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IU's GlobalNOC honored by Internet2 for Worldview real-time visualization tool

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University's Worldview, a real-time network monitoring and visualization tool developed by IU's Global Research Network Operations Center, has received an Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) award.

Representatives from Internet2, the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium, honored Worldview at the Internet2 annual Spring Member Meeting April 26-28. IU's GlobalNOC was one of four nominees to receive IDEA awards this year.


A network engineer at IU's GlobalNOC center in Indianapolis makes a point using the center's award-winning Worldview, a highly sophisticated, hands-on visualization tool that just won an IDEA Award from Internet2.

Print-Quality Photo

"Network visualization can be difficult even for experts," said IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler. "With Worldview even the most non-technical people can immediately grasp what's going on in a network by using common maps, colors, real-time data feeds and touch-based navigation to explore and see results. The future for this kind of mashup-based tool is extremely bright, and IU is pleased to share it with others. We are grateful for the IDEA award from our colleagues at Internet2."

In developing Worldview, engineers at GlobalNOC sought an improved way to make sense of the more than 3,300 interconnects between 1,700 routing/switching devices supported by the premier operations and engineering organization supporting advanced international, national, regional and local high-performance research and education networks. Their solution was a highly sophisticated, hands-on network visualization system that lets users search for real-time or historical network information using an intuitive, multi-touch interface where they can zoom, pan and tilt with simple hand gestures.

The system can create visualizations of any geographic scope -- from the entire globe to a small campus network segment. The tool not only helps network engineers monitor the end-to-end paths research data travels in support of global, cutting-edge science, but is becoming a much sought-after tool for educating the public about advanced networking.

Wheeler said users have already imagined numerous ideas for other applications and additional data layers. For instance, Worldview can be used to track the impact of the nation's broadband stimulus projects, overlaying collected census block data to show unserved and underserved areas and how those areas change over time as broadband becomes more pervasive.

Worldview collaborators include David Jent, associate vice president, networks, Indiana University GlobalNOC (nominating applicant); Luke Fowler, manager, systems engineering, University Information Technology Services, Indiana University; and Ed Balas, GlobalNOC software architect, University Information Technology Services, Indiana University.

Other 2010 IDEA award winners were: EchoDamp, a multi-channel audio mixer and echo controller for videoconference-based musical and other collaboration; the Research and Education Data Depot network (REDDnet) Data Logistics Toolkit and model for storage facilities supporting data-intensive collaboration; and Shibboleth, a federated Web-based single sign-on software that manages authorized access to protected online resources.

"This year's winning applications have two things in common: all have applied advanced networking technology to enable transformational progress in research, teaching and learning, and all promise to increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world," said Tom Knab, chief information officer of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and chair of the IDEA award judging committee. "The winning submissions were selected from an exceptionally strong nominations pool and represent a cross-section of the wide-ranging innovation that is occurring within the Internet2 member community."

Each application was nominated by a member of the Internet2 community and judged by a member-based committee on innovation in advanced network applications for research, teaching, learning and collaboration, the depth of each project's positive impact on primary users, its technical merit and its likelihood to be broadly adopted by its community of potential users.

Each winner provided a short presentation and/or demonstration of their project during the Internet2 Spring Member Meeting at special track sessions held April 27. For more info on the session: To view Worldview in action, visit: IP Layer.

This news release oiginally appeared April 22, 2010.