The mission of the Center is To Accelerate Leading-Edge Innovation and Enhanced Digital Global Communications through Advanced Internet Technologies, in Partnership with the International Community.

The Center accomplishes that mission by undertaking projects in four key areas, advanced Internet applications, advanced middleware and metasystems, advanced infrastructure and policy. Virtually all sectors of the national economy require new types of network-based applications supported by an advanced information infrastructure -- an internetworking fabric capable of providing high performance, reliable, high capacity communication services that can be rapidly scaled and readily managed. This type of infrastructure allows for the reservation of required network resources and guarantees that performance will match application requirements.

The Center envisions a continuous technology spiral in which innovative technologies are designed, developed, prototyped, and implemented in early deployment, then are recreated anew through additional enhancement. Projects are defined within research mission parameters. Many iCAIR projects focus on large-scale next-generation networks -- metro area, state-wide, regional, national, and international, including all-optical networks based on concepts of dynamic L3 control of wavelengths. For information on some of these networking projects, see "Advanced Optical Networks" and "Advanced Infrastructure."

Some of the more advanced projects relate to developing networking technologies that support global e-science applications that are enabled by Grid-based infrastructure- high performance "cyber-infrastructure" comprised of large-scaled distributed resources. These advanced infrastructures allow scientists and engineers to dynamically interact with world-wide advanced facilities. Such advanced infrastructure enables powerful new methods for scientific discovery in many disciplinary areas. Eventually, these technologies will migrate to commercial applications through technology transfer processes.

Next Generation Networks and Services
The majority of iCAIR projects are directed at creating next generation networks and services. Traditionally, communications services and infrastructure were designed for telecommunications rather than data communication services. When data communication services were first developed and deployed, they generally shared a common wide area infrastructure. Consequently, data communication services were limited in with regard to design, enhanced and new deployment, access areas, customization and many functional capabilities. These barriers are now being removed as a new generation of services and technologies are being designed and deployed to optimize data communications. The new economy requires rapid ubiquitous deployment of high performance data communications services, services that can rapidly deployed and highly customized.

The dynamics motivating the current revolution in data communications are being driven primarily by new requirements related to optimizing digital information flows. Increasingly, the success of many organizational activities centers on an ability to manage data traffic in accordance to specific criteria and to manage it precisely, efficiently, flexibly, quickly, and cost-effectively. For example, for many organizations, key mission critical information flows increasingly require a high degree of fluidity with regard to addressing communication traffic with a wide range of characteristics, such as data type, flow type, network device, schedules, source and destination - from local to global. Traditional digital communications do not provide the capabilities that are required to meet these needs. Consequently, multiple activities have been established that are motivating a major revolution in next generation digital communications. These activities include basic technology research and development, networking testbeds, prototype advanced network implementations, creating innovative designs for new communication services, standards development, management systems development and the creation of new economic and business models for digital communications.


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