The National Science Foundation-funded project to develop network support services for Next
Generation Internet (NGI) is currently being tested by
members of the CalREN-2 university research and education network.
The California Institute of Technology, California State University, Stanford
University, University of California and University of Southern
California will be among the first to explore applications using the
OC-48 connection linking Los Angeles and San Francisco. The network currently
supports about 80 universities and five supercomputer systems.
Developed in October 1994, vBNS has become and integral technology
supporting the development of next-generation network architecture. MCI WorldCom and the NSF will provide
intensive bandwidth network architecture to power research applications
including distributed virtual environments, imulation caves
that simulate shared 3-D environments and graphically rich geological
vBNS currently sets the pace and protocols for next generation
Internet networks. MCI WorldCom plans to continue to migrate backbone
segments of vBNS throughout 1999 to create a pure IP over SONET
“This is an important milestone in support of next generation
Internetworking,” said Vint Cerf, MCI
WorldCom’s senior vice president of Internet architecture and technology.
“vBNS supports the exploration of advanced applications by the research and
education community, some of which may one day become commonplace on the
public Internet. This upgrade allows experimentation with applications
involving multicast, IP version 6, and Quality of Service classes at the
high speeds supportable with 2.5 gigabit/second OC-48 trunking.”
MCI WorldCom has deployed Juniper Networks M40 routers to power
the OC-48 trunks and to allow use of next-generation Multi Protocol Label
Switching technology in place of its current Asynchronous Transfer
Mode layer 2 architecture. The M40 Internet backbone router operates
at wire rate performance at OC-48 speeds, ensuring that vBNS can scale to
meet the unusual demands of the research and education community.
“We are very pleased to see this increased capacity in the vBNS backbone,”
said David Wasley, project director for the Corporation for Education
Network Initiatives in California.
“Members of our CalREN-2 network will now be able to fully
utilize their high speed connections to the vBNS. The new high performance
applications we are developing will demonstrate the importance of this
capability as part of the Internet2 work in which we are engaged.”
MCI WorldCom utilized existing fiber optic networks to attain OC-48 speeds.
The company has different colors to light up existing fiber to increase
“We’ve only just begun to mine the existing colors of light available on fiber,” Cerf said.
MCI WorldCom is publicly displaying the capabilities of the new vBNS
network capability with continuous network tests and results here.