Providing Your Faculty Global Access to the Instruments of Scientific Discovery


Presentation at the November 2004 ECAR Symposium. In the past 20 years, we have seen the establishment of the global Internet and the Web. We are now seeing the emergence of universal grid infrastructure, providing researchers from many disciplines interactive visual access to remote scientific instruments and enormous distributed data archives. Smarr believes this will induce another transition in campus infrastructure, perhaps on a larger scale than previously, due to the creation of optical networking "clear channels" or "lambdas" across the campus, state, nation, and globe whose entire bandwidth can be dedicated to a single campus researcher. In the United States, the backbone is the recently live National LambdaRail, which is linked to the international Global Lambda Integrated Facility. Smarr discusses examples of applications that require "personal lambdas" and reviews some of the research on how to couple these enormous data pipes across campuses to link into the clusters of individual laboratories.

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