|When two people communicate, they each can be enriched - and unlike traditional resources, the more you share the more you have. - U.S. Vice President Al Gore|
C.1 Proposed Services
The foundation upon which the NaukaNet Consortium is being built is that the range and importance of current collaborations between the R&E communities of the United States and Russia and the enormous potential for development of future collaborations makes it of vital importance to create as rapidly as possible dedicated infrastructure between the emerging high performance R&E networks of the two countries. The sheer volume of the ongoing cooperative efforts makes the significance of the relationship evident.
Over the last ten years the level of cooperative scientific activity between the research and education communities of Russia and the United States has steadily increased in size, scope, and intensity. That this increase has come despite the barriers of distance, and the corresponding inaccessibility of colleagues and major laboratory facilities for each side, is a testament to the intellectual vitality of these communities and to a shared sense of mutual respect. Yet, the enormous potential for such cooperation has only begun to be tapped; its future growth depends upon the creation of networking and telecommunication tools that can bring distant colleagues into the kind of rich, spontaneous, and fully communicative interaction upon which science thrives.
The current network infrastructure between the two countries, however, provides neither the uncongested capacity nor the range and quality of network services required for the global collaborative research communities of the future. The NaukaNet Consortium has been conceived to address this precise problem.
The NaukaNet Consortium, representing several years of work with high performance networking in a state-wide educational and national laboratory environment and over four years of collaborative US-Russian effort fostering US, Russian partnership, includes the following organizations:
The development of high speed networking in Russia is still at a relatively early stage. One of the benefits of the development of the NaukaNet project is that it is already encouraging more rapid development of this important infrastructure - at least in the Moscow and St. Petersburg area but discussions have also been initiated about how to extend the high speed network out to additional academic centers such as Novosibirsk/Akademgorok.
A word about the "NaukaNet" name. . .
In the Russian language, the word "Mir" carries three meanings referring at the same time to "world" and "peace", and in pre-Revolutionary Russia, the term implied a sense of community unique to village life. To most today, the term refers to the space station which itself represents highly successful collaborative activity by the US-Russian scientific communities. But the term is used in this proposal more broadly to indicate the promise of these global telecommunications technologies in the context of US-Russian collaboration.
C.1.1 The NaukaNet Network Infrastructure
The NaukaNet network will consist initially of a 6Mbps, terrestrial ATM link from the STAR TAP network access point (NAP) in the US to the M9 station point in Moscow. This service will be provided by the AADS (Note 1), the service provider for the STAR TAP network. The proposed link will transit at New York, Copenhagen (Denmark) to Moscow (Rostelecom) (Note 1). The ATM connection is then multiplexed into three E1s to Copenhagen in Denmark (over CANTAT-3, a transatlantic submarine cable with 7.5 Gbps bandwidth) which is then cross-connected to Rostelecom (Note 1) and carried into the M9 station. The E1 connections are then inverse multiplexed onto a DS3 port on the ATM switch. The proposed link will be the only user of a 45Mbps segment (from New York to Copenhagen) which allows for future growth with the availability of additional funding.
From the M9 station, a fiber optic OC3c ATM link will connect to the ATM switch located at RIPN (RBnet) which in turn, will connect to the HPIIS router. AADS(Note 1) has agreed to manage/invoice for the entire link (from Chicago to the M9 station). This will be extremely beneficial in significantly reducing the trouble-shooting complexity for the NaukaNet consortium, as there will be a single point of contact for all physical connectivity problems. A PVP will be established from STAR TAP to the ATM switch at RBnet through M9 station in Moscow. RIPN will provide a Cisco 7500 router that is capable of policy based routing in segregating HPIIS authorized and commodity Internet traffic.
C.1.2 The NaukaNet Network Services
C.1.2.1 ATM Services
Native ATM service (layer 2) will be provided by the predefined PVCs (with UBR service unless required otherwise by the application/researchers) over the 6Mbps ATM virtual path between STAR TAP and RBnet. ATM PNNI-1 (private network to network interface) signaling will be used for topology management initially (only known vBNS or HPIIS authorized ATM routes will be defined). ATM PNNI-2 signaling will be implemented when this service is available from STAR TAP either by obtaining an ATM prefix from network providers in the US or Russia or from the appropriate ATM addressing authority for Russia. Layer 2 services that can not be accommodated by predefined PVCs will be scheduled with the NaukaNet NOCs, which will coordinate with vBNS and/or STAR TAP in allocating the required network resource.
C.1.2.2 IP and Internet Services
Layer 3 IP connections will be achieved by peering of the NaukaNet policy router in Moscow with the vBNS router in Chicago. The PVC that will be used by the peering routers will be defined for UBR service. This means that layer 3 services will be able to use as much bandwidth as possible without the involvement of the NaukaNet NOC. Through mechanisms of Cisco route-map/policy based routing, packet filtering and physical network connection administration, NaukaNet will enforce the rule of only allowing traffic between HPIIS authorized institutions and vBNS authorized institutions to transit the NaukaNet network. Policy based routing will be defined on the policy router at RBnet to only allow for authorized institutions in Russia to be routed to STAR TAP, and vice versa, only traffic destined to authorized institutions will be permitted to transit the RBnet policy router. It is expected that initial IPv6 and IP multicast will be implemented via IP-in-IP tunneling. Experiments with these protocols as well as RSVP and QoS will be part of the advanced network services offered on the proposed link.
C.1.2.3 Monitoring and Performance Analysis
The implementation of monitoring and performance analysis will largely be drawn on the experience of UT from the management of the large campus and wide area network. UT is a active participant of the vBNS network as well as one of the founding Internet 2 members. As such, NaukaNet will utilize and install existing tools such as OC3MON developed by the Measure and Operations Analysis Team (MOAT) from NLANR at STAR TAP and on the RBnet network.
Reports on router interface statistics as well as cell rates on ATM switch ports will be reported on a regular basis via WWW and email to user groups maintained by NaukaNet. This will be extremely valuable information to the application developers as well as researchers in understanding behaviors of their application.
C.1.2.4 Advanced Network Services
NaukaNet is in full support of research of advanced network services by HPIIS and vBNS authorized institutions on the proposed link. Following advanced network services are to be offered on the proposed connection:
NaukaNet will maintain its existing partnership with Cisco Systems, Inc. through its lead US institution (the University of Tennessee) as well as Russian institutions in developing and experimenting with such advanced network services as listed above. Additional partnerships with the National Center for Network Engineering (NCNE) from within NLANR will be sought for network research and implementation.
UT is also evaluating Cisco the WebCache product because it is capable of providing transparent cache (no client re-configuration necessary) that will ease the implementation of the web-caching services.
NaukaNet recognizes the fact that application developers may require assistance from NaukaNet engineers in providing feedback to the performance of the application, as well as how to fine tune applications. Moscow State University (MSU) and UT will provide the application support to researchers on NaukaNet. NaukaNet will also seek partnerships with the Distributed Application Support Team (DAST) within NLANR in assisting with application development needs.
C.1.3 NaukaNet timeline (overview)
C.1.4 NaukaNet user support and administration.
The NaukaNet Consortium will provide the following general categories of service:
NaukaNet project administration will be conducted through a number of organizational centers, committees, and advisory boards. The two that will be involved in most of the day-to-day work will be the distributed network operations center (based in Knoxville and in Moscow) and the distributed network information center which will be integrated within the US, Russian Friends and Partners initiative with offices in Knoxville and Moscow.
An advisory board will assist with guidance and decision-making regarding overall policy, planning, fund raising and development.
A scientific/investigative committee will provide guidance/support on issues for high performance engineering, protocols, and applications. The institutional authorization committee will follow the guidelines (to be established in cooperation with NSF) for authorization of institutions wishing to utilize NaukaNet services.
C.1.5 Initial applications
The past year showed an emergence of several new high-performance network initiatives around the world, led by the Next Generation Internet (NGI) and the Internet2 initiatives in the United States. Russias own network initiatives have an extremely large and diverse collection of collaborative projects and relationships at many levels with counterparts in the U.S. NaukaNets top priority is to seek intercontinental connectivity with the Internet II/vBNS/ESNet backbones to support these collaborations and to continue building up the volume and quality of collaborative projects.
While the development of new U.S./Russian collaboratories is NaukaNets overarching vision, numerous ongoing cooperative research applications between Russia and the U.S., as is shown below, have one or more of these demanding attributes. Moreover, collaboratories by their very nature bring together several of these features (e.g. remote control with real-time, multi-point communication), so that high-performance network services will be necessary for both current research applications and for future NaukaNet collaboratories.
The following are the applications that have been identified as among the initial uses of the NaukaNet capacity. The small size of this list does not imply the number of collaborative relationships existing between US and Russian researchers but, rather, the yet early stage of development of the internal Russian high performance network. NaukaNet is limited initially to researchers associated with institutions in the Moscow and St. Petersburg areas but this will change as NaukaNet works to connect other academic centers around the periphery of Moscow and St. Petersburg and out from the European population center of Russia.
The following lists the institutions being proposed for HPIIS authorization based on the applications mentioned in the list above.
C.1.6 Guiding Vision for NaukaNet Development: Collaboratories for Research and Education
The creation of NaukaNet comes at a time when there is a widespread sense that the revolution in information technology and telecommunications has brought the global scientific community to a watershed in the conduct of scientific research and education. The delivery of high-performance network capabilities and advanced network services is enabling a new generation of applications for education and research. The leading features of research applications that require or benefit from high-performance networks with advanced services are well known. They include:
While most NaukaNet applications will have one or more of these characteristics, the concept of a collaboratory captures these features in a unitary idea and can therefore help guide the long-term development of NaukaNet services.
As first articulated by William Wulf in a white paper written while he was assistant director of the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, a collaboratory is a " 'center without walls', in which the nations' researchers can perform their research without regard to geographical location interacting with colleagues, accessing instrumentation, sharing data and computational resources, [and] accessing information in digital libraries." (Wulf, 1989) In other words, a collaboratory is an integrated system of network information technologies and telecommunication services designed to enable researchers located anywhere in the world to work together as if they were collocated in a single laboratory, with all the capabilities that such collocation implies. Just as the laboratories of the 19th and 20th century provided concentrated access to colleagues, instruments, and information libraries by bringing them all together in a shared physical location, the collaboratory of the 21st century will use advance network applications to unite these same key resources in a working environment which is unconstrained by geographic distance and therefore vast in its scope.
The network technologies involved in connecting these elements and building collaboratories range from the common and familiar to the exotic and scarce. People-to-people technologies, for example, may include everything from newsgroups, e-mail, and chat to sophisticated multi-point conferencing tools. The web browsers which have revolutionized the ability of people to access information databases across the Internet are widely available, while the tools necessary to provide remote access to and control over laboratory instruments and experimental devices must generally be custom made. Creating collaboratories involves innovating with these tools, extending their range and power, and integrating them into a unified research environment that specially adapts the needs of different scientific communities.
The collaboratory movement is still in an early stage of development, in part because the high-performance network services required to make them function well are only now becoming available. But one well developed example does display the potential of collaboratories for joint Russian/U.S. endeavors, viz. the NSF sponsored Upper Atmospheric Research Collaboratory (UARC), based at the University of Michigan (www.si.umich.edu/UARC/). The core capability of UARC can be described as follows:
" UARC supports a distributed community of space physicists by providing them with real-time control of instruments in Greenland, the ability to communicate with their colleagues over shared real-time data, and access to archived data. In UARC a half dozen instruments transmit data over the Internet to specially designed display programs. Scientists at ten sites around the world can view these displays by running the data viewing programs on local machines. A simple text-based "chat" window allows the scientists to share reactions with each other about the phenomena they are [simultaneously] observing and to send instructions to the site crew in Greenland. Simple collaboration support such as data annotations, window sharing, and telepointing is also provided to assist the real-time interactions." (Finholt & Olson, 1997, p.5)
Such distributed research environments, which synthesize together multi-party, real-time communication with remote instrument control, and the display of shared data, clearly have enormous power to enhance cooperative research between the scientific communities of the United States and Russia, where the immense intellectual and experimental resources of the collaborators are typically half a world away from one another. When complemented by an ensemble of standard network information technologies (e.g. databases, e-mail, etc.), and enhanced with new capabilities (e.g. integrated voice and video conferencing), NaukaNet collaboratories may be expected to radically alter the face of cooperation in research and education for both Russia and the U.S., setting the stage for the powerful research alliances of the 21st century.
Funding for NaukaNet provided by the US National Science Foundation and the
Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology of the Russian Federation.
Telecommunications services are provided by Telia, Inc.
This NaukaNet web site is available at two locations, in US and Russia:
This NaukaNet web site is available at two locations, in US and Russia:
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