(Via Forbes)At a time when some are predicting the collapse of the internet in its current form,207 universities along with along with private and public research labs and government agencies as a consortium have developed the next generation of internet. About 60 corporations count themselves as members of Internet2, including tech giants CISCO, IBM, Microsoft,MCI.Internet2, a non profit organaisation acts as a kitchen for testing networking innovations. It serves as an information clearing house, facilitating the exchange of research between members and allowing them to co-develop new bits of hardware and software.
The consortium's private network named Abilene -the most advanced research and education network in the US(By extension the world),connects member institutions at a rate of 10 gigabits per second, roughly 20,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection.This record speed of 6.63Gbps is equivalent to transferring a full-length DVD movie in four seconds.There are uses in astronomy, bioinformatics, global climate modeling and seismology, as well as commercial applications from entertainment to oil and gas exploration. Four million users-mostly students, researchers and professors--use it to share information and test high-bandwidth applications that just couldn't run over the commercial internet. Apart from videoconferencing, this infrastructure is being tried to teach music to students!! The connection provides enough clarity that it sounds like the student and teacher are in the same room, allowing instructors to identify wrong notes with the certainty that it isn't just a bad connection.
Networks like Abilene are different from today's Internet,where traffic flows in millions of small streams, consisting mostly of simple communications like e-mail, text-based Web pages and instant messages. But on Abilene, information travels through a few hundred extremely large rivers in the form of high-bandwidth applications and complex academic systems. This puts different stresses on hardware and provides a unique test bed for products under development. Juniper is researching around Abilene for network performance and believes, When downloading movies over the Internet becomes common, there will be bigger flows of information than ever before, and Juniper shall have had years of experience handling it. Indeed, the proliferation of broadband applications like movies and video are what will drive deployment and adoption of next-generation networks like Abilene. But Internet2 isn't just about fast networks. The consortium has also made progress developing innovative software and services-on managing privacy and security.One application, called Shibboleth, is a piece of open source software that enables users to share restricted online resources. Shibboleth handles all the identification and authentication of users in between the school and the database, thus reducing the complexity of management and protecting the privacy of individual users.
Category : Internet