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CESNET CEF Workshop Praha CZ 31 May 2006. Hud Croasdale Executive Director “The Quilt”. What is the Quilt? www.thequilt.net. Project sponsored and supported (in part) by Internet 2 www.internet2.edu

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cesnet cef workshop praha cz 31 may 2006

CESNET CEF WorkshopPraha CZ31 May 2006

Hud Croasdale

Executive Director

“The Quilt”

what is the quilt www thequilt net
What is the Quilt?www.thequilt.net
  • Project sponsored and supported (in part) by Internet 2 www.internet2.edu
  • Consortium of 23 regionally based advanced networks, in the USA and Canada, serving the research and education community.
  • Started as regional aggregators of I2’s Abilene network connectors.
  • Now, most are operating and/or developing optical networks.
  • About 2/3 are also National LambdaRail node operators
  • www.nlr.net
About Internet2®, Internet2 is a consortium being led by 207 universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet.
  • About National LambdaRail

National LambdaRail is advancing the research, clinical, and educational goals of members and other institutions by establishing and maintaining a unique nationwide network infrastructure that is owned and controlled by the U.S. research community. Ownership of the underlying optical infrastructure ensures the research community unprecedented control and flexibility in meeting the requirements of the most advanced network applications and providing the resources demanded by cutting-edge network research.

what does the quilt do
What Does The Quilt Do?
  • Focus on regional network infrastructure development
  • Provide Technical Workshops
    • Engineering forum
      • Build v. Buy
    • Evaluate provider products
    • Operational & management
      • Business case / financial discussions
  • Member Services, <$$$’s, access to providers, support.
    • Commodity Internet Services (CIS) contracts
    • Vendor Partner Program (VPP)
      • optical networking equipment, plus, routers, switches, etc
issues drivers
Issues / Drivers
  • Much broader spectrum of users
    • Off campus users
    • Super-computing centers
  • Bandwidth demands
  • Constant Issues (Network decisions influenced by more than just technology)
    • Economics
      • Capital/operating budgets, cash flow, allocation of scarce resources Staffing
    • Politics
      • Environment (legal, social, etc.)

Lightweight users, browsing, mailing, home use

Need full Internet routing, one to many

  • Business applications, multicast, streaming, VPN’s, mostly LAN

Need VPN services and full Internet routing, several to several + uplink

  • Special scientific applications, computing, data grids, virtual-presence

Need very fat pipes, limited multiple Virtual Organizations, few to few







ΣC >> 100 Gb/s

ΣB ≈ 40 Gb/s


ΣA ≈ 20 Gb/s





From Cees de Laat

higher education research current discussions
Higher Education & Research Current Discussions
  • Build v. Buy?
    • Focus of workshops
  • Facilities Based Network
  • Managed Services
  • Hybrid Model
  • Metro Issues
so what s happening
So What’s Happening?
  • At least 26 RON projects in 40+ states
  • Nearly 30,000 miles of fiber collectively
  • Providing:
    • Internet / Internet2 access
      • Peering for R&E and commodity
    • Circuits (often gigabit Ethernet)
      • Overlay networks
  • Lots of learning the stuff the telcos know
    • FIT values, TL-1, etc
why do we want to do this
Why do we want to do this?
  • The limitation of all purchased services is the lack of control!
  • Underlying assumption that big science needs big performance
  • Ever increasing importance of collaboration, particularly international
  • Cost control/avoidance for commodity services
  • Scaling
  • Lambda envy
facilities based regional optical networks
Facilities-Based Regional Optical Networks

This map as of June 2, 2005

Current map available here:


what about managed services
What About Managed Services?
  • Must facilitate end-to-end connectivity desired by users i.e. map to existing network services
    • NLR Layer1, 2, 3
    • Abilene
    • Commodity Internet
  • Should have well-defined points of demarcation
    • Each provider’s responsibility to provide service should match it’s ability to deliver
model for carrier support of advanced networking
Model for Carrier Support of Advanced Networking
  • Fundamental premise: Total system ownership, control, and responsibility are neither the most cost-effective nor the optimum solution for higher education’s optical networks
  • Emerging optical networks offer new opportunities for carriers to provide services with potentially higher ROI
    • Higher education is willing to assume much of the initial and ongoing capital costs in this model
virginia verizon partnership vortex
Virginia - Verizon Partnership - VORTEX
  • Governor Heralds Advent of New Network
  • On Monday, March 21st, in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, Governor Mark Warner announced the creation of VORTEX, a broadband optical fiber network that will connect participating Virginia universities to powerful external research networks. "VORTEX will provide Virginia's academic researchers with new cyber infrastructure tools, and will enable access to the fastest networks in the country," said Governor Warner. "These tools are essential if our schools are to compete for major science and engineering projects."

The network is being facilitated by Verizon Virginia, and the increased broadband connectivity can be made available for business applications. Verizon will use spare capacity in the system to offer new advanced broadband services throughout the Commonwealth including rural areas. Rather than building a single purpose, state-owned fiber optic network solely for research (the approach taken in the few other leading states), Virginia is leveraging NetworkVirginia to collaborate with Verizon and other providers to build a new statewide Wave Division Multiplexing-based (WDM) system to support both research and economic development interests. This public private partnership will cost significantly less than a single purpose system. "We'll be able to use this as another tool in our economic development arsenal," said the Governor.

southeastern r e networks




















NLR Layer 1, 2 & 3 PoP

NLR Layer 1 & 2 PoP

NLR Layer 1 PoP


GA BoR PeachNet Fiber Backbone

Univ Sys of AL Fiber Backbone




ORNL Fiber Backbone - Tennessee



Southeastern R&E Networks
some key challenges
Some Key Challenges
  • Sustainability
    • Generating sufficient revenues to cover operating costs --- provide user institutions with an ongoing value proposition.
    • Developing capital renewal/technology re-fresh capability.
  • Doing more than “keeping the lights on”
    • Grow staff resources to handle the work and avoid staff burn-out.
    • Keeping at the leading edge --- knowledge, technology, services.
    • Advancing innovation; making a difference in the way in which research and learning is conducted.
  • Meeting/Managing the expectations of diverse stakeholders, e.g.
    • IT and CIO colleagues
    • Institutional leaders, researchers, educators
    • Governments, private sector partners.
questions hud croasdale

Questions?Hud Croasdale



804.986.2765 [m]