Project Summary


Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) primary project objective is to stimulate its research and academic collaboration by establishing a high performance Internet connection to the Abilene network. As an Internet2 university, we will use the high bandwidth, bounded delay, and Quality of Service characteristics of the network to share new forms of data, information and knowledge. We will participate in the creation of the next generation of networking technologies and software applications that will advance university research and educational goals. The high performance connection will provide access to special types of instrumentation and computational resources and allow us to contribute to the development of the emerging national and global high performance network infrastructure.


WPI will contribute to the emerging national network infrastructure by establishing a Worcester Internet2 gigaPoP and an associated regional network. In collaboration with NEESCom, we plan to build a gigaPoP in the NEESCom Exchange Building. Qwest will build a demarcation point for the Abilene network in this building, which will be a "free trade zone," allowing other service providers to be co-located there.

WPI will connect to the gigaPoP using an OC-3 ATM fiber link. Qwest is extending the Abilene network to the NEESCom building using an OC-48 link. NEESCom has 30 route miles of fiber already in place that can be used to connect the other universities and research institutions and is extending its coverage through routes along the technology beltway west of Boston. Our gigaPoP architecture coupled with NEESCom's existing and planned fiber routes will make it convenient and economically attractive for other universities to participate in this regional network and the Internet2 project.

WPI will further enhance its high performance ATM intranet to provide access to all meritorious researchers, and eventually all members of the WPI community. Meritorious researchers will be provided with a 100 Mbit/sec switched link or an ATM OC-3 switched link to the Abilene network. Our Network Operations Group will configure the network and work with Internet2 and Abilene staff to establish QoS for meritorious researchers, while monitoring and measuring network performance parameters. We will establish an ELAN to separate project research traffic and commodity Internet traffic; the ELAN will extend to the "free trade zone" and conform to the Abilene AUP.

Potential Impact

The establishment of a high performance connection to WPI, the construction of a Worcester area Internet2 gigaPoP, and the creation of a regional network will vigorously stimulate research collaborations within the Worcester area as well as nationally and globally.

WPI's areas of meritorious research areas include: spacecraft electric and chemical propulsion, massively parallel computing and algorithms, improved Web performance over the Internet through caching, data mining, surface metrology, diagnostic stroke research, distributed computing, cryptography, and wireless LAN, vehicle crashworthiness research, and fire protection engineering through distributed education and research.

These diverse areas of research will provide a spectrum of benefits. Medical applications, and remote diagnostics affect humanity and our quality of life. Fire protection provides for safe buildings and working environments. Numerical computations and data mining solve previously intractable or impossible problems and find new relationships among data. Internetworking research will make the next generation of networks more robust and secure while being seamlessly available, anywhere, anytime. High performance connections and networks coupled with new Web and video technologies will provide on-demand access to information and knowledge and real-time collaboration.

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Last modified: Feb 28, 2005, 15:53 EST
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