CMU and networking technologies

Published : May 27, 2000 00:00 IST


CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY (CMU) and its institutes have been at the cutting edge of networking technologies. CMU was one of the early participants in ARPANET, the precursor of Internet. Similarly, it is an active participant in a number of next-generati on Internet initiatives, including Internet2, vBNS, and SuperNet. These projects have a broad range of support, including government, technology industry and telecommunications companies. One such project within the SuperNet initiatives, where CMU is act ive, is the High-Speed Connectivity Consortium (HSCC), which holds the "land speed-record" for data transmission. This was the first group to demonstrate transcontinental gigabit connectivity end-to-end. This is superior to what many communications compa nies offer, which is gigabit connectivity in aggregate. In this project, CMU has partnered with government, technology companies, telecommunications providers, and a few universities. (Incidentally, CMU is one of the few, if not only, institutions with c onnectivity to both Internet2 and SuperNet). These next-generation Internet initiatives, which have governmental support, are broad collaborations involving industry, educational institutions and research institutions. These are important not only for de velopment of technologies and their deployment, but the development of applications and newer protocols. It is one thing to have high-bandwidth backbones, but another to utilise them effectively for content and applications. This is a field where CMU has done pioneering work, such as live multicast of lectures, on-demand audio/slides for lectures and very large-scale on-demand high quality audio. Some of the newer technologies and protocols that these networks usher in include quality of service (QoS), IPv6 and multicast.

Other experience that CMU has include:

* Was the first to create and introduce an all-campus, fibre-based communication network in 1984-85;

* Was part of the U.S. Gigabit Testbed from 1991-94;

* Carnegie Mellon was one of the founders of PREPNET, which was one of the earliest (if not the earliest) Internet Service Provider to Pennsylvania universities. This was operated by Carnegie Mellon employees for approximately eight years;

* Provides high-performance engineering and support for users of many next-generation Internet projects, helping them realise and utilise high bandwidth;

* CMU is currently a global leader in campus-wide wireless networks (wireless Ethernet).

CMU was recently named the most wired (networked) campus in the U.S. by Yahoo!, based on infrastructure, services and support. This was based on their exhaustive 52-part survey covering over 3,600 American institutions.

As told to R. Ramachandran
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