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Angie Antonopoulos

Last modified: Thursday, October 9, 2008

IU awarded $336,000 to help build network infrastructure test bed

October 9, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University has been awarded $336,000 to help launch a new experimental network research infrastructure that one day will lead to the future of the Internet.

Herron, Jon-Paul

Photo by: Indiana University

Jon-Paul Herron

Print-Quality Photo

Part of the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) Project, IU is among 29 academic and industrial research teams to receive subcontract awards totaling $12 million from BBN Technologies, an advanced technology solutions firm. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, GENI prototyping supports the development of a national-scale suite of infrastructure for experimental research in groundbreaking network science and engineering.

"GENI represents an opportunity to build a platform that will help shape the future of networks," said Jon-Paul Herron, IU's principal investigator on the GENI project and group manager of engineering for the IU Global Research Network Operations Center. "Network scientists are asking, 'if we were to build the Internet from scratch, what would it look like?' GENI is designed to provide the infrastructure network scientists will need to answer that question."

As the network infrastructure, GENI, is being constructed and tested, IU will put their experience to work in managing the network through the GENI Meta-Operations Center (GMOC).

"Making such an ambitious infrastructure run smoothly in these earliest days will be essential to its growth and viability," Herron said. "Our Meta-Operations Center will develop some of the tools and processes GENI needs to function as a smooth, integrated platform."

GENI prototyping will be conducted using a spiral development approach, with simultaneous development and trials giving rapid feedback to help guide evolving designs. Spiral 1 focuses on ways to discover, schedule, and control resources for large-scale research experiments and to measure GENI capabilities.

"This first spiral will federate a wide variety of network research infrastructure, ranging from optical backbones to disk farms to sensor networks, with the very first prototypes up and running in six to twelve months," said Chip Elliott, GENI project director.

David E. Jent, associate vice president of Networks for Indiana University, said he is delighted that IU will help shape the future of networks.

"IU engineers are poised to bring their expertise in network operations and management to help the GENI Project build an innovative new network research infrastructure," Jent said. "This award affords IU an opportunity to showcase its leadership in network operations and expand our influence in network research."

Since 1998, the Global Research Network Operations Center at IU has offered support, IT security, management, and engineering to several national and international high speed networks dedicated to research and education.

For a complete list of award recipients, visit: