Global Lambda Integrated Facility

CESNET Now Official Partner of GLIF

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, May 6, 2004 -- The CESNET association is now an official associated member of the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF) project, an experimental network initiative aimed at supporting the research of the most demanding scientific and research applications. GLIF consists of many gigabit optical paths (known as lambda paths) that cover North America, Europe and Asia. Its main goal is to create a network that will support applications with extreme data transmission demands.

To meet these requirements, the GLIF network operates in a different manner than the regular Internet. It dynamically assigns dedicated optical paths to the applications - the participants can reserve a link between given points at a specified time, and the network will guarantee its availability. Since this situation resembles resource planning and allocation in distributed computing systems (grids), the GLIF architects are trying to use similar methods. Thus, the available wavelengths (fibers) are called the lambdagrid.

GLIF users are institutions, organizations and consortia that operate applications with extreme bandwidth demands. A typical example is remote communication with a unique experimental device that continuously produces a data stream of several gigabits per second. Today there are such devices, for instance, in high-energy physics, astronomy, or other scientific fields.

The GLIF network is created by individual participants who make their optical paths available for shared use. The Czech portion of the GLIF initiative consists of the CzechLight network operated by CESNET. It is connected via a circuit that leads from Prague to Amsterdam and whose capacity will be soon upgraded from the current 2.5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. Other Czech and Moravian cities will join the project soon. At this time, the most important Czech user is the Institute of Physics at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, which uses the network to communicate with the European center of physics research - CERN - in Switzerland.

The CESNET association was founded by universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic for the purpose of operating a national network for science and research. It is funded by its members and the Government Council for Research and Development. At this time, it operates the CESNET2 gigabit network. Thanks to this position and other activities in researching telecoms and Internet technologies, the CESNET association represents the Czech Republic in the GÉANT project and participates actively in its development.

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