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Originally appeared in Tuesday, April 13, 2004 Oak Ridger

ORNL partnered in major network project

By: Paul Parson, Oak Ridger Staff

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working with National LambdaRail on a project that would connect researchers via high-speed networks that live up to their guarantee.

Officials said National LambdaRail is building the nationwide infrastructure to be made available to the research community, while ORNL is developing technologies that allow for high-speed switching, user scheduling and connections to supercomputers. Not only will the network provide access to ORNL's computing facility, but the Spallation Neutron Source will be added to the effort once the research facility is completed in 2006.

"Scientists need large amounts of dedicated bandwidth, but for relatively short periods of time," Bill Wing, one of the directors of the project and a member of ORNL's Computer Science and Mathematics Division, stated in a news release.

"Developers of commercial networks have spent 15 years optimizing aggregation, but they do not serve the needs of large-scale computational science," Wing said. "Our work with [National LambdaRail] will address that problem for the scientific community."

An ORNL news release indicted that the lab would provide four 10-gigabit - 10 billion bits per second - lambdas between Atlanta and Chicago. Lambdas are wavelengths of light used to transmit data.

In addition to getting access to 10-gigabit lambdas from National LambdaRail, ORNL is being granted membership to the organization and a seat on its board, according to the news release. National LambdaRail is a consortium of research universities and private sector technology companies created to provide an infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications.

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