April 08, 2005
A ceremony on Saturday, April 2, 2005, in Tokyo, Japan, inaugurated TransPAC2, a high-speed international Internet service connecting research and education networks in the Asia-Pacific to those in the US. TransPAC2 is the 5-year continuation of the highly successful TransPAC project and will further National Science Foundation (NSF) efforts to provide fundamental network infrastructure to support international e-science collaborations among researchers worldwide.
Peter Freeman, National Science Foundation Assistant Director for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, and Indiana University Vice President for Research and Information Technology Michael McRobbie participated in signing the agreements on behalf of the United States.
"Cyberinfrastructure is truly global, it knows no national boundaries and in many fields the best research can only be done in a global context. Thus TransPAC2 is a vital component of the global cyberinfrastructure as it links research and education networks in the Asia-Pacific - the fastest growing economic region in the world, to research and education networks in the US," said McRobbie.
James Williams, Principal Investigator at Indiana University for the TransPAC2 project, said, "We have seen an exponential growth in digitally enabled science and research collaboration between the US and Asia-Pacific since TransPAC began in 1998. TransPAC2 is a critical component in support of these kinds of collaborations. It enables scientists and researchers to form virtual international workgroups to successfully tackle difficult computational challenges and data exchange."
TransPAC2 is part of the NSF's International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program. The NSF and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan will continue funding TransPAC2. The NSF will fund TransPAC2 for $1M per year for five years (SCI-0441096). NICT funding will provide additional support in Asia.
The TransPAC2 network is managed in the US by Indiana University's Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC) and in Japan by KDDI. KDDI America is providing the Los Angeles to Tokyo circuit.
Co-Principal Investigator for TransPAC2 is Douglas Van Houweling, President and CEO of Internet2. Van Houweling said, "Internet2 members will benefit greatly from the continued support by the NSF and NICT of this key network connection to the Asia-Pacific. High capacity international connections such as TransPAC2 enable further scientific discovery and accelerate the advances of research, teaching, and learning."
TransPAC2 will more than double the previous capacity of TransPAC (to 10Gbps) while decreasing in cost. In addition, plans for TransPAC2 include an intra-Asia backbone network connection from Tokyo to Hong Kong and a connection to Singapore, enabling researchers along these paths to connect to TransPAC2. The intra-Asia backbone network fulfills a key objective of the NSF to enhance the opportunities of researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to connect to collaborators in the US.
As a vehicle for encouraging collaborations between groups in the US and the Asia-Pacific, TransPAC had notable success. By participating in and supporting the growth of new research communities such as Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA), Global Grid Forum, and Asia-Pacific Grid (ApGrid), TransPAC2 will leverage the infrastructure investments made in the network. The idea that science depends on global collaborations and that these collaborations depend on international, reliable, high-speed networking and advanced networking services is borne out in the formation of such communities as PRAGMA and ApGrid. PRAGMA is an open, international initiative to establish sustained collaborations and advance the use of the computational grid among a community of investigators at the leading research institutions around the Pacific Rim.
For more information about TransPAC2, visit: http://www.transpac.org
For more information about the Indiana University Global NOC, visit: http://globalnoc.iu.edu
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