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The HPDMnet Experimental Testbed -- Bringing About the Reali.....
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The HPDMnet Experimental Testbed -- Bringing About the Realization of the Next-Generation Internet

In recent years, the use of long-distance multimedia streaming has increased with the emergence of new networking technologies and applications such as high resolution imagery, high bandwidth availability, and large-scale digital multimedia streams.  These newly developed technologies reveal the drawbacks of traditional computing networks, such as their inability to dynamically adjust the bandwidth according to the size of the point-to-point stream transmission which, as a result, led to the sluggish development of multimedia streaming technologies.  To solve this predicament, network researchers began reviewing the current network architecture at the time and subsequently proposed a test and research platform that was capable of high-bandwidth transmission at a high data transmission rate.  This came to be known as the High Performance Digital Media Network or HPDMnet.

Introduction to HPDMnet
HPDMnet is a high-performance digital multimedia sharing platform over Lightpath used to transmit extremely-high-resolution digital streams. It supports international research networks to perform their research, experiments, and demonstrations.  This project is led by the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University in the U.S. The iCAIR specializes in network technology R&D and application development and maintains and manages the IP and Lightpath exchange center, the StarLight.

The objective of HPDMnet is to establish a service-oriented infrastructure based on SOA and IaaS. HDMnet's architecture uses Lightpath to break the limitations of traditional Layer 3 routing networks. It utilizes a feature of optical networking, the dynamic provisioning of bandwidth, in addition to the development of middleware, dynamic resource allocation and scheduling systems, and Lightpath monitoring systems to conduct transmission of massive and large-scale multimedia streams.  Currently, HPDMnet links other countries’ optical networks through the GLIF Open Lambda Exchanges (GOLEs) by working with the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), an internationally-renowned organization of optical network technology development. Also, it is important that the HPDMnet is the discovery of the next-generation advanced network-related research topics.

HPDMnet Members
HPDMnet Members include:

*iCAIR of Northwestern University,
*NCSA of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
*EVL of University of Illinois,
*University of California, San Diego,
*StarLight, *
*Ciena Corp,
*Inocybe Technologies Inc.,
*Synchromedia of University of Quebec,
*SURFnet of the Netherlands,
*SARA in Amsterdam,
*i2CAT of Spain,
*Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center of Poland,
*Braunschweig University of Germany,
*University of Essex in UK,
*TWAREN (TaiwanLight) of Taiwan,
*KISTI in Korea, and
*RNP of Brazil.

All HPDMnet members are the top industrial, academic, and research networking experts in their respective countries and fields.

By the end of 2006, the National Center for High-Performance Computing's (NCHC) Taiwan Advanced Research and Education Network (TWAREN) backbone was equipped with the necessary optical resources and already connected to world-renowned networking research centers and Internet service providers (ISP) through the Lightpath. In 2007, TWAREN officially became a member of GOLEs under the name of "TaiwanLight.” In 2008, TWAREN's all-optical characteristics were recognized by Northwestern University and the NCHC was invited to join HPDMnet.  Most recently, RNP of Brazil also was invited to join HPDMnet.

the organizational chart of HPDMnet
―HPDMnet links the optical networks of world-renowned research networks. The above figure illustrates HPDMnet's organizational chart of participating members (click to enlarge).

Research and Applications of the NCHC and HPDMnet
The biggest contribution of HPDMnet lies in providing an advanced, high-bandwidth communication platform that can be used to transmit various extremely high-resolution digital images and video media. Every year, HPDMnet members arrange demonstrations at SCXX, the international conference and exhibition for high-performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.  At SC09, the NCHC utilized HPDMnet to send images from the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium in southern Taiwan to the conference site in Portland, Oregon. This demonstration won the eXtreme Net (Xnet) award at SC09.

the photo of Xnet award
―The Xnet award at SC09

Implementing research related to the “Future Internet” over HPDMnet is also an important application under development.  Many countries including the United States, the EU, and Japan, have committed to the development of new, advanced networks in response to the existing predicament associated with current networking architecture and its detrimental effect on their governments, high-tech companies, and universities. They have proposed ideas for the next-generation network and, as a result, have coined the term "Future Internet.”  The goal of the next-generation “Future Internet” is to fully incorporate high security, availability, and scalability. 

Over the past several years, these countries have put much of their research resources into developing the "Future Internet.” Among them, the OpenFlow architecture, initiated by the Stanford University and adopted by the GENI project, a national project of the U.S., has received the most attention. This architecture has the ability to flexibly define and implement new networking protocols and behaviors and can be used for testing and developing new networking architectures. In 2010, the NCHC implemented an OpenFlow-based "Future Internet" testbed for TWAREN and linked with the iCAIR 's OpenFlow via the HPDMnet as well.  Using the HPDMnet, the NCHC transmitted multimedia images from Taiwan to the SC10 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana that showcased the latest "Future Internet" development results over the past several years.

the demonstration of HPDMnet and OpenFlow
―At SC10, streams were transmitted to the exhibition site via HPDMnet and OpenFlow.

In addition to the research and application of multimedia image stream transmission, the NCHC has also conducted research on OpenFlow’s inability to support Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP), which makes the inter-testbed network unable to provide multicast service of images. The NCHC is proceeding to find a solution which will enable OpenFlow to support multicast services and will implement testing and verification over HPDMnet. Another research that the NCHC is currently conducting is OpenFlow-based network cross-domain monitoring. The core of OpenFlow is the “controller.” Just like a traffic signal controller, an OpenFlow controller is in charge of the control logic for all the network paths and behaviors.  Currently, each controller can only show the OpenFlow switches that are directly linked to it.  It is incapable of showing connection conditions of multi-domain networks or of other switches coming from the same domain. On this, the NCHC has begun system development and verification of a solution.

Since participating in HPDMnet, the NCHC has maintained a close, collaborative relationship with members by jointly demonstrating HPDMnet applications and research results at international exhibitions and conferences and, as a result, has greatly enhanced its international visibility and reputation. In 2009, through the HPDMnet experimental testbed, the NCHC successfully developed the technology of bandwidth multiplication on optical networks, thus enabling optical networks to flexibly meet the bandwidth requirements of different purposes and saving operators from the trouble of altering the circuit architecture when experiencing bandwidth deficiency. For the implementation of the Northwestern University-headed iGENI project (a GENI subproject), the NCHC’s TWAREN network was used to establish the link for the "Future Internet" platform with Northwestern University's iCAIR.  In so doing, a number of multi-domain "Future Internet" research and testing projects, such as multicast and topology discovery are being developed.  It is expected that further development of new technologies and applications for the next-generation network will be conducted over HPDMnet as well.




Latest Update: 2014/12/17
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