A spicy programme helps harmonise global optical networking at GLIF 2009
3 November 2009 -- The 9th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop was held on the 27th and 28th of October 2009 at the Daejeon Convention Centre, Daejeon, South Korea. The first staging of this event in Korea introduced many to the fiery national dish kimchi, but more importantly stressed one of the important concepts of 'taegeukgi', the harmonious interaction of different elements, in bringing together nearly 120 participants from Asia, Europe and the Americas. Hosted and sponsored by the Korean Institute for Science and Technology Information (KISTI), it involved managers, engineers, researchers and developers from national research and education networks (NRENs), universities, research institutions and industry.
The keynote speech was provided by Dr. Jysoo Lee, the Director of the Supercomputing Center at KISTI, who provided an overview of the computing and optical network resources in Korea. He outlined how these support e-science and industry, and provided some examples of applications that exploited KISTI's advanced cyberinfrastructure.
The opening plenary session also featured Professor Yanchee Choi of the Korean Future Internet Forum, who discussed the direction that Internet research and development activities might take in future, particularly with respect to wireless and mobile applications. There followed presentations from Dr. Simon Lin (Academia Sinica) on the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid that was being established in the Asia-Pacific region; from Chris Hancock (AARNet) on provisioning connections for the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP); as well as from Jun Makino (NAOJ) on the challenges of running large-scale cosmological simulations using a transcontinental supercomputing grid.
It was also announced that Nortel would be making its network control plane software DRAC available to the GLIF community under an open source licence. Nortel actively participates in GLIF's working group that looks at lightpath control solutions and interoperability, so making DRAC available as open source will invite more participation from more communities worldwide.
The following afternoon and morning sessions were devoted to working group meetings dealing with governance, research and applications, and technical issues. The Technical Working Group opened with updates on current GLIF Open Lightpath Exchanges (GOLEs), followed by discussions on how these can be automated through a common GNI API, the use of global identifiers, and the development of end-site application for controlling resources. In addition to the existing task forces working on specific issues, it was proposed to create further task forces working on the problems of establishing end-to-end lightpaths, and to look into architectures for next generation GOLEs.
The Research and Applications Working Group aims to identify research and applications that both develop infrastructure and use it, and to educate scientists about the possibilities of LambdaGrids. This session presented applications that use advanced networking in hurricane prediction and mitigation, for high-definition digital cinematography, and for a wide range of research fields that included radio astronomy, particle physics and nuclear fusion.
Several practical applications were also demonstrated that included high definition streaming of live surgery; HPMDnet which is developing a high-performance service for high-quality, large-scale digital media; perfSONAR which is a performance monitoring infrastructure; and fast data transfer techniques that will be used for the LHC. In addition, there were demonstrations of the Fenius interoperability framework for virtual circuit provisioning (part of GNI API work), as well as an implementation of the Inter-domain Controller Protocol (IDC).
In the meantime, the Governance Working Group agreed that an updated version of the GLIF informational brochure should be produced, and funds for this were included in the GLIF Secretariat budget approved for 2010. The GLIF Secretariat was also asked to investigate different options for the presence of GLIF at appropriate events such as the IEEE/ACM Supercomputing (SC) Conference, so that a decision could later be taken about a possible budget to facilitate this.
The closing plenary session saw presentations from Dr. Te-Lung Liu (NCHC) on the next-generation Taiwanese Research and Education Network (TWAREN) that will have an all-optical design; from Dr. Tareck Elass (KAUST) on the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia which recently joined as a GLIF participant and is connected to NetherLight by a 10 Gb/s circuit; and from Shi-Wei Lo (NCHC) on how high-definition video streaming is being applied in environmental and ecological research.
There followed a vibrant panel session chaired by Eric Bernier (CANARIE) that included Bill St. Arnaud (CANARIE), Kilnam Chon (KAIST), Tom DeFanti (UCSD-Calit2), Lars Fischer (NORDUnet) and Shinji Shimojo (NICT). This discussed the hot topic of green IT and how data centres can become carbon neutral through the use of more efficient equipment, renewable energy sources, and by taking advantage of cooler climates.
The workshop concluded with a closing address from Kees Neggers (SURFnet), the GLIF Chair, who said:
"GLIF is an open and voluntary collaboration amongst people with a common vision. In combination with excellent organization by our KISTI hosts and a well prepared workshop programme, this has resulted in a great atmosphere where all were working productively towards common goals. The successful GLIF approach towards dynamic lightpath provisioning seems a perfect tool in addressing new challenges like further integration of ICT Infrastructure for Research and Green IT."
GLIF would like to express its thanks to KISTI for its organisational and financial support of this event. The 10th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop will be held on 13-14 October 2010 in Geneva (Switzerland), hosted by CERN
The proceedings of the workshop are available at http://www.glif.is/meetings/2009/
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 http://www.glif.is/
About KISTI -- The Korean Institute for Science and Technology Information (KISTI) is a specialized institute providing STI (Science and Technology Information) services based on a national supercomputing centre and advanced research networks (KREONET, GLORIAD-KR and KRLight) to promote global competitiveness in science and technology by actively challenging the rapidly changing world paradigm. KISTI aims to be a world leader in science and technology, see http://www.kisti.re.kr/english/index.jsp
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 http://www.terena.org/