National LambdaRail (NLR) Deploys New, Wide-Area Backbone Network for National Science Foundation-Funded GENI 'Future Internets' Project

August 17, 2010

National LambdaRail (NLR) Deploys New, Wide-Area Backbone Network for National Science Foundation-Funded GENI 'Future Internets' Project

Campuses Participating in GENI OpenFlow Research to be Interconnected by Advanced, Fiber-Optic Network on NLR WaveNet

Cypress, CA, August 17, 2010 - National LambdaRail (NLR), the coast-to-coast, high-performance network owned by the U.S. research and education community, has completed another deployment as part of its strategic network partnership with the Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI), a virtual laboratory for exploring future internets at scale, a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. GENI uses NLR's advanced network infrastructure and services as the platform for experiments on a broad range of research disciplines, including communications, network sciences, engineering, distributed systems, cyber-security, and applications.

Chip Elliott, project director, GENI Project Office, said, "NLR is an indispensible partner for GENI, providing GENI with a high-performance network infrastructure and advanced services. NLR's national scale, cutting-edge technologies and strong, international peering relationships are critical for the success of GENI researchers exploring future internets capable of transforming the science of network research and society at large."

NLR has deployed a 10-Gbps backbone network on NLR's advanced, fiber-optic or Layer 1 infrastructure, NLR WaveNet, to support the Enterprise GENI research track, which uses the OpenFlow standard as a networking substrate. This new backbone network will initially interconnect five participating university campuses - Stanford University, Clemson University, Georgia Tech, Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison - with the GENI Project Office operated by Raytheon BBN Technologies. Researchers at the different campuses will be able to jointly work on developing prototypes and deployments of GENI technologies in campus and enterprise networks based on OpenFlow. The GENI integration of the OpenFlow campus trial sites will enable researchers to design and conduct real, cutting-edge experiments on real, at-scale networks with real, opt-in users.

In addition to NLR WaveNet, several of the participating campuses will also be using dynamic VLANs over NLR's switched Ethernet or Layer 2 network, NLR FrameNet. The following VLANs are already in place, provisioned by NLR regional network member CENIC (the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California): Stanford-GENI Project Office; Stanford-Clemson, Stanford-Georgia Tech and Stanford-University of Wisconsin-Madison, giving researchers and engineers at these campuses the opportunity to test over the VLAN connection how their respective campus OpenFlow deployments interoperate, as well as having a Layer 2 and Layer 1 option for collaborative research on GENI OpenFlow.

Guru Parulkar, executive director, Clean Slate Internet Design Program and consulting professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, said, "The OpenFlow research team appreciates NLR's support in deploying and operating the OpenFlow network as part of its infrastructure and its flexibility and responsiveness in terms of meeting our configuration requirements and timeframes as well as the various specifications for interconnecting with individual campus endpoints."

OpenFlow is an open standard that enables the deployment in existing networks of innovative network architecture ideas for routing and switching protocols, network access control, traffic engineering, mobility management, converged packet and transport networks, and many others. OpenFlow with larger Software Defined Networking is meant to provide more control of the infrastructure to infrastructure providers and operators, help reduce capex and opex and also accelerate innovations. For more info, visit

NLR is also the transport for iGENI, the GENI initiative developing a major new national and international distributed infrastructure called "iGENI," or the "International GENI," to support researchers conducting experiments involving multiple aggregates at multiple sites. NLR is providing the transport at Layer 2, over the NLR FrameNet and C-Wave platforms (operated by Cisco). Connections are operational among: RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute) and several universities in North Carolina; the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University in Chicago; the GENI Project Office lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Northern Crossroads (NOX) in Boston; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; the University of California, San Diego; Wayne State University; Ohio State University, and the StarLight communications exchange at Northwestern University. Other national and international sites will soon be added.

Joe Mambretti, director, International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University and principal investigator, iGENI, said, "The resources provided by NLR have been extremely valuable in supporting GENI prototypes, experiments, and demonstrations. Especially valuable has been the flexibility with which the GENI community has been able to closely integrate those resources with specific experimental research capabilities."

Glenn Ricart, president and CEO, NLR, said, "NLR's core mission is to provide the flexible, secure, advanced infrastructure demanded by leading-edge research like GENI and iGENI. We are very pleased to support such pioneering work, providing up to 30-Gbps on three different NLR sub-networks. The advanced switching models of the new OpenFlow routers recently installed by NLR will allow leading-edge research over a top-flight infrastructure."

As a result of its commitment to the success of the GENI Project, NLR donates significant resources that are available to any interested GENI research team:
* At Layer 2, up to 10-Gbps of non-dedicated bandwidth on NLR FrameNet. This includes implementing VLANs (dynamic and static, point-to-point and multi-point)
* Also at Layer 2, up to 10-Gbps on C-Wave, a breakable, configurable MPLS network
* At Layer 3, up to 10-Gbps of non-dedicated services on NLR PacketNet
* Co-location - upon request for 1 year periods, with the option to renew.

Dedicated 1-Gigabit Ethernet and 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports are also available, at cost.

In addition to contributing its infrastructure to the GENI project, NLR also makes available advanced technologies and services to GENI research teams. For instance, NLR's dynamic circuit configuration tool, Sherpa , enables GENI researchers to provision, modify, enable, and disable dedicated or non-dedicated VLANs on FrameNet in real time and without the need for intervention from the NLR Network Operations Center. And individualized project support is available to GENI researchers from the NLR Experiments Support Services organization , which assists GENI teams with defining their network requirements on NLR and setting up circuits and routes to meet their specific requirements.

About National LambdaRail (NLR)
Owned and operated by the U.S. research and education community, NLR is one of the world's most advanced networks: 12,000 miles of high-performance optical fiber coast to coast, capable of speeds up to 100 Gigabits per second. Over 280 universities and federal labs use NLR as their network for leading-edge research. With no restrictions on usage or bandwidth, very high availability, a choice of next-generation network services and applications, and customized support for individual researchers and projects, NLR creates opportunities for collaboration, innovation and commercialization among the global research community and between private and public partners. For more information, please visit

About GENI and the GENI Project Office
GENI, a virtual laboratory for exploring future internets at scale, creates major opportunities to understand, innovate and transform global networks and their interactions with society. Dynamic and adaptive, GENI opens up new areas of research at the frontiers of network science and engineering, and increases the opportunity for significant socio-economic impact.

GENI will:
* Support at-scale experimentation on shared, heterogeneous, highly instrumented infrastructure;
* Enable deep programmability throughout the network, promoting innovations in network science, security, technologies, services and applications; and
* Provide collaborative and exploratory environments for academia, industry and the public to catalyze groundbreaking discoveries and innovation.

For more information on GENI, see The GENI Project Office, which is based at Raytheon BBN Technologies, is responsible for project management and design of the GENI facility. Visit for more information.

Media Contact
Kristina Scott, NLR, 650.678.9034,