UNIVERSITIES ESTABLISH HIGH-PERFORMANCE CONNECTION

October 13, 2000

SCIENCE & ENGINEERING NEWS

Los Alamitos, CALIF. — A critical path connection linking Mexico’s research and education network with the United States’ Internet2 networks has been successfully completed via the San Diego Supercomputer Center and CalREN-2 in California. The bi-national high-performance network connects researchers and faculty at major universities throughout the two countries.

The faster, larger bandwidth and the universal connectivity provided by this link heralds a new era of interactive knowledge transfer. Educators and students at the participating institutions will be able to capitalize on network speeds that are 100 to 1000 times faster than the commodity Internet, enabling collaborations in advanced research and education applications, as well as sharing of unique experimental, computational, and data resources.

The cross-border connection between the CorporaciÛn Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet (CUDI) and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) was accomplished via an OC-3 ATM network between Tijuana and San Diego.

CUDI manages the Mexican national high-performance backbone, and CENIC manages CalREN-2, California’s regional network participating in the national Internet2 effort. The CalREN-2 connection at the San Diego Supercomputer Center provides CUDI with access to the Abilene national backbone network connection in Los Angeles.

CUDI, working with TELMEX, established an OC-3 connection between Tijuana and Guadalajara. Then, in cooperation with CENIC, Cox Communications, Cablemas, and the University of California, that network connection was extended across the border to the University of California, San Diego.

“As a founding member of CENIC, the University of California (UC) has enthusiastically supported the partnering of Mexico’s higher education network with CalREN-2. It is an important aspect of advancing many of our present and future education and research initiatives in North America,” remarked Richard Atkinson, President of UC.

“Diligent cross-border teamwork was key to bridging our national network infrastructures to create a powerful bi-national environment. By pooling the knowledge and talent of our research and technology communities we are on the verge of solving mutual challenges in research and education,” noted Carlos Casasus, Director General of CUDI.

Thomas West, President of CENIC, agreed, “this connection is a 21st century technological bridge that creates a bi-national advanced communications infrastructure joining our two countries’ human and physical resources in the pursuit of high quality education and global research projects.”

One of the initial CENIC/CUDI projects is the Virtual Learning Space (VLS) Project, an initiative whose objective is to promote trans-border/global efforts using next generation communication technologies built around Internet2. The VLS Project is an international partnership amongst private and public sectors on both sides of the border. The main participants include:

* CICESE, a Mexican Government think tank in the areas of oceanography, earth sciences and applied physics, located in Ensenada;

* CITEDI, a Mexican research institute in digital technologies, from the Instituto Politecnico Nacional located in Tijuana;

* San Diego State University, which established the first E1/T1 link to CICESE;

* University of Baja California; and

* Telnor, a regional subsidiary of TELMEX in Baja California.

The VLS Project will provide faculty and researchers with the appropriate high-speed, high bandwidth telecommunications environment required to develop learning and research applications in the areas of electronics and telecommunications, computer science, management, environmental sciences, biology, and telemedicine.

Some of the specific planned applications of the VLS Project are the development of digital libraries using the extensive library resources geographically distributed amongst many academic institutions on the Southern California-Baja California Region and Mexico, the development of distributed computing networks, and the implementation of remote operation of research laboratories, as well as the potential for the interactive transmission of knowledge and large information databases between universities.

CENIC is a not-for-profit corporation formed by the California Institute of Technology, the California State University, Stanford University, the University of California, and the University of Southern California to facilitate and coordinate the deployment, development, and operation of a set of seamless and robust advanced network services. The CENIC Associates program offers qualified companies the opportunity to collaborate with CENIC in pursuit of the goal of providing the most advanced network services for research and education. Cisco Systems, IBM, Pacific Bell and Sun Microsystems are CENIC’s Founding Partner Associates; AVT Corporation, General Atomics, and Raytheon are Affiliate Associates.

CENIC operates CalREN-2 for qualified public and private sector institutions for research and learning purposes. CalREN-2 is California’s segment of the national Internet2 initiative and is partially funded by the National Science Foundation.

CUDI is a non-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of Mexico with 29 members from the public and private sectors. Its purpose is to promote and coordinate the development of high capacity telecommunication and computing networks for the development of scientific and educational activities in Mexico. Visit http://www.cudi.edu.mx/ for more information.

Internet2 is a consortium of leading US universities working in partnership with industry and government to accelerate the creation of tomorrow’s Internet. Internet2 is recreating the partnership among academia, industry and government that fostered today/s Internet in its infancy. For more information, see: http://www.internet2.edu/ .

SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego, and the leading-edge site of the NPACI ( http://www.npaci.edu/ ). SDSC is funded by the National Science Foundation through NPACI and other federal agencies, the State and University of California, and private organizations.

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