Global Lambda Integrated Facility

100G with Scenery

13 October 2014 -- The 14th Annual Global LambaGrid Workshop was held on 29 September - 1 October 2014 at the Rydges Lakeland Resort in Queenstown, New Zealand. The South Island location not only provided a scenic backdrop for more than 90 participants from around the world, but also delivered the first 100 Gb/s Trans-Pacific connection to demonstrate that GLIF truly can enable research in every part of the globe.

The event was hosted by REANNZ, the New Zealand National Research and Education Network, and was sponsored by Ciena, Juniper Networks, FX Networks (Gold Sponsors), Callaghan Innovation (Silver Sponsors), Allied Telesis, Catalyst, Endace Emulex, and Infinera (Bronze Sponsors). Support was also provided by Google, Pacific Wave, Destination Queenstown, and Southern Cross Cable.

After a welcome from Vanessa van Uden, Mayor of Queenstown, the keynote was provided by Kireeti Kompella, the CTO of Juniper who discussed the importance of SDN in agile service provision. This enabled programmability in the network which allowed users to specify their requirements, leaving the actual implementation decisions to distributed virtualised systems. Kees Neggers of SURF then described the recent integration of the different ICT entities within the Netherlands, in order to provide a unified e-infrastructure for better supporting research and education.

There then followed three practical demonstrations over the 100 Gb/s connection from the United States, Canada and the Czech Republic. This included a practical telemedicine consultation undertaken using an ultra-high (8K) definition video system (Jeff Weekley, CineGrid); the use of distributed media routing and processing for live media production (Michal Krsek & Petr Holub, CESNET); and a showcase of interactive 4K video flows using technology that minimises transmission latency over great distances (Marc Lyonnais, Ciena).

The following afternoon and morning sessions were devoted to the Technical Working Group. This opened with updates on the GLIF Open Lightpath Exchanges (GOLEs), which included a new open exchange in Helsinki (NOX-HEL) as well as proposed new open exchanges in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, and Cape Town, South Africa. There were also updates on new 100G deployments in Eastern Europe, and the Trans-Atlantic ANA-100G initiative.

This was followed by a discussion on the future technical directions for GLIF, such as more federated operation along with the security considerations this will entail. GOLEs are becoming key elements in production research and education networks, and will need to be dependable, trustworthy and secure, which requires updated operational requirements such as more production support for NSI (Network Service Interface) and SDN (Software Defined Networks), as well as improved monitoring and performance verification. These discussions continued in the AutoGOLE, NSI Implementation and Performance Verification Task Forces, to identify and develop the elements that are required to support the next generation GLIF. The sessions concluded with future-looking presentations on linking distributed high-performance computing centres with Infiniband, along with the use of labelled ARP for improving communications within data centres.

During the evening of the first day, several further demonstrations were organised. These included automatic media content adaption in bandwidth limited networks; the use of mass data flows in OpenFlow hardware; flexible traffic splitting on commodity switches (Niagara); an SDN-based bandwidth-on-demand solution (FastLane); and a showcase of the capabilities of Software Defined Networking Exchanges (SDXs).

Several meetings had been held the day before the workshop, including the Governance Working Group that approved the budget for 2015 and confirmed the host of GLIF 2015. There were also meetings of the GLIF Americas Working Group (chaired by Joe Mambretti, Northwestern University), and the GLORIAD project that is a collaboration of several countries and carriers to bring lightpath infrastructure to scientific users.

The closing plenary session saw presentations on the rollout of SDN at AmLight (Jeronimo Bezerra, Florida International University); Software-Defined Networking Exchanges (Joe Mambretti, Northwestern University); the integration of compute and storage in the network (Dale Finkelson, Internet2); Africa-Europe connectivity (Simeon Miteff, SANREN); and the challenges of installing fibre in the Arctic (Lars Fischer, NORDUnet). This was followed by a presentation on how NRENs and industry can better collaborate by using networks to validate new technologies and leverage use of computing resources (Rod Wilson, Ciena).

The workshop concluded with a closing address from the GLIF Chair Kees Neggers (SURF) who thanked REANNZ for hosting the workshop in such a stunning location, but added that there was still a lot of work to be undertaken and that he looked forward to developments over the coming year.

Next year's 15th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop will be held on 28-30 September 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic, hosted by CESNET.

The proceedings of the workshop are available at

About GLIF -- The Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF) 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