Public Release: 

NSF grant extends support for interconnecting national research networks

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation has awarded $2.5 million dollars to the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR) to continue technical, engineering and traffic analysis support to the high-performance networking and applications communities. The grant extends by one year NLANR's original three year cooperative agreement to support universities and institutions in connecting to the nation's research networks.

"Since being formed in 1997, NLANR has excelled at developing tools, providing training, supporting individual applications and offering network-usage information to researchers in computer science and scientific computing," said Thomas Greene, NSF senior program director in the Advanced Networking Infrastructure program. "These activities contribute to what is becoming known as 'Cyber-Infrastructure,' which incorporates more varied resources than just connectivity or computational power. NSF is pleased to support this and similar projects of such quality and focus."

NLANR is a collaboration of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC); the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). The partnership helps more than 170 NSF-funded High-Performance Connections sites connect to and use high-performance research network backbones like NSF's vBNS (very high performance Broadband Network Services).

NLANR develops software to help scientific users and network administrators, while designing analytical tools to help networks run smoothly. The NLANR staff works with researchers and staff at small- to mid-sized campuses and with commercial service providers, resulting in a broad impact on the networking and application communities. The award will be divided among the following three NLANR program teams:

  • The Distributed Applications Support team at the NCSA. This team helps researchers maximize performance of their distributed applications. The team works on networked applications that are computationally intensive, including distributed data mining and shared multimedia collaborative environments. The staff delivers training sessions around the country and demonstrate NLANR developed tools such as Iperf, Netlog, and Viznet.

  • The Engineering Services Team, a collaboration between the PSC and NCAR. This team provides engineering support for the integration and use of advanced network services between commercial providers and campus infrastructures, while optimizing end-to-end performance for applications over this integrated environment. NLANR network engineers also develop tools, such as Traffic Analysis and Automatic Diagnosis (TAAD), to help improve network performance. The team offers the NLANR On-Site program that provides courseware and hands-on training tailored for network engineers and disciplinary scientists.

  • The Measurement And Network Analysis Team, based at SDSC. This team has created a network-analysis infrastructure by deploying both active and passive measurement devices at more than 100 locations across the networks. The team's products include statistical tools for analyzing and visualizing traffic patterns. Working with performance and flow measurements, the staff use packet information to develop service models and measure network efficiency.

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Program contact: Tom Greene 703-292-8950/tgreene@nsf.gov. For more information, see: http://www.nlanr.net/. For more information about ANIR, see: http://www.cise.nsf.gov/anir/. Additional press contacts: Sean Fulton, PSC (412-268-7141/sfulton@psc.edu). Mike Gannis, SDSC (858-534-5143/mgannis@sdsc.edu). Karen Green, NCSA (217-265-0748/kareng@ncsa.edu).

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