Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Internet2 Selects Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical Switches

Internet2 has selected Glimmerglass' Intelligent Optical Switches for deployment in five national network nodes located in Seattle, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as part of the Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) project.

The Glimmerglass switches will be used in this national-scale testbed to dynamically provision high-bandwidth optical data circuits between network interfaces. The HOPI project is developing and testing a network that will perform this process on demand as opposed to traditional provisioning intervals that can take weeks or months.

The Glimmerglass switches can essentially re-cable all of the physical fiber connections between network interfaces, optical devices and equipment on the fly in milliseconds.


  • The Internet2 Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) will serve as a national network testbed infrastructure that allows researchers to experiment with new optical technologies, including dynamically provisioned wavelengths, circuit switched environments, and new transport protocols. The HOPI testbed will utilize facilities from Internet2's Abilene Network, the National Lambda Rail (NLR) network, the MANLAN exchange point, and regional optical networks. Each HOPI node will consist of an Ethernet switch with 10GigE capabilities, a fiber cross connect switch, and servers to control HOPI's network infrastructure and measure network performance, all designed to model future optical infrastructures.

  • The HOPI testbed is using HP's ProLiant DL360 G4 servers to provide monitoring and control plane capabilities. Over the next six months, the HP servers will be deployed into the HOPI nodes located in Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and in Washington D.C. Once deployed, the HP servers will be used to monitor and measure the performance of the HOPI circuits by collecting error reporting data as well as network performance measurement data allowing for event correlation and performance results of varying network experiments. In addition, the servers will create a platform for control plane activities which enable engineers to experiment with dynamic provisioning capabilities, a key component of the HOPI testbed. By controlling the topology of the network, the servers will work to instruct the various pieces of equipment in the network on which connections to build, when, and for how long. The control plane servers will take the user entered request for greater network capacity, confirm the availability of those resources, communicate the instructions necessary for configuring the network to the various network devices and then remove that configuration after the usage is complete. In the future, as bandwidth-intensive applications become more prevalent, this type of on-demand provisioning will enable users to quickly bring up a dedicated optical circuit to send large data transfers without disrupting traffic on the backbone network.

  • Force10 Networks is supplying its Force10 E-Series family of switch/routers for Internet2's Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) project.

  • In May 2005, Glimmerglass named Robert Lundy as its new president and CEO. Previously, Lundy successfully built Wavtrace, a broadband wireless access company which was later acquired by Harris Corporation. He was the CEO of Opthos, an all-optical metro-network switching systems provider. Earlier, he led Xtera, an optical transmission company, as president and CEO.


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