New Optical Transport Technology for High Performance Digital Media Demonstrated at GLIF Conference in Prague, Czech Republic

September 17, 2007

Czech Republic (Sept. 17, 2007)

Today at the 7th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop in Prague, an international research consortium announced a new capability for communication services based on world-wide optical transport of high resolution digital media streams. Demonstrated publicly for the first time at the workshop, this new capability, “optical multicast,” showed how it was possible to stream multiple high performance, high quality digital media streams among multiple sites around the world from three continents simultaneously. At the demonstration, large screens showed diverse media content including cultural events and historic architecture (Barcelona), scientific visualization (Louisiana), Akihabara “Electric Town” (Tokyo), a live MusicGrid lesson and Canadian landscapes (Ottawa), nanotech virtual instrumentation (Chicago), a chess game (North Carolina), and experimental images (Amsterdam).

Many types of digital media applications and services require large scale high resolution multipoint to multipoint streaming. However, current techniques used for large scale streaming of digital media are limited because networks are designed to manage many small flows of information – and not relatively few very large scale streams. Also, standard routing techniques do not provide sufficient support for large numbers of high volume streams.

To address these and related challenges, a research consortium created an international testbed, the High Performance Digital Media Network (HPDMnet). They are using HPDMnet to investigate new methods for streaming digital media, including extremely high resolution media. The types of technologies demonstrated included new integrated methods for discovering resources, signalling for services, managing and controlling streams, receiving streams, transporting streams, and duplicating streams using dynamically allocated lightpaths. Also, these new methods are being developed to allow for the display of multiple media streams at the same time on individual monitors or on large tiled displays.  These new technologies are being integrated within a services oriented design framework that will allow for much more flexible implementations than current communication services. Instead of pre-determining service attributes, this approach allows for customers to select and integrate their own media service attributes. Component technologies showcased in this demonstration include UCLP (User Controlled Lighpaths), HARC (Highly-Available Robust Co-Allocator), and G-Lambda.

The demonstration in Prague was designed to show a work-in-progress not a completed service or product. Further research will be conducted by the consortium on these methods and technologies. Also, additional demonstrations are planned at other events scheduled for later this year.  The research is intended to develop new services capabilities for the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), an international advanced communications facility, which is based on Open Lambda Exchanges around the world.

The demonstration includes technologies from organizations around the world, including the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC), the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) at Louisiana State University, CANARIE Inc., i2CAT, CESNET, the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), Inocybe Technologies, Inc, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, Masaryk University, MCNC, G-lambda, the National Lambda Rail, Nortel, SARA, StarLight, and the University van Amsterdam.

About the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC)
The Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC), an agency of Industry Canada, is the Canadian government's primary laboratory for research and development (R&D) in advanced telecommunications. Their R&D is used for public policy purposes and to strengthen the Canadian economy through technology and knowledge transfer. CRC specializes in taking an interdisciplinary approach to longer-term R&D in wireless systems, radio fundamentals, communication networks, photonics and interactive multimedia. (www.crc.ca)

About the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT), Louisiana State University
The Center for Computation & Technology at Louisiana State University is an innovative and interdisciplinary research environment for advancing computational sciences, technologies, and the disciplines they touch. Our efforts branch out from the center to serve Louisiana through international collaboration, promoting the progress in leading edge and revolutionary technologies in academia and industry. (www.cct.lsu.edu)

About CANARIE Inc.
Canada's advanced Internet development organization is a not-for-profit corporation supported by its members, project partners and the Federal Government. CANARIE's mission is to accelerate Canada's advanced Internet development and use by facilitating the widespread adoption of faster, more efficient networks and by enabling the next generation of advanced products, applications and services to run on them. CANARIE acts as a catalyst and partner with governments, industry and the research community to increase overall IT awareness, ensure continuing promotion of Canadian technological excellence and ultimately, foster long-term productivity and improvement of living standards. (www.canarie.ca)

About i2CAT
i2CAT is a non-profit Foundation aimed at fostering research and innovation supporting advanced Internet technology. Based on Barcelona, Spain, i2CAT, promotes deployment of services and wideband applications from private and public research companies supporting the Catalunya region. The i2CAT model aims to make Internet research and innovation accessible to the whole of society through collaboration between the public sector, businesses and research groups. (www.i2cat.cat)

About CESNET
CESNET, an association of legal entities, was created by all universities of the Czech Republic and the Czech Academy of Sciences. Its main goals are the operation and development of the Czech NREN, research and development of advanced network technologies and applications, broadening of the public knowledge about the advanced networking topics  CESNET is the Czech academic network operator and a participant in corresponding international projects. (www.ces.net)

About the G-lambda project
G-lambda project is a collaboration effort by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), KDDI R&D Laboratories and NTT Network Innovation Laboratories. The goal of this project is to establish a standard web services interface between Grid resource management system and network resource management system.(www.g-lambda.net)

About the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF)
GLIF, the Global Lambda Integrated Facility, is an international virtual organization that promotes the paradigm of lambda networking. GLIF provides lambdas internationally as an integrated facility to support data-intensive scientific research, and supports middleware development for lambda networking. It brings together some of the world's premier networking engineers who are working together to develop an international infrastructure by identifying equipment, connection requirements, and necessary engineering functions and services. (www.glif.is)

About Inocybe Technologies, Inc
Inocybe Technologies creates enterprise-class open source-based network centric computing software, successfully bringing to market the first practical yet enterprise-ready open source solution for systems and network administrators. Inocybe's UCLP Enterprise Edition™ provides open source and proprietary web services to control network resources. Inocybe specializes in SOA and Web services for physical devices. Virtualization, and interoperability  (www. inocybe.ca)

About the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR)
Northwestern University accelerates leading-edge innovation and enhanced global communications through advanced Internet technologies, in partnership with the international community, and national partners. With its research partners, iCAIR conducts basic network R&D designs large scale experimental testbeds, and operates local, regional, national and international advanced prototype networks and facilities (www.icair.org).

About Masaryk University
Masaryk University, located in Brno, is the second-largest public university in the Czech Republic and the leading higher education institution in Moravia. At present it comprises nine faculties with more than 200 departments, institutes and clinics. Recognized as one of the most important teaching and research institutions in the Czech Republic and a highly-regarded Central European university, it has been marked by a strong democratic spirit ever since its establishment in 1919. One of the top priorities for Masaryk University is scientific research. (www.muni.cz)

About MCNC
MCNC, a non-profit organization, is committed to advancing education, innovation and economic development throughout North Carolina by delivering next-generation information technology services.  MCNC is dedicated to building partnerships to enable and enhance the capabilities of North Carolina’s academic, research, government and business communities to discover, create, share and apply knowledge. (www.mcnc.org)

About the National Lambda Rail
National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR puts the control, the power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of our nation's scientists and researchers. Nearly a dozen research projects are using NLR services. (www.nlr.net)

About Nortel
Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that make the promise of Business Made Simple a reality for our customers. Nortel’s next-generation technologies, for both service provider and enterprise networks, support multimedia and business-critical applications. Nortel's technologies are designed to help eliminate today's barriers to efficiency, speed and performance by simplifying networks and connecting people to the information they need, when they need it. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries around the world. (www.nortel.com)

About SARA
The SARA Computing and Networking Services organization in Amsterdam is an advanced ICT service center that supplies – for over 30 years – a complete package of high performance computing & visualization, high performance networking and infrastructure services. Among SARA’s customers are the business community and scientific, educational, and government institutions. (www.sara.nl)

About StarLight
StarLight is an advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for network services optimized for high-performance applications. StarLight is the GLIF Open Lightpath Exchange (GOLE) in Chicago. Operational since summer 2001, StarLight has 1GE and 10GE switch/router facilities and true optical switching for wavelengths. StarLight is being developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with Canada's CANARIE and the Netherlands' SURFnet. StarLight (sm) is a service mark of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. (www.startap.net/starlight).

About the University van Amsterdam
The System and Network Engineering (SNE) Research group at the University of Amsterdam researches cross-domain interaction between Grid resource providers, optical and hybrid networking, resource descriptions using semantic web and programmable networks for the Future Internet. In collaboration with SURFnet and SARA, UvA has capabilities to access high-speed optical test bed installations in the optical photonic backbone of SURFnet in the Netherlands and internationally in the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF). SARA and UvA collaborate in the creation, maintenance and utilization of a state of the art Lambda Grid experimentation laboratory named LightHouse, which is very well connected to NetherLight. UvA is a founding member and key contributor to CineGrid, GLIF and OGF.  (http://www.science.uva.nl/research/sne)

Last Updated: 17 February 2010