Chicago, ILL. — Within the span of one week, STAR TAP engineers hooked-up Chile’s REUNA and China’s CERNET research and education networks to the universal exchange point STAR TAP, providing the two countries access to over 100 U.S. universities and national laboratories, and most of the world’s premier networks.
The Science, Technology, And Research Transit Access Point, or STAR TAP, is a proving ground for long-term interconnection and interoperability of advanced international networking. Launched in 1997, it provides a universal peering point in the U.S. where international networks have formal agreements to exchange data traffic with the National Science Foundation’s vBNS and other advanced networks, such as Internet2’s Abilene, and those of the U.S. Dept. of Energy, U.S. Dept. of Defense and NASA.
For China, the connection enhances the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science’s ability to collaborate on Bio-Mirror, a worldwide project that provides high-speed access to DNA/protein biological sequence data banks. For Chile, as partners in the multi-national Gemini project to build twin astronomical observatories atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea and Chile’s Cerro Pachon, astronomers will be able to rapidly exchange observatory data with their worldwide colleagues.
“Chile has a small, but very active scientific community,” said REUNA executive director Florencio Utreras. “For a country like ours, being integrated into the scientific community by electronic means is a must. Our scientific capacity depends upon our links to the world, without which there is no critical mass for any scientific project. We certainly view our connection to STAR TAP as an important point in the development of a scientific infrastructure.”
CERNET is the largest academic Internet backbone in China, connecting over 700 universities in 130 cities. “Connecting to STAR TAP is China’s first step in participating in the research and development of the next-generation Internet,” said Xing Li, CERNET networking engineer.
The addition of China and Chile bring the number of international research networks peering at STAR TAP to twelve. Other peers are CA*net3 (Canada), CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics), IUCC (Israel’s Inter-University Computation Center), MIRnet (Russia), NORDUnet (Nordic countries), SURFnet (The Netherlands), RENATER2 (France), SingAREN (Singapore), APAN (Asia-Pacific), and TANet2 (Taiwan).
STAR TAP is managed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, aided by the Math and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory, and it is operated Ameritech Advanced Data Services (AADS).
STAR TAP is made possible by major funding from the NSF, awards ANI-9712283 and ANI-9980480, to the University of Illinois at Chicago, For more information, see http://www.startap.net and http://www.evl.uic.edu . STAR TAP is a service mark of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.