Thomas A. DeFanti, Maxine Brown
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Thomas A. DeFanti, Maxine Brown Principal Investigators, STAR TAP Linda Winkler, Andy Schmidt, Bill Nickless, Alan Verlo STAR TAP Engineering Joe Mambretti, Tim Ward StarLight Facilities STAR TAP and StarLight

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Thomas A. DeFanti, Maxine Brown

Principal Investigators, STAR TAP

Linda Winkler, Andy Schmidt, Bill Nickless, Alan Verlo

STAR TAP Engineering

Joe Mambretti, Tim Ward

StarLight Facilities

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STAR TAP and StarLight

  • STAR TAP: Premier operational cross-connect of the world's high-performance academic networks 45-622Mb        

  • StarLight: Next-generation cutting-edge optical evolution of STAR TAP connecting experimental networks 1-10Gb

  • Funded by CISE ANIR, EIA and ACIR infrastructure grants to UIC (and NU)

  • Substantial support by Argonne MCS

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STAR TAP ConnectionsScience Technology And Research Transit Access Point



Korea (2)


Singapore (2)

Australia (2)















United Kingdom

Chile, Brazil ANSP, Brazil RNP, Mexico

US: Abilene, DREN, ESnet, NISN, NREN, vBNS/vBNS+ (Abilene ITN) (CA*net3 ITN)

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STAR TAP is the International Component of US Government Agency Research Networks

  • DREN DOD Research & Education Network

  • ESnet DOE Energy Science Research network

  • NREN NASA Research & Education Network

  • NISN NASA Information Science Network

  • vBNS NSF very-high-speed Backbone Network Service

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Internet2/Abilene is Deeply Connected


  • Abilene, the Internet2 backbone network, interconnects at STAR TAP via OC-12. A new OC-48 core router is being installed at the Qwest PoP in Chicago.

  • Two GigE circuits are being built for StarLight, one for MREN and one for SURFnet.

  • Abilene’s ITN helped the US complete global connectivity

  • Global NOC services are at Indiana University

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STAR TAP is part of the SBC/Ameritech Chicago NAP

  • ATM switch for 100+ ISPs

  • Peaks to 6Gb/s load

  • Port speed maximum is OC12c

  • Co-location: 2 racks for STAR TAP and TransPAC equipment

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STAR TAP Engineering Advanced Services

  • IPv6 Router (“6TAP” with ESnet)

  • Multicast

  • Globus Middleware/Grid Services Package (with Argonne/ISI)

  • Network Measurement (NLANR AMP)

  • Web Caching (NLANR)

  • QoS testbeds

  • Experimental protocols for high-bandwidth applications

  • Migration to StarLight facility has begun to simplify access and provide more rack space

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Team Building: iGrid 2000 at INET 2000July 18-21, 2000, Yokohama, Japan

  • 14 regions: Canada, CERN, Germany, Greece, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, USA

  • 24 demonstrations featuring technical innovations in tele-immersion, large datasets, distributed computing, remote instrumentation, collaboration, streaming media, human/computer interfaces, digital video and high-definition television, and grid architecture development, and application advancements in science, engineering, cultural heritage, distance education, media communications, and art and architecture

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Who is StarLight?

StarLight is jointly managed and engineered by

  • International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR), Northwestern University

    • Joe Mambretti, David Carr and Tim Ward

  • Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), University of Illinois at Chicago

    • Tom DeFanti, Maxine Brown, Andy Schmidt, Jason Leigh, Cliff Nelson, and Alan Verlo

  • Mathematics and Computer Science Division (MCS) , Argonne National Laboratory

    • Linda Winkler and Bill Nickless; Rick Stevens and Charlie Catlett

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What is StarLight?

StarLight is an experimental optical infrastructure and

proving ground for network services optimized for

high-performance applications

StarLight Leverages $32M (FY2002-3) in experimental networks (I-WIRE, TeraGrid, OMNInet, SURFnet, CA*net4, DataTAG)

710 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Abbott Hall, Northwestern University

Chicago view from 710

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StarLight Infrastructure

  • StarLight isa largeresearch-friendlyco-location facility with space, power and fiber that is being made available to university and national/international network collaborators as a point of presence in Chicago

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StarLight Carriers

  • Currently Present:

    • Ameritech

    • AT&T

    • Qwest

    • Global Crossing

  • Soon to be Installed:

    • Teleglobe

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StarLight Infrastructure

  • StarLight isa production GigE and trial 10GigE switch/router facility for high-performance access to participating networks

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StarLight is Operational

Equipment at StarLight

  • StarLight Equipment installed:

    • Cisco 6509 with GigE

    • IPv6 Router

    • Juniper M10 (GigE and OC-12 interfaces)

    • Cisco LS1010 with OC-12 interfaces

    • Data mining cluster with GigE NICs

    • Visualization/video server cluster (on order)

  • SURFnet’s 12000 GSR

  • Multiple vendor plans for 10GigE, DWDM and Optical Switch/Routing in the future

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StarLight Connections

  • STAR TAP (NAP) connection with two OC-12c ATM circuits

  • The Netherlands (SURFnet) has two OC-12c POS from Amsterdam and a 2.5Gbps OC-48 to StarLight this month

  • Abilene will soon connect via two GigE circuits

  • Canada (CA*net3/4) is connected via GigE, soon 10GigE

  • I-WIRE, a State-of-Illinois-funded dark-fiber multi-10GigE DWDM effort involving Illinois research institutions is being built. 36 strands to the Qwest Chicago PoP are in.

  • NSF TeraGrid (DTF) 4x10GigE network being engineered by PACI and Qwest.

  • NORDUnet is now sharing StarLight’s OC-12 ATM connection

  • TransPAC/APAN is bringing in an OC-12, later an OC-48

  • CERN’s OC-48 is in the advanced funding stages

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StarLight Middleware Partnerships

  • Provide tools and techniques for (university) customer-controlled 10 Gigabit network flows

  • Build general control mechanisms from emerging toolkits, such as Globus, for Grid network resource access and allocation services

  • Test a range of new tools, such as GMPLS and OBGP, for designing, configuring and managing optical networks and their components

  • Create a new generation of tools for appropriate monitoring and measurements at multiple levels

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September, 2002, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Grid-Intensive Application Control of Lambda-

Switched Networks

University of Illinois at Chicago and Indiana University in collaboration with The GigaPort Project and SURFnet5 of The Netherlands

Maxine Brown

STAR TAP/StarLight co-Principal Investigator

Associate Director, Electronic Visualization Laboratory

A showcase of applications that are “early adopters” of very high bandwidth national and international networks

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iGrid 2002 (proposed)September 2002, Amsterdam Science and Technology Centre

Trans-Atlantic Real-Time Simulation Steering and High-Resolution Collaborative Visualization Over Optical Networks

  • Vrije Universiteit

  • Electronic Visualization Laboratory, UIC

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iGrid 2002 (proposed)September 2002, Amsterdam Science and Technology Centre

Visual Tera Mining

  • Laboratory for Advanced Computing, UIC

  • Electronic Visualization Laboratory, UIC

    Visualize multiples of gigabytes of data in near real time.

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iGrid 2002 (proposed)September 2002, Amsterdam Science and Technology Centre

TeraVision: Visualization

Streaming over Optical Networks

  • SARA and Vrije University

  • Electronic Visualization Laboratory, UIC

Stream pre-rendered high-resolution graphics from EVL to SARA to see Gigabit-level graphics streaming between continents.

TeraVision will demonstrate tiled cluster-to-cluster graphics streaming. This image, from SC’99, depicts the University of Minnesota’s PowerWall running an interactive collaboration developed by UIC and the US DoE ASCI project.

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iGrid 2002 (proposed)September 2002, Amsterdam Science and Technology Centre

Terra Wide Data Mining Testbed (TWDM)

  • Laboratory for Advanced Computing, UIC

  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

  • Imperial College, London, UK

  • SARA, The Netherlands

    The Terra Mining Testbed (TMTB) uses high-performance clusters linked by wide-area high-performance networks to provide the data and compute services required.

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iGrid 2002 (proposed)September 2002, Amsterdam Science and Technology Centre

  • Others

    • Wavelength Disk Drives (WDD) and NetRAM (Canada, USA)

    • Storage Wide Area Network, SDSC/NCSA

    • EU DataGrid and DataTAG (UK, CERN, USA)

    • Astronomy/Radio Telescopes (Japan, USA)

    • Molecular Biology (USA, Sweden)

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StarLight Thanks

  • StarLight planning, research, collaborations, and outreach efforts at the University of Illinois at Chicago are made possible, in part, by funding from:

    • National Science Foundation (NSF) awards ANI-9980480, ANI-9730202, EIA-9802090, EIA-9871058, and EIA-0115809

    • NSF Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) cooperative agreement ACI-9619019 to the National Computational Science Alliance

    • State of Illinois I-WIRE Program, and UIC cost sharing

    • Northwestern University for providing space, engineering and management

  • Argonne National Laboratory for StarLight and I-WIRE network engineering and planning leadership

  • NSF/ANIR, Kees Neggers of SURFnet, Bill St. Arnaud of CANARIE, and Olivier Martin and Harvey Newman of CERN for global optical networking leadership;

  • NSF/ACIR and NCSA/SDSC for DTF/TeraGrid opportunities

  • UCAID/Abilene for Internet2 and their ITN

  • CA*net4 and CENIC/Pacific Light Wave for planned North America and West Coast transit