OC-192 switched connection between NLR and RONs at StarLight and optical connections at NetherLight; part of the GLIF LambdaGrid fabric


irnc related activities

IRNC Related Activities

Performance and measurement studies leading to best practices for IRNC

Led by Matt Zekauskas (Internet2) and Matt Mathis (PSC)

Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC)

Partial support from NSF

Support development/deployment of networking technologies in Africa, Asia/Pacific, and elsewhere

Led by Dale Smith, Steve Huter, Dave Meyer and others at the University of Oregon

Many other NSF-supported activities (DRAGON, PRAGMA,…)

irnc program review october 2006 program wide recommendations
Address the future of IRNC beyond 2009

Potential NSF Workshop in 2007 to help inform and guide IRNCv2

Expected support needed for a broader range of infrastructure and deeper engagement with applications

Engage user communities (scientists), international networking experts and officials from other parts of the world

International input and dialog in multiple settings

Other recommendations (selection)

Start a focused IRNC measurement group

Improve student engagement (REU)

Opportunities for new user engagement

IRNC Program Review October 2006 - Program wide recommendations