Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Julie Wernert
Office of the Vice President for Information Technology

Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

IU, Internet2, Stanford partner on new network development, deployment initiative based on OpenFlow

First national scale production deployment of OpenFlow to provide breakthrough platform for network, science research

April 20, 2011

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Internet2, Indiana University and the Clean Slate Program at Stanford University today announced the Network Development and Deployment Initiative (NDDI), a partnership to create a new network platform and complementary software, which together will support global scientific research in a revolutionary new way.

Through substantial investments by each of the partners, the NDDI will yield a new Internet2 service called the Open Science, Scholarship and Services Exchange (OS3E). OS3E and NDDI capabilities will be developed and interconnected with links to Europe, Canada, South America and Asia through coordinating international partners like CANARIE in Canada, GÉANT in Europe, JGNX in Japan and RNP in Brazil with additional service partners to be identified.

Built using the first production deployment of OpenFlow technology to deliver "software defined networking" (SDN) capabilities, NDDI will provide a common infrastructure that can create multiple virtual networks, allowing network researchers to test and experiment with new Internet protocols and architectures, and at the same time enabling domain scientists to accelerate their active research with collaborators worldwide. The new capabilities provided by NDDI and OS3E deliver an unprecedented platform to support diverse projects ranging from the global exchanges of massive datasets from the Large Hadron Collider, to radio astronomy and climate modeling experiments, to large-scale network research initiatives like the National Science Foundation's Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) project.

As the first service developed on the NDDI, Internet2 will introduce the Open Science, Scholarship and Services Exchange to offer persistent virtual local area network (VLAN) services and a nationwide layer 2 open exchange capability. The OS3E will connect Internet2's regional network connectors with international exchange points and key collaborating partners via a flexible open policy layer 2 network.

"True to Internet2's mission to advance the state of the art for advanced networks, this new partnership represents the largest deployment of software defined networking capabilities to date. The open source nature of this network initiative extends a brand new platform for production network services with the ability to develop an open source development testbed in parallel. While the OS3E will be of immediate benefit to scientists, the NDDI will introduce major new capabilities for network researchers and other academic disciplines in the future. Together these create opportunities for global network research and collaboration," said Dave Lambert, Internet2 president and CEO.

Developed at Stanford University and University of California Berkeley with support from the NSF and a group of industry sponsors, OpenFlow, which underpins the NDDI, represents a paradigm shift in networking by enabling SDN platforms that provide distributed, fine-grained control for edge-to-edge scientific applications. In the past two decades, enormous innovation has taken place on top of the Internet architecture including the proliferation of e-mail, e-commerce, social networks, cloud computing, and the Web. While networking technologies have also evolved in this time, more rapid innovation is required to ensure viability of future and emerging services. SDN fulfills this need by enabling innovation in all kinds of networks -- including data centers, wide-area telecommunication networks, wireless networks, enterprises and in homes -- through relatively simple software changes. SDN thus gives owners and operators of networks better control over their networks, allowing them to optimize network behavior to best serve their and their users needs.

A new instantiation of OpenFlow software developed through the NDDI partnership will provide easily provisioned, persistent VLAN capabilities as well as the capability for network researchers to request "slices" of the network for development purposes. As new technologies are proven inside these network research slices, they can be easily transitioned into new production services for the Internet2 community.

"Indiana University is delighted to see the years of basic research and investment come together in the NDDI partnership and its first OS3E service," said Brad Wheeler, IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO. "This testbed will advance the frontiers for next generation uses of the networks that are so critical to data-intensive scholarship and commercial applications. IU values the deep partnerships, persistent vision, and countless efforts that make NDDI a reality."

IU will lead the development of software that allows OpenFlow to provide the VLAN and IP network services through the IU Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC). The partnership will also leverage IU's recent NSF grants for the America Connects to Europe (ACE) and TransPAC 3 projects to extend the NDDI and OS3E's global reach into Europe and Asia.

"The Internet infrastructure was not designed for continued evolution. OpenFlow/SDN will change this. With an OpenFlow/SDN network, owners and operators can constantly improve and optimize their network to best serve their needs -- whether it is a data-center network, a wide-area network, an enterprise or a home," said Guru Parulkar, executive director, Clean Slate Internet Design Program and consulting professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University. "Because NDDI is based on OpenFlow/SDN, researchers will for the first time be able to try out new ideas in a nationwide production network with real users and real traffic. With NDDI, researchers will be able to take part in shaping the future Internet. The Stanford Clean Slate Program is delighted to be a partner. We will help create NDDI, and will use it in our own research."

To create the NDDI, Internet2 will begin deployment of switches and supporting hardware throughout the United States on its existing footprint. This deployment will provide access to more than 20 regional network connectors that serve more than 10 million individual host computers. Initial services are anticipated to be available beginning in Fall 2011.

For more information:

About Indiana University

In addition to providing its students one of the nation's best and most advanced computing, networking, and technology support environments, Indiana University is a leader in the development and application of information technology through the management of state, national, and international research networks; participation in such high performance computing initiatives as the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid and FutureGrid; partnerships with other top-tier universities on open source software development; and nationally recognized leadership in cybersecurity.

About Internet2

Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today -- and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today's Internet, the Internet2 community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see

About the Clean Slate Program at Stanford University

The Clean Slate Program seeks to reinvent Internet infrastructure and services by creating "platforms for innovations" in networking, computing, and storage and making them available to research and user communities with emphasis on mobile computing.

For more infomation, please contact Julie Wernert, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, at 812-856-5517 or