Global Lambda Integrated Facility

Subject Draft minutes of joint session of Tech & Control Plane WGs
From Kevin Meynell <kevin@xxxxxxxxx>
Date Tue, 29 Nov 2005 22:25:49 +0000


Minutes of the joint session of the GLIF Technical Issues and Control
Plane Working Groups held on the 30th of September 2005 at Calit2, San
Diego, United States.

Kevin Meynell - Issue 1


Name                        Organisation            Country
----                        ------------            -------
Tomonori Aoyama             U. Tokyo                Japan
Bill St. Arnaud             CANARIE                 Canada
Erik-Jan Bos (Co-Chair)     SURFnet                 The Netherlands
Greg Cole                   GLORIAD                 United States
John Connolly               U. Kentucky             United States
Steve Corbato               Internet2               United States
Steve Cotter                Internet2               United States
Sergi Figuerola             i2CAT                   Spain
Licia Florio                TERENA                  -
David Foster                CERN                    -
Pat Gary                    NASA/GSFC               United States
Vikram Gazula               U. Kentucky             United States
John Graham                 UKLight                 United Kingdom
Eduard Grasa                i2CAT                   Spain
Leon Gommans                U. van Amsterdam        The Netherlands
Jan Gruntorad               CESNET                  Czech Republic
Jeroen van der Ham          U. van Amsterdam        The Netherlands
René Hatem (Co-Chair)       CANARIE                 Canada
Michiaki Hayashi            KDDI R&D Labs           Japan
Akira Hirano                UIC/EVL                 United States
Bonnie Hurst                MCNC                    United States
Hideaki Imaizumi            U. Tokyo                Japan
Waturu Imajaka              NTT                     Japan
Masahiko Jinno              NTT                     Japan
Gigi Karmous-Edwards (Co-Chair)  MCNC               United States
Akira Kato                  WIDE Project            Japan
Tomohiro Kudoh              AIST                    Japan
Scott Macdonald             e-side                  Japan
Joe Mambretti               iCAIR/Northwestern U    United States
Jun Matsukata               NII                     Japan
Steve Meacham               NSF                     United States
Kevin Meynell (Sec)         TERENA                  -
Dan Nae                     Caltech                 United States
Naohide Nagatsu             NTT                     Japan
Bram Peeters                SURFnet                 The Netherlands
Ana Preston                 Internet2               United States
Jan Radil                   CESNET                  Czech Republic
Predrag Radulovic           U. Tennessee            United States
Ann Richeson                Qwest                   United States
Paul Roberts                U. Houston TLCZ         United States
Yasunori Sameshima          NTT                     Japan
Richard Schneider           NASA/GSFC               United States
Fay Sheu                    NCHC                    Taiwan
Matt Schmitz                Cisco                   United States
Jerry Sobieski              MAX/DRAGON/HOPI         United States
Hideaki Tanaka              KDDI R&D Labs           Japan
Steven Thorpe               MCNC                    United States
Christian Todorov           Internet2               United States
Vasily Velikhov             RRC                     Russia
Alan Verlo                  StarLight/TransLight    United States
Steven Wallace              Indiana University      United States
Tom West                    National LambdaRail     United States
Kennard White               Glimmerglass            United States
Garrut Yoshimi              U. Hawaii               United States
Oliver Yu                   UIC/EVL                 United States


    Erik-Jan welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced René Hatem
    and Gigi Karmous-Edwards as the co-chairs of the session. The plan
    was for the Technical and Control Plane Working Groups to meet
    jointly during the morning session, then break-out into separate
    groups in the afternoon.

    The aim of the joint session was to discuss issues of relevance to
    both working groups, as well as define the specific areas on which
    each would work. This was necessary to divide-out the work and avoid
    unnecessary duplication of effort.

    After the various GLIF mailing lists were outlined, the question of
    how to subscribe to them was raised. Kevin replied this was possible
    from the individual working group web pages, but he would add links
    to the GLIF home page ( to make things clearer.

    ACTION 20050930-1: Kevin Meynell to make clearer on GLIF website,
    how to subscribe to mailing lists.


    There was a discussion about the appropriate division of tasks
    between the Technical and Control Plane Working Groups. René
    suggested that the Technical Working Group should focus on compiling
    information about GLIF resources, as it was necessary to find out
    what was available where. It should also investigate automating
    those lower-level tasks that currently required manual intervention.
    Allied to this was the need to develop common service definitions,
    although this should be done in conjunction with the Control Plane
    Working Group.

    ? asked whether the proposed common service definition would be more
    of an informal agreement, or whether it would be closer to an API.
    Gigi replied that Jerry Sobieski planned to cover this in his
    presentation during the separate Control Plane Working Group

    Joe suggested there first needed to be a standardisation of terms
    within the GLIF community, otherwise there was the potential for
    confusion. René replied this had already been discussed several
    times, but there had been very little progress on the issue. Whilst
    the issue had raised in many meetings over the past four years,
    there had been very little discussion on the mailing lists where it
    was easier to thrash-out such issues. However, in order to try and
    progress the issue, the GLIF Secretariat was asked to start
    collecting terms and definitions for a glossary.

    ACTION 20050930-2: Licia Florio to collect terms and definitions for

    Matt added his observation that many issues were common to both the
    Technical and Control Plane Working Groups, and it was important
    they worked closely together. Erik-Jan replied this was one of the
    reasons for having a joint session, and the plan was to continue
    this in future.


    There were updates from several optical exchanges about their
    current resources (see

    Erik-Jan reported that NetherLight had 4 x 10 Gbps links to MANLAN,
    2 x 10 Gbps to both StarLight and CERN, 1 x 10 Gbps to CESNET, GÉANT
    and UKLight, 1 x 2.5 Gbps to NORDUnet, and multiple 10 Gbps to
    SURFnet. Connected exchanges generally assumed bilateral control
    over the links, although Internet2/DANTE controlled one of the
    MANLAN links.

    John reported that UKLight had 10 Gbps connections to both StarLight
    and NetherLight. The extended development network within the UK was
    based around four C-PoPs in London, Leeds, Reading and Warrington
    connected via 10 Gbps links. There were ongoing 10 Gbps connections
    from the C-PoPs to various institutions.

    Lars reported that NorthernLight was a star network based around a
    hub in Stockholm, with OC-48 connectivity to Copenhagen, Oslo,
    Helsinki and NetherLight in Amsterdam. It is based on Cisco
    ONS-15445s that provide 2 x 1 GE links between any two cities. It
    will also be connected to GÉANT2 by December 2005, and will be
    upgraded to n x 10 GE by June 2006.

    David reported that CERN had 2 x 10 Gbps links to SURFnet, and 10 GB
    links to both StarLight and MANLAN.

    Christian reported that MANLAN had five 10 GE links to Abilene,
    ESnet, GÉANT, NYSERNET and SINET. There were also five 1 GE links to
    CA*net, SURFnet, Egypt and Qatar. Further OC-192 links existed to
    Abilene, CA*Net (x2), GÉANT, SURFnet (x2), and a CANARIE relay to

    René reported that CANARIE-StarLight had seven OC-192 links to
    Toronto (x2), Amsterdam, Winnipeg, Vancouver, F10, and the GLIF HDXc
    node. A further two OC-192 links would shortly connect IRNC and
    Force10 (2nd connection). There was also an OC-48 link to TWAREN via
    the GLIF node.

    René reported that the CANARIE-Pacific Northwest GigaPoP had five
    OC-192 links to Calgary, Vancouver (x2), Victoria, and the GLIF HDXc
    node. A further two OC-192 links would shortly connect Busan (South
    Korea) and IEEAF Tokyo. There were onward 1 GE connections from the
    GLIF node to Pacific Wave and KREONET.

    Akira reported that T-LEX had OC-192 and OC-12 links to the Pacific
    Northwest GigaPoP. There were also 1 GE links to APAN, ASCC
    (Taiwan), Data Reservoir, JGN2, WIDE, and the University of Tokyo. A
    further OC-192 to IEEAF was planned in the future.

    ? reported that KRLight had 2 x 10 GE links to KREONET, and OC-192
    links to both Hong Kong (HKLight) and Seattle (Pacific Northwest
    GigaPoP). This provided onward connections to Beijing, Novosibirsk,
    Moscow and Amsterdam.

    ? reported that UltraLight was comprised of six PoPs in Chicago
    (StarLight), Geneva (CERN), Los Angeles (CENIC), New York (MANLAN),
    Seattle (National LambdaRail), and Sunnyvale (National LambdaRail)
    interconnected by 10 Gbps links. There were also external
    connections to CANARIE, NetherLight and UKLight.

    Erik-Jan suggested that it would be useful to list the various GLIF
    resources on the GLIF website. Kevin said he would put a page
    together from the presentations, but hopefully this information
    could be extended.

    ACTION 20050930-3: Kevin Meynell to list GLIF resources on GLIF


    Erik-Jan said that a more standardised system of representing GLIF
    resources was required. As existing networks grew and others
    appeared, it would be increasingly difficult to coordinate all the
    lightpaths, interfaces, exchange points, policies and administrative
    information in the current ad-hoc fashion. Although the aim was to
    initially focus on the lower-level services, a coordinated
    repository of information could also be useful for the control plane
    levels as well.

    At the present time, there appeared to be three main approaches to
    implementing network resource repositories. GLORIAD had used a
    monolithic database approach for their purposes, whilst NLR had
    adapted the DNS to store network information. The third, but thus
    far more theoretical approach, was to utilise semantic web
    technology to create a distributed database of network information
    that could be maintained by each organisation. The merits of each of
    these approaches needed to examined to determined whether a common
    standardised system could be agreed upon.

    4.1  Using RDF to describe networks

    Jeroen gave a presentation about how the Resource Description
    Framework (RDF) could be used to describe GLIF facilities (see Network
    descriptions were necessary to provide an overview of resources,
    make path discovery easier, and to undertake simple problem
    detection, but at the present time, GLIF resources were coordinated
    through an ad-hoc system of scribbled diagrams and telephone/e-mail
    communication. Such descriptions needed to be readable by both
    humans and computers, and semantic web techniques offered this

    The semantic web is an extension of the current web in which
    information is given well-defined meaning, with RDF being a
    lightweight ontological framework for undertaking this. It describes
    things using triplets consisting of subject (the thing being
    described), predicate (a property of the thing being described) and
    object (the value of the property) elements. A unique terminology is
    achieved using namespaces based on Dublin Core which are both human
    and machine readable.

    A Network Description Language (NDL) based on RDF has been devised
    by UvA. This allows resource description files to be created, which
    can then be queried using an SQL-like language such as SPARQL. Such
    descriptions can also point to other network descriptions, allowing
    a complete picture of resources to be built-up. Another way of
    querying remote information is to issue SPARQL queries via HTTP or

    With respect to GLIF, each organisation can create a NDL description
    of their network, which could be validated and published via a
    portal which users would use to find paths and resources. This
    information could also be linked to geographical references (e.g.
    Google Earth) to provide mapping functionality, as well as
    administrative and policy information.

    The next step is to develop tools that automatically generate and
    update descriptions. In addition, the portal should be developed to
    link these descriptions together to provide a comprehensive overview
    of GLIF resources. NDL could also be extend to support higher-level
    protocols, as well as security and filtering.

    Jerry asked how quickly information was updated using this system.
    Jeroen replied that institutions published this information
    themselves, and it could be updated in real-time. It was therefore
    faster than a monolithic database approach.

    4.2  GLORIAD Database Approach

    Greg Cole gave a presentation about GLOCIS (see ?).

    Cees commented that it was important to ensure network information
    was up-to-date, and asked whether there was a web interface where
    this information could be entered. Greg replied this was planned,
    but had not yet been implemented.

    Cees also asked whether there were plans to extend the system and
    incorporate other types of information. Greg replied they wanted to
    use the system for at least six partner countries.

    Gigi asked whether the mapping components would be released. Greg
    replied they planned to release the source code shortly.

    4.3  Mapping US Regional Networks

    Steven gave a presentation on using the DNS to map GLIF resources
    (see He had
    estimated that 55% of optical networking resources in the US were
    outside of National LambdaRail, and so an organised system of
    coordination was becoming increasingly important. The Quilt had been
    established as an informal organisation for purchasing bandwidth,
    knowledge exchange, and sharing of test equipment, but it did not
    have a good overview of regional network resources. In March 2005,
    it was therefore agreed this should be mapped, initially using hand-
    collected data. However, this was felt to be somewhat cumbersome, so
    ways of automating the process were investigated.

    The DNS was chosen as the mechanism for this, as it was a well-known
    and widely-established distributed database that offered user-
    defined record types. The domain '' was therefore
    registered, and a record structure was defined. A virtual
    cartographer program was also developed that was able to query the
    DNS and make maps on demand.

    Steven was interested in extending the system and asked who would be
    willing to maintain their own zone files. His lab would be willing
    to continue to host '', populate zone files for the
    existing US RONs (Regional Optical Networks), and make the virtual
    cartographer software available.

    Cees thought the system would make too heavy use of the DNS, and
    neither was it designed for this purpose. Too much information would
    need to be included, and it would not be sufficiently real-time.
    However, it might be possible to utilise SRV records to point to
    locations where resource information could be found.

    John asked what DNS offered that something like LDAP did not. Steven
    replied the DNS offered a much more simple delegation mechanism.

    A quick show of hands revealed that there did not seem to be a great
    deal of support for utilising the DNS in this manner. Nevertheless,
    it was felt the experiences of the working system could be used to
    help refine the data model. Furthermore, there was interest in
    utilising the virtual mapper.


    Erik-Jan concluded that the different approaches served particular
    purposes and were not essentially in competition with each another.
    In many respects, the various activities could be complementary to
    each other if the community could devote some effort to combining
    them. There was generally a lot of support for the RDF model, whilst
    GLORIAD had developed some very nice mapping capabilities. At the
    same time, the DNS could be used to point to where network resource
    information could be found.

    It was agreed that a sub-working group comprising Erik-Jan Bos,
    Greg Cole, Freek Dijkstra, Lars Fischer, Jeroen van der Ham and
    Steven Wallace should be established to investigate how the various
    approaches could be combined. The GLIF Secretariat was asked to set-
    up a mailing list to facilitate this.

    ACTION 20050930-4: Kevin Meynell to set-up mailing list for
    repository sub-working group.


    The 6th Annual Global Lambda Workshop would be held on 11-14
    September 2006 in Tokyo, Japan. It was anticipated this would
    include meetings of both the Technical and Control Plane Working

    It was also agreed that interim meetings of both working groups
    should be held in early-2006. The working group chairs in
    conjunction with the GLIF Secretariat would investigate suitable
    dates and venues for this.

    ACTION 20050930-5: Technical and Control Plane Working Group Chairs
    to investigate suitable dates and venues for interim meetings.

    [It was subsequently agreed that the interim working group meetings
    would be co-located with the Internet2 Joint Techs Workshop in
    Albuquerque, USA; probably on 8-9 February 2006.]


    20050930-1  Kevin Meynell to make clearer on GLIF website,
                how to subscribe to mailing lists.

    20050930-2  Licia Florio to collect terms and definitions for

    20050930-3  Kevin Meynell to list GLIF resources on GLIF website.

    20050930-4  Kevin Meynell to set-up mailing list for
                repository sub-working group.

    20050930-5  Technical and Control Plane Working Group Chairs
                to investigate suitable dates and venues for interim