At this week’s Summer 2012 ESCC/Internet2 Joint Techs meeting at Stanford University in Pal Alto, Calif., 300 Internet2 network engineers will collaborate to define the technologies and capabilities that will bring about the Innovation Platform, which Internet2 touts as the U.S.’s first open SDN network. To date, more than 20 Internet2 member universities and regional networks have asked to become collaborators in piloting the platform, the organization says.
Access links will be 10G and 100G Ethernet. Internet2 has already written an OpenFlow-based SDN application for Layer 2 VLAN provisioning.
It may also allow Internet2 to build an SDN “application store” to allow developers to offer new applications on a trial basis to the research and education community.
“The Internet2 community sees software-defined networking as much of the same transformative opportunity that we saw with the original Internet,” says Rob Vietzke, vice president of network services for Internet2. “We’re making a fairly big investment in building this new nationwide SDN environment as a platform for software development.”
For Big Data, the Innovation Platform will allow member institutions to keep pace with the exponential growth in massive datasets generated by scientific research conducted by collaborative researchers in U.S. labs and universities. But Vietzke also 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 as a complement to its NDDI project and the NSF’s GENI program. At that time, it was touted as a new US$96.5 million national-scale SDN owned by the research and education community.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program helped fund Internet2’s network upgrade in support of the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (UCAN) project. UCAN enables advanced networking capabilities for more than 200,000 of the country’s “anchor” institutions, including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges and public safety organizations.
Such capabilities include HD and multicast video distance learning and telemedicine applications, among others, which are not possible using consumer-grade Internet service, according to Internet2.
Vietzke says he expects one or more other “major players” with OpenFlow-enabled products to be announced for the Innovation Platform in the near future.
(From NetworkWorld U.S.)