by Garret Yoshimi
Over the last several years, ITS has built network connectivity and forged partnerships with various organizations, positioning the university and Hawaii as an important hub of educational and research networks that span the Pacific Basin. The most significant addition to the university's networks this year is a new link that connects Hawaii to Australia and the U.S. mainland at 10 gigabits per second through the SX-TransPORT project, a partnership between the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) and the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) (http://www.aarnet.edu.au/news/sxtransport.html). This will be a critical component of the UH “cyberinfrastructure” to support modern research.
On January 10, during pre-production activation of the new link, the university demonstrated Hawaii's first 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps, or billions of bits per second) connection outside the state when it conducted a remote microscopy session between the Lariat project participants meeting at the East-West Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus and the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) at the University of California at San Diego. The Lariat project network is being developed by the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) as part of a $10 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) award to Montana State University to enhance the capability for biomedical research in Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada, and Wyoming.
The capability of the link was demonstrated a second time between January 15 and 17 at the 27 th annual Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) 2005 conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. PTC is the longest running annual telecommunications meeting for the Pacific hemisphere. Demonstrations at PTC included e-learning applications from Canada, High Definition Television (HDTV) between Honolulu and Seattle at speeds of up to 270Mbps, and wireless Internet-based car racing technology from Japan that allowed remote control in real-time across the ocean.
This past June, UH engineers worked with their counterparts at AARNet and the PNWGP to complete the production activation of the university's connection to the SX-Transport. This allowed traffic to flow between the university and other institutions connected to Internet2 via the SX-TransPORT link. Initially, the university's “on-ramp” to the SX-TransPORT is built to support up to 1 Gbps of traffic at any time; this “on-ramp” can be upgraded when needed to support the full 10 Gbps traffic capacity of the SX-TransPORT.
The university's existing 155 Mbps links to the U.S. mainland and Australia will continue to operate and bear traffic, and will be available in addition to the SX-Transport. The university also operates another 155 Mbps link from UH to the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) in Tokyo, making Hawaii the current “best path” from Japan to Australia for research and education networking.