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December 04, 2008

Internet 2 - in research since 1996

"Internet Evolution" (sponsored by IBM) have a very cool and information (and thorough) article on Internet 2.  We talk a lot about web 2.0/3.0 but rarely about Internet 1.0/2.0.  We need the Internet to work properly otherwise there is no www.  The Internet is as Roger Smith puts it "running out of gas", because of all the new devices that need to be supported.  

It's a long article so as usual in these cases, I'm going to give you the main points:

  • The Internet 2 project was founded in 1996 by 34 researchers in a hotel
  • It's run by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development
  • It uses protocols like IPv6 to access the huge number of new URL address space, middleware and security capabilities and also things like high-definition videoconferencing.
  • It doesn't just mean a faster web, but allowing networking that hasn't been possible so far such as digital libraries, virtual laboratories, distance and independent learning, and health applications.
  • CERN's  Large Hadron Collider for example will benefit by allowing more efficient testing. It will produce about 2 terabytes of data every 4 hours every 2 weeks - lots of Internet 2 researchers will participate in this research
  • Live video is another area that will benefit: "Live video is encoded into DVD-quality MPEG-2 and sent at an average rate of 6 Mbit/s to the University of California, Santa Cruz. It then travels over Internet2 networks to the University of Connecticut and to the Mystic Aquarium."
  • The internet 2 K20 Initiative extends Internet2 to all levels in education and has led to Muse, which is a socila networkfor librarians, students, researchers to connect.
  • The Internet2’s DCN initiative which provides loads of bandwidth on demand and could computing go hand in hand
  • "Although these initiatives would most likely affect commercial services such as television delivery, not academic research, Internet2 opposes tiered schemes because they would allow network operators to restrict Internet users or applications in order to give an advantage to their own services."
  • It could spur on economic growth like more than the current Internet ever has.
We should be keeping track of Internet 2 and taking notice, be it, Internet professionals, researchers, scientists and the general public.  Read more about it at Internet 2, and check out wikipedia for a low-down.

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