United States, Russia, China link up first global-ring network

December 22, 2003

ARLINGTON, Va.-The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), a broad consortium of Russian ministries and science organizations and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) today announced the start of operations for the first roundthe-world computer network ring, which will be used for joint scientific and educational projects. Completing the ring includes increasing the bandwidth between the United States and China and making the first-ever fiber network connection across the Russia-China border.

The new network increases the bandwidth to 155 megabits per second (Mbps) between the United States and China and continues current 155-Mbps service levels between the United States and Russia. In addition, Russia and China are connecting their science networks at the border cities of Zabajkal'sk and Manzhouli-completing a ring around the Northern Hemisphere. "As part of the international community of science, we share common concerns that reach across national borders," said NSF Director Rita Colwell. "As we all aim to strengthen our nations' capabilities in research, we also aim to contribute to the cumulative knowledge that lifts the prospects of people everywhere. This new network serves as both a physical and symbolic reminder of our common goal of solving problems and building a world of peace and prosperity."

The new network will provide both increased reliability and flexibility for researchers as they address scientific issues including joint responses to natural and man-made disasters, safeguards for nuclear materials, better understanding of the human genome, joint exploration of space, distributed monitoring of seismic events and environmental studies and simulations. The network will also enable cooperation on international fusion energy research and support the advanced requirements of high- energy physicists. The network will also enable collaborations between universities and local schools, such as shared seminars, distance-learning programs and multi-national science fairs.

Known as Little GLORIAD, the ring "begins" in Chicago at the NSF- supported StarLight facility, managed by the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University. The network crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the NetherLight facility in Amsterdam from which it continues to Moscow, then to the Russian science city of Novosibirsk, across Siberia to the border at Zabajkal'sk. After crossing the border to Manzhouli, the network continues to Beijing, then Hong Kong and crosses the Pacific Ocean to complete the ring in Chicago.

"Little GLORIAD is a giant step in providing CAS scientists unique opportunities to cooperate with the researchers in the United States and Russia and will contribute significantly to the CAS initiative on knowledge innovation," said Dr. Yan Baoping, director of the Computer Network Information Center (CNIC), Chinese Academy of Sciences. "The ring network is the foundation for the GLORIAD, which will be an integral part of the cyber- network for developing the China E-Science initiative scheduled to commence in 2006."

Little GLORIAD is being funded in part by a $2.8 million NSF grant to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Russian support for Little GLORIAD is provided through a consortium of government Ministries and science organizations coordinated by the Russian Research Center (RRC) "Kurchatov Institute" and the Russian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology. Chinese support from CAS and through CNIC, which coordinates China-wide networking for CAS, was finalized with an agreement signed November 12, 2003, among CAS, the University of Illinois and Tyco Telecommunications, which is providing the U.S.-China and U.S.- Europe bandwidth across its Tyco Global Network.

"GLORIAD is an historic step in linking scientists and science resources of the three countries," said Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, president of the RRC Kurchatov Institute. "Through its advanced network and grid services, it will substantially improve the manner in which scientists, educators and students can work with and learn from each other on pressing issues of our day."

As the name suggests, Little GLORIAD is a first step towards a higher-speed network-GLORIAD, shorthand for Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development-that the three countries are jointly developing for a mid-2004 start. GLORIAD is proposed to be a 10-gigabit-per-second optical network around the entire northern hemisphere.

The U.S. leaders of the effort, Greg Cole and Natasha Bulashova of NCSA, have been operating U.S.-Russian NaukaNet for science and education collaboration for five years. SToday's announcement represents an important step in the development of the larger GLORIAD network," Cole said. "This new program should further enable our scientists and educators to better communicate and cooperate with each other."

The GLORIAD network will provide Chinese and Russian scientists, educators and students direct connectivity to an important common interconnection point for North American research and education networks including Internet2's Abilene, the National LambdaRail, CANARIE, NASA's networks and the Department of Energy's ESnet.

The GLORIAD project's partners also include SURFnet in Amsterdam, where an experimental exchange point into the European science and education community will be established at the NetherLight facility. In addition to links to the United States and Russia, this exchange point will enable new high-speed capabilities between Europe and Asia across the Russian science and education network.
NSF Program Officer: William Y. Chang, 703-292-8704, wychang@nsf.gov

Contacts: Greg Cole, NCSA, 703-248-0103, 865-384-3104, gcole@ncsa.uiuc.edu
Natasha Bulashova, NCSA, 703-248-0103, natashab@ncsa.uiuc.edu
Yan Baoping, CNIC, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 861062542294, ybp@cnic.ac.cn
Evgeny P. Velikhov, RRC Kurchatov Institute, 7-095-196-9241, 7- 095-206-38-52, epv@kiae.ru

NaukaNet: www.naukanet.org
Chinese Academy of Sciences: www.cas.ac.cn/english
RRC Kurchatov Institute: www.kiae.ru

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.3 billion. National Science Foundation funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The National Science Foundation also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly. For more information, visit www.nsf.gov.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a leader in developing and deploying cutting-edge highperformance computing, networking and information technologies. NCSA is a partner in the TeraGrid project, a National Science Foundation initiative to build and deploy the world's largest, fastest, most comprehensive, distributed infrastructure for open scientific research. For more information, visit www.ncsa.uiuc.edu.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was established in Beijing in November 1949, founded on the former Central Academia of Sciences. It is China's leading comprehensive research and development institution - organized into five Academic Divisions,108 scientific research institutes and with a total staff of over 58,000. It conducts research in basic and technological sciences; undertakes nationwide integrated surveys on natural resources and ecological and environment issues; provides the country with scientific data and advice for governmental decision-making, and undertakes government-assigned projects with regard to key S&T problems in the process of social and economic development; conducts personnel training; and promotes China's high-tech enterprises by its active involvement in these areas. The Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CNIC) is a subsidiary research institute of CAS, engaged mainly in the construction, operation and supporting service of informatization of CAS, R&D of computer network technology, database technology as well as scientific engineering computation.

The lead Russian institution, the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" is a nationwide complex of research facilities based in Moscow. Led by Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, it is under the direct authority of the Russian prime minister as a premier national research facility. The Institute has played a leading role in the development of the Russian Internet and continues to lead development of scientific and academic networking across Russia, supporting specific goals of increased United States and Russian scientific cooperation and the advancement of communications and infrastructure to support it. Dr. Velikhov, president of the Institute and a Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Science, is known for his research in plasma physics and controlled thermonuclear fusion. He has served as a top science adviser to all Soviet/Russian presidents since Leonid Brezhnev. Suggesting the likely educational services offered by the GLORIAD network, Dr. Velikhov has also been active for many years in various educational initiatives with Russian and American youth. He introduced Junior Achievement into Russia, which has witnessed the education of its two millionth child in the principles and practices of business management and the free market economy. For more information, visit www.kiae.ru and www.ja-russia.ru.

NSF Media Contact: David Hart, 703-292-7737 , dhart@nsf.gov
For Images contact: David Hart

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