Global Lambda Integrated Facility

GLIF Techs say 'aloha' to new task forces

6 February 2008 -- The GLIF Technical and Control Plane Working Groups held meetings on 19-20 January 2008 in conjunction with the Internet2/ESCC Joint Techs Workshop and APAN 25 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. This involved forty-five participants from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and Latin America who generated much topical discussion in the tropical environment.

The first day comprised a joint session to consider the topics of interest to both working groups. This included a presentation from the GlobalNOC on some of the issues related to management and monitoring of the several optical networks they help operate. The operational and policy aspects of dynamic circuits were also considered, before the session was rounded-off with a presentation on the LHCOPN that connects the Large Hadron Collider with its data processing and storage sites.

The following day was dedicated to separate working group sessions. The Technical Working Group heard updates from the GOLEs, including TaiwanLight for the first time. This was followed by a presentation from the CineGrid initiative about their experiences of using VLANs over lightpaths to stream digital media to various events. The rest of the session was used to discuss dynamic lightpath management, in particular the need to assign globally unique identifiers to lightpaths, how to undertake end-to-end monitoring, and how to improve the existing ticketing system.

In its own session, the Control Plane Working Group heard updates on the IDC protocol being developed by the DICE Collaboration. This will allow dynamic circuits in different domains to communicate with each other and users through the use of domain controllers. At the present time, there are several implementations available, but the plan is to converge these as more experience is gained. One application for IDC will be the Phoebus gateways which are used to break long-distance TCP connections into segments in order to improve performance.

In addition, the Control Plane Working Group was updated on developments related to the Generic Network Interface. GNS-WSI is based on web services and is used to reserve bandwidth between end-points. This can support multiple domains, and was used for the EnLIGHTened demo during the 7th Global LambdaGrid Workshop.

Finally, it was recommended that the Technical and Control Plane Working Groups should be merged. The motivation for this was due to the fact that the arrival of multi-domain dynamic lightpaths meant there was increasing overlap between the activities of the groups, and it would make more sense to break-out into smaller specialist groups as required. To this end, three task forces were formed to work on GOLE service level agreement definition, global lightpath identification, and GNI API development issues.

The next meetings will be held during the 8th Annual LambdaGrid Workshop in Seattle, USA on 1-2 October 2008.

About GLIF -- The Global Lambda Integrated Facility is an international virtual organisation of NRENs, consortia and institutions that promotes lambda networking. GLIF provides lambdas internationally as an integrated facility to support data-intensive scientific research, and supports middleware development for lambda networking. It brings together some of the world's premier networking engineers to develop an international infrastructure by identifying equipment, connection requirements, and necessary engineering functions and services. More information is available on the GLIF website at

About TERENA -- TERENA is the association of research and education networking organisations in and around Europe. TERENA organises technical activities and provides a platform for discussion and collaboration to encourage the development of high- quality computer networking infrastructures and services for the European research community. It also operates the GLIF Secretariat, funded by donations from sponsors. For more information, see the TERENA website at