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Internet2 is a non-profit consortium that develops and deploys advanced high-performance network applications and technologies for education, research, and the next-generation public Internet. It is led by over 200 universities[1] and partners with many affiliate members[2] and corporate members drawn from companies in the publishing, networking and other technology industries.[3]

The original Internet2 project was founded informally in 1996 under the auspices of EDUCAUSE and was organized as the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) in 1997. UCAID later changed its name to Internet2. Internet2 is a registered trademark.[4] The Internet2 consortium administrative headquarters are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[5]


[edit] Objectives

Internet2 provides the U.S. research and education community with a network that satisfies their bandwidth-intensive requirements. The network itself is a dynamic, robust and cost-effective hybrid optical and packet network. It furnishes a 100Gb/s network backbone to more than 210 U.S. educational institutions, 70 corporations and 45 non-profit and government agencies.

The Internet2 consortium's objectives are:

  • Developing and maintaining a leading-edge network.
  • Fully exploiting the capabilities of broadband connections through the use of new-generation applications.
  • Transferring new network services and applications to all levels of educational use, and eventually the broader Internet community.
  • Monitor, filter and limit all traffic on the network

The uses of the network span from collaborative applications, distributed research experiments, grid-based data analysis and social networking. Some of these applications are in varying levels of commercialization, such as IPv6, open-source middleware for secure network access, layer 2 VPNs and dynamic circuit networks.

[edit] Achievements

Internet2, with help from its members, created the Abilene Network and was a prime investor in the National LambdaRail (NLR) project [6], with nearly 10 million dollars. During 2004–2006, Internet2 and NLR held extensive discussions regarding a possible merger [7]. Key to this merger was the condition that Internet2 would operate its successor to Abilene using NLR's infrastructure (NLR has IRUs on actual fiber infrastructure from WilTel, now Level(3), where Internet2 utilizes leased optical wavelengths from Qwest for Abilene). Those talks paused in the Spring of 2006, resumed in March 2007 and eventually fell apart in September 2007 [8].

These technologies and their organizational counterparts were not only created to make a faster alternative to the internet. Many fields have been able to use the Abilene network to foster creativity, research, and development in a way that was not previously possible. Users of poor quality libraries can now download not only text but sound recordings, animations, videos, and other resources, which would be otherwise unavailable. Another application is the robust video conferencing now available to Internet2 participants. Neurosurgeons can now video conference with other experts in the field during an operation in a high resolution format with no apparent time lag.

[edit] IDEA Award

The IDEA Award (Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications) was first announced by Internet2 in 2006 as a way of recognizing those who create and use advanced network applications at their best.[9] The judging is made by many universities and gathered upon the following criteria:

  • Magnitude of the positive impact of the application for its (current) users
  • Technical merit of the application.
  • Breadth of impact, as indicated by current user base and likelihood of broader adoption by its full natural community of potential users

Each year following, the winners have been announced at the Spring Member Meeting: 2006,[10] 2007,[11] 2008.[12]

[edit] History of the next-generation Internet backbone and Internet2

The beginnings of the Internet were based on the communications of computers over a network. One of the first major examples of such a network was ARPAnet, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Two other important examples were BITNET and CSNET which primarily linked academic computer systems. As more networks like ARPAnet were created, the need to standardize and make them compatible arose.

Governments and universities were among the first institutions to outgrow the Internet's bandwidth limitations. Some universities realized the need for a network that would better support bandwidth and computer-intensive work, like data mining, medical imaging, and particle physics. This need for a higher bandwidth network resulted in the creation of the very-high-performance Backbone Network Service, or vBNS. The vBNS was developed in 1995 by the National Science Foundation and MCI telecommunications company specifically to meet the needs of the supercomputers at educational institutions. The concept of “the next generation of Internet” was born. MCI engineered this backbone for the National Science Foundation, but when their agreement expired the participating institutions looked to the Internet2 organization to offer the same service as MCI.

[edit] See also

  • CANARIE (Canadian research network)
  • CLARA (Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzandas)
  • DANTE (Not-for-profit organization managing the pan-European research network)
  • DREN (U.S. Department of Defense research and engineering network)
  • GEANT (The pan-European research network)
  • Kennisnet (Dutch public Internet organization)
  • Renater (French research network)
  • SURFnet (Dutch research network)
  • TERENA (European research and education Networks)

[edit] References

[edit] Selected bibliography

  • Barnes, Christopher, and Terresa E. Jackson . INTERNET2: The Backbone of the Future. Brooks Air Force Base, Tex.: Air Force Research Laboratory, 2002. (9 February 2007).
  • Internet2. Internet2 - Home. (9 February 2007).
  • Matlis, Jan. "Internet2." Computerworld, 28 August 2006, 30.
  • Moschovitis, Christos, Hilary Poole, Tami Schuyler, and Theresa M. Senft. History of the Internet: A Chronology, 1843 to the Present. Santa Barbara, Cal.: ABC-CLIO, 1999.
  • Van Houweling, Douglas and Ted Hanss, "Internet2: The Promise of Truly Advanced Broadband," in The Broadband Explosion, R. Austin and S. Bradley, Editors, Harvard Business School Press, 2005.

[edit] External links

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