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The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) projected that they the state of California can achieve greater heights if they give it a better and more improved internet. On April 9, CENIC announced that they had talked with the technology giants and are working on the same project and those partners are going to provide all the hardware and communication technology to create a more robust network for California known as CalREN-2 which would be high performance internet for the California. The high-speed networking hardware such as routing and switching equipment will be provided by Cisco System, Pacific Bell Communications.
California Research and Education Network (CalREN) is amongst the most powerful technology tool California has in its sleeves. The network infrastructure is a multitiered network with around 3,800 miles of fiber optic connecting over ten thousand educational and research institutes and universities like California State, Stanford, USC and community colleges to 58 counties of California. The CalREN system is completely owned and monitored by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), a non-profit organization which was established in 1996 by the various education and research communities from California to create a very high bandwidth and efficient solution to networking that would meet the needs of the faculty and all students which belong to these various schools and universities.
CalREN is completely monitored by the CENIC now and has new goals to achieve high quality video conferencing to the classes to let students receive high quality education in real-time at all levels even if the faculty is not currently present in the city, state or nation. This would also connect many scientists around the globe to this existing high bandwidth network. With CalREN, various artists could take live stream classes of the production house from institution like San Francisco Opera from any part of the world. The San Francisco would create an online video classes to students throughout the world and would share these libraries so that all the musicians could learn music via special software or any streaming media. Recently, Los Angeles has also been added to CalREN system in 2016.
The CalREN backbone provides various capabilities to the network as follows:
The Digital California is presented for everyday applications like video conferencing, emails, web browsing etc with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps to the students and faculty.
The High-Performance Research network which is used for applications with high data needs. This is a high-end network with a speed of 40Gbps.
The eXperimental/Developmental network is a support network to other services for network research in universities like University of Southern California, Advanced Computing Research at Caltech etc. This is to have a focused perspective on research and innovation on the network.
Â Â “Backbone image from, http://cenic.org/network/network-maps”
The Central Valley Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure Project (CVNGBIP):
The Central Valley Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure Project (CVNGBIP) was implemented to provide internet connectivity in 18 counties. Only 8% of the nation’s agricultural output is produced by the central valley. This kind of a strong and robust infrastructure network was implemented because central valley was still not completely connected to the internet.
This was possible because of a vision in mind “next generation connectivity” where people living in those counties can learn things in a different way leaving the traditional way of learning behind where people used to ask each other for tips and methods. This is when two organizations CENIC and Central Valley Independent Network (CVIN) came together forming a joint venture making this like a dream come true and provide a better future to the people. The service also aims to keep the cost of the internet service as low as possible to help the schools, universities hospitals etc. to take as much as profit they can.
The project was funded by NTIA (70%), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)’s CAS Fund (10%) and the rest form other parties and the total amount is to be estimated at around 66 million involving 1,371 miles of cabling and connecting businesses together.
California Library Initiatives:
There are various initiatives by the California libraries. Video conferencing, emailing, and public research to schools and colleges are enhancing the learning possibilities at higher level. Many benefits and innovative ideas are initiated at the Public libraries making them abundant possibilities to achieve more in the coming future. Therefore, merging these libraries with CalREN would be an addition to the feature and service provided in digital age where everything and everyone is connected.
Pacific Research Platform (PRP) initiative:
Pacific Research Platform (PRP) is an initiative carried forward by UC San Diego and Berkeley which would help the college network for data access to be much faster than it is today within a few years. There is also a 5 million dollars funding for the initiative from the National Science Foundation (NSF). this would help the PRP with this grant.
Quality of Service (QoS):
Quality of Service (QoS) is the service provided by the network service provider that would affect the overall accessibility of the computer while performing certain task related to the internet connectivity. It is generally used to measure overall network performance over few characteristics like bandwidth, transmission delay etc. CalREN is a very high bandwidth network that provides is vital services to various research institutes throughout California hence, making quality of service a very important aspect to CalREN system.
100 Gigabit Ethernet connections:
To achieve superfast speed for faster data travel, we need a higher capacity bandwidth. This is all possible by implementing and installing 100 Gigabit Ethernet connections that support lightning fast transmission over fibers or over the air. This is achieved with framerate of 100 gigabits per second bandwidth providing services to laboratories and research centers where there are supercomputers that can use this huge capacity bandwidth along other big facilities. A supercomputer in San Diego is using this speed and is connected to CalREN system.
Network Operations Center (NOC):
Network Operations Center is a building or a place where all the network connections are monitored, managed and if possible or need arises are also troubleshoot so that to avoid any possible chances of network failure or unavailability of the service. CalREN uses a multitiered network as we discussed earlier that allows access to many universities and research centers throughout California. This is where NOC would play important role in the system to manage and troubleshoot the network in any such cases.
Applications for CalREN:
On march 2006, at the CENIC workshop, iGrid showcased and important application of CalREN to the people. It was an experimental real-time broadcast of very high quality 4K video that was very much improved over our conventional televisions. They were also awarded networking innovation award.
There was an issue with the video over the internet protocol on the CalREN-DC network. To trouble shoot the problem they adapted the new codec for the video broadcast throughout the CalREN system. Since the new codec was transmitted through packets, high quality of service was a concern which can be overlooked if we use the CalREN system’s high speed network.
CalREN is supporting this project by providing high speed internet connections. K20 video is an adaptation of video conferencing technology throughout the state with the collaboration of all K12, University of California and California State University sites. This is achieved by improving the distance learning scheme by providing high quality video services to all the students and faculties.
End-sites connected to CalREN-DC network:
There are 34 end sites to the CalREN-DC network. Everyone are using optical fiber for their access technology. The capacity provided to the end-sites is more than sufficient as we can see that some of the sites are underutilized and need proper resource management as most of the resource are wasted.
End-sites connected to CVNGBIP network:
There are many things that are carried forward in the fields of health care, business and residential with more than 63000 access lines. they are also using optical fibers for their access technology.
SLA performance guarantees of CALREN:
The SLA performance guarantees are as of November 2006.
Implementing ticketing system to the educational institution with 99% availability. Various means of deployment would be assigned and operations to be performed to avoid outages. The jitter form central point to Los Angles for round-trip time should not be over 80 ms in 5 minutes. SLAs will be forced in all regions of network deployment such as fibers, routers etc. and use third party equipment to solve the problem.The problem can also be rectified by mailing to [email protected] to choose appropriate actions necessary.
All the performance guarantees seem reasonable as there is a definite time to resolve any issue and rectify the problem using the ticketing system that is very efficient everywhere in communications business.
Hierarchy in CalREN:
CalREN is a multitiered network with 3 tiers. CalREN-XD with experimental or developmental abilities, CalREN-HPR for big applications and CalREN-DC with 10gbps bandwidth for research institutes and video conferencing uses. The CalREN-DC would consist of 3 level hierarchy network as a final design. One will be hub sites following with level two as nodes sites and all these node sites connected to CalREN infrastructure where all the schools, colleges and universities will be connected to each other for information
The backbone locations for the CalREN are Corning, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Fergus, Sunnyvale, Fresno, Soledad, Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Los Angeles, Tustin, and San Diego.
Most of the sites are reasonable but Tustin could be dropped as it can share resources from either of the two Los Angeles or Riverside. In future, maybe we can add San Jose or Palo Alto as it is booming in I.T infrastructure and the data availability would be much more and easy to troubleshoot.
CSUEB to CalREN:
Following are the links that connect CSU East Bay to CalREN:
[eb-csu] 10G DF to svl-agg4 Te0/7/0/4.212 CLR 6378
[eb-csu] 10G DF to oak-agg4 Te0/4/0/7.208 CLR-6366
To take full advantage of the bandwidth we could start features like online classes where a student could also attend classes if he/she is sick and cannot be physically present at the lectures or this could be also helpful to the students who need accessibility services.
Also, keeping the bandwidth use in mind, we could also upload our video presentations over the network that could be asked to be rated or grades accordingly by our classmates.
Comparing CalREN2 with SoX:
Southern Crossroads (SoX) is an organization that provides high capacity internet service with global connectivity in Atlanta. It serves with internet2 to provide international research access.by the help of its supporters, SoX can implement a very low cost internet service in the whole Atlanta area. Comparing it to CalREN, SoX supports k-12 education as well as federal agencies in the united states. Similarly, CalREN is also powering research in various field in networking and development for the institutes.
The CalREN system is an excellent design and the robust characteristic makes it a strong and better solution to form of higher level learning with technology.
Few Strengths of CalREN is that the infrastructure is focused on various educational institutes and research facilities. Helping public libraries join CalREN is a brilliant step towards achieving that goals per the situation.
CalREN also has few weaknesses amongst itself. We have seen that the backbone supports the CalREN which is a good thing but most of the links are underutilized which can be improved drastically over a period. Few of the resources could also be shared among sites which are close to each other saving expensive resource.
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