Internet2 Announces New Initiative to Accelerate Advanced Network Application Development

September 28, 1998

FOR RELEASE: Immediate
Joe Mambretti (Center Director)
Northwestern University

Internet2 Announces New Initiative to Accelerate Advanced Network Application Development

New Digital Video and Distributed Storage Initiatives to provide framework for new applications for research and education

San Francisco, CA, September 28, 1998 -- The Internet2 project today announced the Internet2 Middleware Initiative to accelerate the development of advanced network applications. As part of this new initiative, IBM will provide its state-of-the art high-speed storage devices to the Internet2 Distributed Storage Infrastructure initiative (I2-DSI). StorageTek, a new Internet2 corporate sponsor, as well as Cisco Systems, Sun and Novell will provide additional support for the I2-DSI. In addition, IBM will contribute a host of advanced supercomputer and video technology to the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) for the Internet2 Digital Video Network initiative (I2-IDV), which will develop and deploy advanced network technology to establish a national, higher education video network service.

"This partnership among academia and industry, and the tools deployed by the Internet2 Middleware Initiative, will enable advanced applications needed to support the research and education missions of higher education," said Douglas Van Houweling, president and CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), home of the Internet2 project.

"These initiatives highlight IBM's leadership in the development of advanced Internet technologies. These projects will serve as cornerstones in the effort to make truly advanced Internet applications a reality," said John Patrick, Vice President of Internet Technology at IBM Corporation.

The Internet2 Middleware Initiative will define a suite of enhanced network services that will serve as building blocks for the advanced research and education applications being developed at Internet2 universities. These services include digital audio and video frameworks, storage systems, security network quality of service, multicast, directories and others. The Internet2 project and its members will develop specific implementations based on standards set by existing organizations.

"The crucial importance and opportunities of Internet2, and related endeavors like Research TV and the I2-DVN partnership, reside in our collective ability to finally provide people with the ready access to the high quality content they need in their lives, education's and businesses, and to do that not only via web-augmented and expanded versions of traditional broadcast and cable TV channels, but also via the powerful array of approaches enabled via the advanced network capabilities being pioneered via Abilene and vBNS" said Professor Ron Johnson, Vice President and Vice Provost at the University of Washington in Seattle.

"The day when ubiquitous digital libraries and data-intensive applications span a national grid of powerful computers and massive data repositories has been brought closer by today's announcement," said Jack Dongarra, Distinguished Professor, Computer Science Department, and Director of the Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

"This industry university partnership will lead the way to dramatically more powerful Internet applications, such as revolutionary 21st Century digital video networks," said Joe Mambretti, Director, iCAIR.

"The real potential of the I2-DSI initiative is that it will facilitate access to information from anywhere at anytime using a more powerful Internet infrastructure," said Aloke Guha, VP Corporate Architecture, StorageTek.

The I2-DSI initiative will develop and refine advanced server system technology located throughout the network to store and deliver efficiently terabytes of data to users at any Internet2 campus. It was led by Dr. Micah Beck, Research Associate Professor and Dr. Terry Moore, Associate Director at University of Tennessee's Innovative Computing Laboratory, and by Dr. Bert Dempsey, Associate Professor of Information Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Corporate partners will help realize the Internet2 project's goal of making these new technologies widely available to the global Internet. I2-DVN is a collaborative effort among several high-performance network video initiatives at Internet2 institutions, including the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR), the Research TV Consortium, and the Southern University Research Association's (SURA) Southern Crossroads Video Initiative.

I2-DVN will establish a national, higher education video network service by developing scalable and easy-to-use applications to deliver live or stored streaming and interactive digital video. These applications will provide video quality comparable to high definition television. I2-DVN will gather, store and establish a means to license and distribute content for courses, informal lectures, documentaries, videoconferences among Internet2 member institutions and will dramatically reduce the cost of producing and distributing highly specialized content. Also, I2-DVN will develop archive and search capabilities for video libraries.

About Internet2
The Internet2 project is being led by 130 leading US universities, working with industry and government, to enable and facilitate the advanced network applications necessary to meet emerging needs in higher education. Internet2 participants are developing the broadband applications, engineering and network management tools for research and education. For more information on Internet2, a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), please visit

About IBM
IBM is the world's leading provider of information technology products and services and an Internet2 corporate partner. IBM creates, develops, and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. For more information about the company, please visit

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