Internet2: big pipes for big data

Summary:'Internet2,' the high-capacity network designed to support collaborative ventures between universities, government research agencies and businesses, is ready to step up into the big data realm.

“Internet2,” the big-piped network designed to support collaborative ventures between universities, government research agencies and businesses, is ready to step up into the big data realm.

Network World’s Jim Duffy reports the consortium that supports Internet2 is nearing completion of its OpenFlow-enabled 100G Ethernet software-defined network for testing service delivery of applications for big data compilation and research. Next week, 300 Internet2 network engineers will collaborate at Stanford University to launch what they call the “Innovation Platform,” which will be the U.S.’s first open software-defined network. More than 20 Internet2 member universities and regional networks are taking part.

The consortium hopes to eventually deliver an enhanced network that can handle big data sets. The volume of data is growing incredibly — it is estimated that close to a zettabyte of data was produced in 2009, or the equivalent of 1,000 exabytes, or 1 million petabytes, or a billion terabytes. One out of ten companies now report having more than 1 petabyte stored on their premises. The volume of total data is expected to rise to 35 zettabytes by 2020.

Here’s Internet2’s value proposition, as explained by Rob Vietzke, vice president of network services for Internet2:

Internet2 Innovation Platform will “profoundly advance education,  transform university business models, and accelerate global big data collaborative research outcomes. These opportunities can fuel as-yet-unimagined discoveries and new cycles of global economic development.”

Vietzke also says he expects advances similar to those in the university environments that created Google and Facebook to possibly emerge from use of the Innovation Platform.” The Innovation Platform was proposed earlier this year by Internet2, proposed as a new $96.5 million national-scale software-defined network owned by the research and education community.

The national high-performance Internet2 Network connects America’s colleges and universities to research and education collaborators worldwide. The newly upgraded 100G-enabled and 8.8 Terabit per second optical network will allow member institutions to keep pace with the exponential growth in scientific  research big data being driven by the nation’s collaborative researchers in labs and universities.

The network will also enable advanced networking features for more than 200,000 institutions, including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges and public safety organizations as part of its United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project.

(Photo: Joe McKendrick)

(Cross-posted at SmartPlanet Business Brains.)

Topics: Cloud


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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