Calient, MCNC, LSU CCT team to advance optical switching, GMPLS control plane technologies

November 15, 2005 Seattle, WA -- At the Supercomputing 2005 (SC 05) conference, Calient Networks, Microelectronics Center North Carolina (MCNC), the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), and the Center for Computation & Technology at Louisiana State University (LSU CCT) announced a partnership seeking to drive optical networking and grid computing technologies toward a higher realm of advanced scientific applications.

Nov 15th, 2005

November 15, 2005 Seattle, WA -- At the Supercomputing 2005 (SC 05) conference, Calient Networks, Microelectronics Center North Carolina (MCNC), the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), and the Center for Computation & Technology at Louisiana State University (LSU CCT) announced a partnership seeking to drive optical networking and grid computing technologies toward a higher realm of advanced scientific applications.

According to a press release, Calient, a provider of carrier-class photonic switching systems and software, and MCNC, a network research facility and nonprofit provider of network services to North Carolina universities and state government, have partnered to integrate optical control plane and grid computing technologies for research purposes. Working with LSU CCT in conjunction with LONI, MCNC and Calient say they are providing new optical network capabilities to drive extreme-scale scientific applications.

At SC 05, CCT and LONI say they will demonstrate how the control of high-speed networks can be coupled to computing resources, data storage archives, and visualization services for enhancing the study of highly complex and computation-intensive scientific problems such as the modeling of black holes and other sources of gravitational waves.

"Network infrastructures are no longer commodity 'plumbing' tools, but integral components for 'virtual' research teams that rely on resources, both human and physical, residing in various geographic locations," explains John Crites, president and CEO of MCNC. "The combined technological expertise between MCNC and Calient, together with other research partners, will increase innovation from NRENs [National Research & Education Networks] and foster more scientific collaboration."

"Calient was an early pioneer in delivering optical switching and GMPLS technologies, and has developed great expertise in NRENs demonstrated by their successful involvement in the SuperSINET and JGN-2 programs in Japan," remarks Mark Johnson, CTO at MCNC. "We are pleased to partner with them, having already seen positive results."

According to the release, Calient's DiamondWave PXC optical switch has been deployed at MCNC's site in Raleigh, and will be the base of a new optical exchange to spur research activity throughout North Carolina universities, while facilitating national and international research.

"MCNC operates the nationally-recognized North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and has a world-class team with a history of pioneering advanced network research," comments Charles Corbalis, CEO and president at Calient. "Not only are they leading the Experiment Support Services effort for the National LambdaRail, but they are also involved in many other advanced network projects. We are committed to helping them achieve their goals of supporting next-generation network initiatives."

"The ability to dynamically allocate bandwidth, coordinate network intelligence, and vertically integrate Grid computing with network services is a linchpin for worldwide NREN collaboration," adds Gigi Karmous-Edwards, principal scientist at MCNC and chair of the Control Plane and Grid Integration Middleware Working Group at the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF).

According to the groups in the partnership, with the network and attached resources, researchers can also share huge data sets of information around the world instantly, such as complex models of storm surge or path predictions.

"Since our research required real-time cooperation and dynamic connectivity between supercomputer sites in Louisiana and with European collaborators, we needed new transport protocols and dynamic optical network configurations," explains Ed Seidel, CCT director and research scientist. "More accurate projections can now be realized. Network provisioning allows for faster, complex real-time problem resolution."

"Despite the impact of recent hurricanes in Louisiana, together with Calient and MCNC resources and researchers, we were able to showcase this new network capability in a relatively short time period," concludes Charlie McMahon, director of LSU's Office of Telecommunications. "These recent disasters proved the value of collaborative support."

According to the release, as soon as communications were re-established after the storms, MCNC and Calient personnel were in touch with LSU CCT and doubled their efforts to help LONI get ready for networked computer simulation demonstration at the conference.

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