International Advanced Communication Services for Ultra-High-Performance Digital Media Demonstrated at the SC09 Conference in Portland, Oregon

November 17, 2009

Portland, Oregon

This week at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC09), an international research consortium demonstrated new innovative international advanced international communication services designed to support next generation ultra-high-resolution digital media. These services can also be used to support high performance transport of many large scale data intensive global applications.

The demonstration theme was “Real Time 3DHD.” Demonstrations included 3D high-resolution visualizations streamed in real time from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3D medical imaging streamed from Canada, a 3D virtual world for nanotechnology science, streamed from Chicago, and digital art compositions streamed from Germany. The digital media services showcased are based on an advanced architecture, network middleware, and dynamically provisioned international lightpaths based on flexible optical-fiber and optical switching technology.

These HPDMnet services provide capabilities for ultra high resolution digital media that cannot be supported with traditional Internet-based services, which have limited potential for supporting high capacity data streams. To address the challenges of 21 st century digital-media requirements, the HPDMnet research consortium was established to design, develop, and implement advanced communication services to support many types of extremely high-resolution digital content, including visualizations, simulations, animation, images, video, and 4k and 8k media.

These communication services enable multiple high-resolution digital-media streams to be transported among global sites using dynamically provisioned optical lightpaths across multiple domains, which can be used on a scheduled or on-demand basis. These services have been implemented on an international experimental network testbed – the High Performance Digital Media Network (HPDMnet) – using GLIF network resources and GLIF Open Lightpath Exchanges (GOLEs) around the world. One objective of the HPDMnet initiative is to implement a persistent service among the major GLIF facilities worldwide.

The HPDMnet technologies demonstrated include those that are based on advanced architectures, such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These services support methods for discovering resources, signalling for services, managing and controlling streams, receiving streams, transporting streams, duplicating streams using dynamically allocated lightpaths (e.g., optical multicast), and scheduling resources. This approach allows customers to select and integrate their own media service attributes instead of forcing them to rely on predefined services. Current HPDMnet services support the highest possible resolution digital media at research and education sites, such as universities, conference centers, and research centers, and they will not be available for consumer use for three to five years. The SC09 conference organization designated the HPDMnet demonstration as “Xnet,” which signifies particularly innovative advanced networking capabilities that are showcased at the conference. HPDMnet consortium partners include major research institutions from many countries.

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 CANARIE

CANARIE Inc. is Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network, hundreds of times faster than the internet, which facilitates leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. More than 39,000 researchers at nearly 200 Canadian universities and colleges use the CANARIE Network, as well as researchers at institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories throughout the country. The CANARIE Network enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, which can lead to ground-breaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE's network, programs, and strategic partnerships with 12 regional networks in Canada, and 100 international networks in more than 80 countries, stimulate research that delivers economic, social, and cultural benefits to Canadians. CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with major funding of its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada. (www.canarie.ca)

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

EVL is a graduate research laboratory specializing in the design and development of high-resolution visualization and virtual-reality display systems, collaboration software for use on multi-gigabit networks, and advanced networking infrastructure. It is a joint effort of UIC's College of Engineering and School of Art and Design, and represents the oldest formal collaboration between engineering and art in the country offering graduate MS, PhD and MFA degrees. (www.evl.uic.edu)

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 is a company that specializes in information and communications technology equipment virtualization and infrastructure services. Inocybe Technologies offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to network operators and datacenters. InocybeTechnologies operates with an open-core model with the IaaS Framework as the underlying platform on which the products and services are built. This platform is open for third party commercial, open-source or research add-ons. (www.inocybe.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 among the public sector, businesses and research groups. I2CAT is currently being involved in many different International and European projects. (www.i2cat.cat)

About HPDMnet

The High Performance Digital Media Network (HPDMnet) and its related activities comprise an experimental network research initiative that is designing, developing and implementing the world's first international high-performance service specifically created for high-quality, large-scale digital media, including support for extremely high-volume media streams. This initiative represents a complete departure from existing services, which are based on legacy services and technologies and which cannot meet many emerging needs for high quality, reliable services. By using advanced concepts, architecture, and technology, this initiative is providing a foundation for future digital media services, as well as for other data-intensive applications. This initiative was established as a cooperative partnership by several major network research centers. (www.hpdmnet.org)

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

iCAIR accelerates leading-edge innovation and enhanced global communications through advanced Internet technologies, in collaboration 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 Korea Institute of Science and technology Information (KISTI)

KISTI is a specialized institute providing STI (Science and Technology Information) services based on national supercomputing center and advanced research networks (KREONET and GLORIAD-KR) to promote global competitiveness in science and technology by actively challenging the rapidly changing world paradigm. KISTI aims to be the world leader in science and technology. (www.kisti.re.kr)

About the National Lambda Rail

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. (www.nlr.net)

About the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC).

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides powerful computers and expert support that help thousands of scientists and engineers across the US better understand the world. NCSA has developed exceptional technologies for advanced scientific visualization. (www.ncsa.uiuc.edu)

About National Center for High Performance Computing (NCHC)

Taiwan's National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC), established in 1991, is the nation's leading source for high-performance computing (HPC) hardware, software, networking and training resources. NCHC maintains Taiwan Advanced Research and Education Network (TWAREN), which is a world-class nation-wide 20 Gbps network. Operational since 2003, TWAREN brings all of Taiwan’s major higher education and research institutions with other national R&E networks. TWAREN is also a participant of GLIF by sharing optical resources through TAIWANLight, which is one of GLIF Open Lambda Exchanges (GOLEs). (www.nchc.org.tw)

About the Networked Media Laboratory, University of Essex

The Networked Media Laboratory at the University of Essex comprises advanced media acquisition and presentation facilities (4K, 8K, 3D) combined with an extensive network connectivity facility and aims to implement and demonstrate services specifically created for very high quality networked media,  supporting  a variety of high performance applications . By using advanced hardware and software network technologies and  novel optical devices, this Laboratory is providing an open test-bed for future digital media service innovation as well as for other data-intensive applications. (http://hpn.essex.ac.uk)

About Nortel

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that make the promise of Business Made Simple a reality for its 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 the Netherlands is an advanced ICT service center that supplies – for over 30 years – a complete package of high-performance computing and 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 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with Canada's CANARIE and the Netherlands' SURFnet. (www.startap.net/starlight)

About Synchromedia
Synchromedia: Laboratory for multimedia communication in telepresence of The Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS) is part of the Synchromedia Consortium which links 5 research groups from Canada:  ETS, University of Waterloo (PAMI), Universite du Quebec, a Montreal (UQAM), Ecole de Technologie Superieure (ETS), Concordia University (CENPARMI), and Teleuniversite du Quebec (TELUQ). Synchromedia uses advanced open overlay self-scaling network architecture based on distributed and virtualized resources and the grid computing paradigm. Synchromedia is an active partner of the Pan European Laboratory for Next Generation of Networks and Services ( an FP7 project) and Intelligent interfaces for collaborative work (in collaboration with the IMADOC team from Rennes) both financed by the MDEIE, The Ministry of Quebec. (www.synchromedia.ca)

About Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig

The Technische Universität Braunschweig is the oldest technical university in Germany, with a cornerstone laid in the year 1745 with the Collegium Carolinum. The Institute of Computer and Network Engineering conducts research in multiple areas of advanced networking. (www.tu-brunscweig.de)

About the University of 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 well connected to NetherLight. UvA is a founding member and key contributor to CineGrid, GLIF and OGF.  (www.science.uva.nl/research/sne)

Last Updated: 17 February 2010