The NaukaNet initiative is based on
many collaborative ties and relationships between Russian and American
partners and institutions. The fact that one of the key organizations in
this effort is a jointly managed U.S.-Russian organization focused on
Internet related networking has made much simpler the task of integrating
other consortium members into a talented, diverse, and productive
The following are the members of the NaukaNet Consortium:
- The Russian Research Center Kurchatov Institute
- The University of Illinois, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NSCA)
- National Computational Science Allliance (NCSA)
- Alliance Center for Collaboration, Education, Science and Software (ACCESS)
- High Performance Strategic Networking Initiatives
- Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN)
- Friends and Partners Russia
- Friends and Partners US
- Science, Technology, and Research Transit Access Point
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is one of five orginal centers in the National Science Foundation's supercomputer Centers Program and a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 1986, NCSA has earned and maintains an international reputation in high-performance computing and networking and in developing innovative software such as NCSA Telnet and NCSA Mosaic. In August 2001, NCSA (along with San Diego Supercomputer Center, Argonne National Laboratory, and the California Institute of Technology) was awarded the NSF Terigrid project. For more information about NCSA see: http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/About/NCSA For more information on the Terigrid Project see: http://www.terigrid.org
The "Friends and Partners" initiative has been active for
over seven years using the Internet as a means of promoting human
networking between individuals in the U.S. and the Former Soviet Union.
The F&P Russia organization brings in a wide variety of Russian
organizations - including the Russian Institute for Public Networking
(RIPN), one of the leaders in developing a Russian science and education
network. Their long relationship with the Kurchatov Institute, ties with
the VUZTelecom Center in St. Petersburg, and its own networking operations
completes a strong organizational and technical base for the Russian
Key personnel on the initiative include the principal investigators on
the U.S. side (Greg Cole and Joe Gipson), Natasha Bulashova of Friends and
Partners Russia, Alexei Platonov of RIPN and Evgeny Velikhov of The Russian Research Center: Kurchatov Institute.
Together, the constituent organizations represent a talented and
diverse team with a proven track record of working together on
U.S.-Russian technical and academic networking initiatives.
Strengths of the NaukaNet Consortium
The administration and support
requirements for NaukaNet present many interesting and difficult
challenges. These include overall administration and rapid growth of a
project between two countries with myriad language and cultural
differences - and perhaps made more difficult by the fact that the effort
is being funded jointly by the two countries.
Overall decision making, planning efforts, and day-to-day coordination
are certain to present numerous challenges. There are also the more
technical challenges dealing with the new development of high speed
networking in Russia, the "bleeding edge" nature of some of the
technologies and protocols which will be encouraged and supported, and,
initially, relatively low link capacity (6 Mbps) which must immediately
accommodate high demand applications.
At the same time, the NaukaNet project will be a rapidly developing and
changing one. Indeed, as pointed out elsewhere in this proposal, NaukaNet
is only establishing a base foundation with the current funding request.
The goal is to quickly grow the capacity and the infrastructure supporting
that capacity to one which will enable servicing a high number of
collaborative research efforts - supported by a much higher capacity with
applications demanding throughput of tens of megabits per second.
The combination of these challenges requires a very determined
commitment, heavy institutional investment (in addition to the funding
request), and most importantly, a very capable, compatible, flexible team
with the ability to work cooperatively and diligently across the
geographical, cultural, and language barriers.
One of the most important assets offered by the NaukaNet Consortium is
the experience of several years of working together on network-related
US-Russian cooperative initiatives. The Friends and Partners effort on
which the consortium has been built represents over seven years of such
cooperation in an atmosphere of shared and mutual respect and one with a
long history of planning, growth, and shared decision making. Throughout
its seven year history, it has jointly managed several grants - from such
funding agencies as NATO, the Ford Foundation, Sun Microsystems, and the
US State Department.
Likewise, the relationship with the Russian Institute of Public Network
is almost seven years old now. RIPN/RELARN was the first organization in
Russia to support Friends and Partners activities.
The solidity and experience of the NaukaNet consortium represents perhaps
its greatest strength in managing a project which will be characterized by
rapid change and by the many difficulties affecting any such
The NaukaNet organization will be focused around the key technical,
administrative, and managerial functions of operating, promoting, and
growing the high speed US-Russian link. Responsibility for directing and
managing the project from the U.S. side will be shared by the two
co-principal investigators, the Director of Telecommunications and Network
Services at UTK and the Director of the Center for International
Networking Initiatives at UTK. The combination of these two centers will
place NaukaNet in the context of next-generation network applications and
U.S./Russian scientific and cultural cooperation and exchange.
Upon approval of this application, the investigators will work with
their Russian counterparts to establish the NaukaNet advisory board
comprised of US and Russian scientists and telecommunications experts who
will advise the project leaders on issues related to operating and growing
the NaukaNet link - its use and applications.
The project investigators will share responsibility for all
operational, engineering and scientific aspects of the project.
Non-engineering tasks will include applications development, promotion of
the link to the R&E communication, support for the users, fund raising
and development activities, interfacing with US and Russian institutions,
and reporting to the public and the NSF. Project management and
responsibilities for development and implementation of the
business/sustainability plan will be shared with personnel from the
College of Business Management program who have expressed particular
interest in this initiative.
In cooperation with Russian network engineers and STAR TAP's network engineers, the project investigator will manage technical aspects of the project such as support for the link and all associated equipment as well as planning for the development of increased bandwidth and enhancement of NaukaNet services. All network engineers (NEs) will work together to ensure that advanced services are used only by HPIIS-authorized institutions and interoperable with the vBNS. All consortium partners will be requested to designate their own NEs for
technical aspects of the project in which they require to be involved.
The co-investigators on this project will be responsible for
implementing a procedure, in close cooperation with the Russian partners,
to ensure fair and responsive approval of new institutions in Russia who
wish to connect to NaukaNet. This procedure will be worked out carefully
with the National Science Foundation. The investigators will also work
with the Russian colleagues to ensure the appropriate routing of traffic
over the connection in line with the National Science Foundation
acceptable use policy. No commodity traffic will be passed over the
The co-investigators will share responsibility for the further growth
and development of the NaukaNet Consortium. The initial funds to be
supplied by the National Science Foundation and the Russian Ministry of
Science establish a platform upon which many new projects and applications
are to be developed, on which much higher bandwidth capacity is to evolve
over the five years of the grant, and on which new protocols and services
are to be developed with the still evolving Next Generation Internet.
In addition to its standard operation and reporting requirements, the
NaukaNet team (in both US and Russia) will collaborate closely on additional
fund raising for research and for applications development. The
team's role in establishing the link is only a starting point with
the real goal being to ensure full and innovative utilization of the link
by a dramatically increased number of US-Russian scientific
Direction of the Russian effort will be provided by RIPN with
responsibilities shared with the Kurchatov Institute and Friends and
Partners-Russia. Because of its key role in building and financing Russian
academic networking, RIPN will assume financial responsibility for the
project in Russia. Responsibilities will be shared appropriately with
the Kurchatov Institute and with VUZTelecom for the technical direction and
growth of high performance networking.
RIPN will function as main backbone operator. It will provide for the
transatlantic transport, interact with Teleglobe and Rascom, will
monitor traffic and assume overall responsibility for the link from the
Russian side. RIPN will provide these services as a part of its
responsibility for the Russian academic Backbone Network (RBnet) and for
the development of the ATM-based MAN currently being established in
Application support and development will be provided by the Kurchatov Institute and VUZTelecom in St. Petersburg (Vasiliev, Bogdanov,
Robachevsky). They will coordinate with RIPN (and in turn with
the NaukaNet team members in the U.S.) for scheduling of resources, PVCs,
etc. VUZTelecom in St. Petersburg will operate the St. Petersburg
ATM-based MAN and will provide technical management (with RIPN) for the
connection to Moscow.
Friends and Partners-Russia will provide project management
responsibilities - advising and coordinating with staff of the US team.
F&P-Russia will assume responsibility for applications development,
fund raising, promoting the link to the Russian R&E community,
providing non-engineering support, interacting with U.S. and Russian
institutions, and sharing reporting responsibilities with the U.S. project