iCAIR Press Releases



  • National research network of the Netherlands chosen as European connection point for leading edge scientific projects.
  • Latest 10 gigabit/s optical link supports TransLight, a global initiative to test the most aggressive scientific applications of this decade.
  • Seamless end-to-end solution from Global Crossing provides quality and robustness for next generation scientific and lambda grid applications.
  • High performance lambda technology will play a crucial role in this global-scale cyber infrastructure.
  • Global Crossing extends longstanding SURFnet partnership based upon cutting edge networking, robustness, reliability and quality of service.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands -- Global Crossing has been awarded a contract by the Netherlands national research network, SURFnet, to provision a 10 Gbit/s lambda link between the Dutch advanced optical infrastructure NetherLight in Amsterdam and the StarLight research facility in Chicago. This transatlantic connection is one of the essential pieces in the creation of TransLight, a global-scale experimental networking initiative that will support the most aggressive e-science applications of this decade. Half of the link capacity will also be used to connect the national research networks in the U.S. and Canada to the GEANT Network in Europe.

Planned to go live in July, this new circuit completes a transparent, global, super performance network. SURFnet's selection to complete the transatlantic connection confirms its reputation as a leading European center for networking innovation and excellence.

The move to lambda technology is part of a renewal plan by SURFnet in the Netherlands to extend and enhance its network. SURFnet enjoys a close working relationship with StarLight, the two centers acting as hubs for a vast optical network serving scientists and engineers worldwide. The latest link is a result of this partnership, with StarLight providing funds from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and SURFnet procuring and managing the link.

TransLight is an international grid of electronically and optically switched circuits. It currently consists of multiple lambda circuits between North America and Europe.

Tom DeFanti, principal investigator of StarLight, said, "NSF's e-scientists are clear that the most aggressive e-science applications of this decade require ultra-high-bandwidth international Internet services with known and knowable qualities. TransLight will enable e-scientists and grid researchers to experiment with deterministic provisioning of dedicated circuits for moving huge amounts of data and supporting real-time collaboration with high-resolution visualization. TransLight will provide high-performance capabilities that complement, but do not replace, international research production services."

Kees Neggers, managing director of SURFnet, said, "We're pleased that SURFnet has been chosen for this NSF sponsored connection between North America and Europe. It confirms the success of the Gigaport project to position the Netherlands as a leader in the development and use of innovative Internet technology."

Erik-Jan Bos, network manager of SURFnet, said, "For massive data transfers, lambda switching will play an important role for the next generation of our network. Our challenge is to upgrade to these new features while matching the robustness and stability of commercial networks. We are confident that the Global Crossing lambda will contribute to this goal."

Phil Metcalf, managing director of Global Crossing Europe, said, "Once again we are delighted to help SURFnet and their research partners worldwide turn their vision into reality. SURFnet and Global Crossing have collaborated closely over the years and we continue to meet their advanced networking aspirations as SURFnet pursues its quest for the promotion of new levels of scientific research."

Lambda networking uses the technology and services surrounding multiple optical wavelengths (referred to as lambdas) to provide independent communications channels along a strand of optical fibre. It provides speeds easily scaleable up to 10Gbit/s, lowers the costs of high capacity circuits and directly interfaces with high-speed local area network technologies.

Chicago's StarLight facility and SURFnet in the Netherlands are pushing the limits of this technology. SURFnet expects that lambda switching will be in production for its own next generation network, SURFnet6, part of a far-sighted roadmap to make available multitudes of 1Gbit/s and 10Gbit/s light paths to service-demanding customers.

Global Crossing has provided SURFnet direct connectivity between SARA, the computer center of Amsterdam University, and StarLight since October 2001. In July 2002, Global Crossing signed a 15-year contract with SURFnet for a dark fibre link with ASTRON, the Netherlands foundation for Research in Astronomy. And in October 2002, Global Crossing commissioned a multi-gigabit Internet and a 10Gbit/s lambda circuit to CERN, the European organization for nuclear research in Geneva. In April, Global Crossing was again selected for a multiple fiber connection to pass terabyte traffic streams between ASTRON and its radio telescopes.

Global Crossing has a reputation as a premier network provider to the international academic and research community. It supports DANTE, the organization responsible for managing the world's largest academic and research network, GEANT. Global Crossing has commissioned a multi-gigabit IP Transit Service to DANTE which operates a 10Gbit/s European IP backbone to connect up to 3,500 research and educational establishments in more than 30 countries around Europe. In addition, Global Crossing supports the Brazilian National Research and Education Network (RNP) and FAPESP (Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo), the largest academic research institution in Brazil.


About SURFnet and NetherLight
SURFnet operates and innovates the national research network, to which 150 institutions in higher education and research in the Netherlands are connected. To remain in the lead SURFnet puts in a sustained effort to improve the infrastructure and to develop new applications to give users faster and better access to new Internet services. An example of SURFnet's latest innovative initiatives is NetherLight, an experimental optical Internet interconnection point in Amsterdam. Research networks and institutes in the Netherlands and abroad can connect their lambdas in order to research models and techniques for future generations of Optical Internet Exchanges. See www.surfnet.nl and www.netherlight.net.

About StarLight
StarLight(sm), the optical STAR TAP(sm) initiative, is an advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for network services optimized for high-performance applications. Operational since summer 2001, StarLight is a 1GigE and 10GigE switch/router facility for high-performance access to participating networks and will ultimately become a true optical switching facility 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. STAR TAP and StarLight are made possible by major funding from the US National Science Foundation to the University of Illinois at Chicago. STAR TAP and StarLight are service marks of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. See www.startap.net/starlight.

About TransLight
TransLight is a global-scale experimental networking initiative that supports prototypes for the most aggressive e-science applications of this decade. TransLight consists of multiple Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) circuits between North America, Europe and Asia via StarLight in Chicago. TransLight enables grid researchers to experiment with deterministic provisioning of dedicated circuits, and then compare the results with standard and experimental aggregated Internet traffic. Methods to be tested and compared include moving large amounts of data, supporting real-time collaboration and visualization, and enabling globally distributed computing at rates that equal the fast proliferation of such facilities. This new cyber infrastructure, built of lambda networks connecting distributed computing resources with advanced grid services, is being designed by global, interdisciplinary teams of e-scientists, application programmers, networking engineers, electrical/computer engineers and computer scientists. These teams are attacking challenging research issues and developing innovative solutions for the development of a lambda grid of electronically and optically switched circuits and advanced grid services. See www.startap.net/translight.

About Global Crossing
Global Crossing provides telecommunications solutions over the world's first integrated global IP-based network, which reaches 27 countries and more than 200 major cities around the globe. Global Crossing serves many of the world's largest corporations, providing a full range of managed data and voice products and services.

On January 28, 2002, Global Crossing Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries (excluding Asia Global Crossing and its subsidiaries) commenced Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Bankruptcy Court) and coordinated proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda (Bermuda Court). On the same date, the Bermuda Court granted an order appointing joint provisional liquidators with the power to oversee the continuation and reorganization of the Bermuda-incorporated companies' businesses under the control of their boards of directors and under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court and the Bermuda Court. Additional Global Crossing subsidiaries commenced Chapter 11 cases on April 23, August 4 and August 30, 2002, with the Bermuda incorporated subsidiaries filing coordinated insolvency proceedings in the Bermuda Court. The administration of all the cases filed subsequent to Global Crossing's initial filing on January 28, 2002 has been consolidated with that of the cases commenced on January 28, 2002. Global Crossing's Plan of Reorganization, which was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on December 26, 2002, does not include a capital structure in which existing common or preferred equity will retain any value. Global Crossing expects to emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2003.

On November 18, 2002, Asia Global Crossing Ltd., a majority-owned subsidiary of Global Crossing, and its subsidiary, Asia Global Crossing Development Co., commenced Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and coordinated proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda, both of which are separate from the cases of Global Crossing. Asia Global Crossing has announced that no recovery is expected for Asia Global Crossing's shareholders. Asia Netcom, a company organized by China Netcom Corporation (Hong Kong) on behalf of a consortium of investors, has acquired substantially all of Asia Global Crossing's operating subsidiaries except Pacific Crossing Ltd., a majority-owned subsidiary of Asia Global Crossing that filed separate bankruptcy proceedings on July 19, 2002. Global Crossing no longer has control of or effective ownership in any of the assets formerly operated by Asia Global Crossing. See www.globalcrossing.com.

Global Crossing
Mish Desmidt
Tel +44 118 908 67 89

Laura Wolf
Tel +1 312 996 3002

Sandra Passchier
Tel +31 30 2305 315

The Communications Group
Terry Davidson
Tel +32 2 640 92 07

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