BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Indiana University networking experts were recently recognized by Internet2 for their efforts to enhance broadband connectivity and support advanced services and cloud applications across the United States. Their efforts will help provide advanced networking features for more than 200,000 of the country’s community anchor institutions, including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges and public safety organizations.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie (far right), stands with IU networking experts after the Internet2 ceremony. They are (left to right): Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler; Internet2 Director of Network Operations and Engineering at IU’s GlobalNOC Chris Robb; InCNTRE Associate Director of Educational Initiatives Steve Wallace; and Associate Vice President of Networks David E. Jent.
Leaders at Internet2, operators of the nation’s fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, praised IU’s contributions at a recent ceremony that launched the United States’ first 100 Gigabit per second (Gbps) open, transcontinental, software-defined network. IU’s Chris Robb and Steve Wallace were both singled out for their efforts.
“We are honored that Internet2 chose to commend IU,” said IU Associate Vice President of Networks David E. Jent, who was also recognized at the event. “The entire IU team has done a fantastic job helping to advance research and innovation across the United States with the lighting of this new network, and we look forward to many more collaborations with Internet2.”
Internet2 President David Lambert, Internet2 Board of Trustees’ Member Jack Suess and Internet2 Vice President of Network Services Rob Vietzke participated in the ceremony. Their remarks included praise for IU President Michael A. McRobbie, who also serves as chair of Internet2’s Board of Trustees, and IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler.
“Since Internet2’s first network, Abilene, was built in the late 1990s, Indiana University has provided unparalleled network operations, engineering and deployment support to our community,” said Vietzke. “Indiana has filled all of those roles in deploying this new 6,000 component network, while also expanding their role as a lead partner in the development of ground-breaking software-defined network capabilities on the new 100G distribution layer of the network.”
The $97.6M network project funded three major infrastructure items: the acquisition of more than 15,000 miles of dark fiber on a national footprint, an optical system to light the 100 Gbps-capable fiber, and routing and switching equipment to put on top of those 100 Gbps wavelengths to provide services. Working with its regional network partners, Internet2 will use the newly upgraded 100G-enabled Internet2 network to support advanced applications, such as HD and multi-cast video distance learning and telemedicine. The upgraded network was predominately funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
Robb and Wallace both played significant roles in the success of the new 100 Gbps network. Robb served as technical lead for network design, and later as lead project manager for dark fiber implementation, optical system installation and routing and switching equipment installation. Wallace coordinated grant development and was a major contributing author.
“It’s amazing to be involved with such an immense project that helps so many researchers and educators,” said Robb. “That’s humbling. It’s also important to note that there is a huge team at IU who provided an immense amount of support for the network build. I work with great engineers who make me look good.”
Robb serves as Internet2’s director of network operations and engineering at IU’s Global Research Network Operations Center. Wallace is associate director of educational initiatives for the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at IU.
Internet2@#174; is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu.