Press Archive

The Cyberinfrastructure Backplane: The Jump to Light Speed

Published 05/31/2005

The second issue of Cyberinfrastructure Technology Watch Quarterly is now available. In "The Cyberinfrastructure Backplane: The Jump to Light Speed," guest editors Larry Smarr of Calit2 and Phil Papadopoulos of the San Diego Supercomputer Center have assembled a collection of insightful articles that focus on the current state of large, operational research networks for the scientific and engineering community. With contributions from some of the most respected and widely known leaders in the field, this issue is designed provide an engaging look at what is being accomplished with fast optical networks today and where high performance network infrastructure will be going tomorrow.

Cyberinfrastructure Technology Watch (CTWatch) is a product of The Cyberinfrastructure Partnership (CIP), a joint, NSF-funded effort of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

This issue focuses on the state of 1- and 10-Gbps long-haul optical circuits supporting the research community.

The authors in this issue have all played critical roles in this new age of long-haul research networks. Most are also playing key roles planning and architecting the network for the upcoming biennial iGrid meeting to be held as the first major event in the UCSD Calit2 building September 26-30, 2005.

Linda Winkler from Argonne National Laboratory has been a leader in the development of the TeraGrid and SciNet (the Supercomputing conference's "monster" network that exists for five days every November). In her article, "Does 10G Measure Up?," she describes the challenges of high-end research deployments and heroic efforts in the Bandwidth Challenge where the current state of the art clocks in at more than 100 Gbps for an application using multiple 10-G networks at SC2004.

"The National LambdaRail," by Dave Farber and Tom West, describes how regional research networks have taken advantage of the abundance of dark fiber to enable multiple, research-focused 10-Gigabit networks.

In "Translight, A Major US Component of GLIF," Tom DeFanti, Maxine Brown, Joe Mambretti, John Silvester, and Ron Johnson describe the optical interconnections available between U.S. and international researchers.

CTWatch is an online source of news, analysis, and commentary that aims to keep the national science and engineering research communities informed on, and involved in, the latest developments in shared cyberinfrastructure. Developed at the Innovative Computing Laboratory (ICL) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, CTWatch is under the leadership of ICL Director Jack Dongarra.

Visit to get your own, print quality copy of issue two of CTWatch Quarterly.

A companion blog, designed as a community forum for breaking news, provocative ideas and interactive discussion is available at