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IU-led TransPAC network helps launch world's first 100G international research, education link in Asia

High-speed network enables faster collaboration on issues affecting humanity: weather/climate studies, healthcare and biomedical sciences, robotics, and more

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—TransPAC, an Indiana University-managed network that connects researchers in the U.S. to their counterparts in Asia, is once again at the heart of a collaboration to support discovery around the globe.

Last month, several collaborating networks (the Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and Singapore’s National Supercomputing Centre) announced the launch of the world’s first 100G international research and education link in Asia, connecting Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

 

By joining forces in this way, we’re better able to support science and discovery in our community and help provide improved science outcomes for researchers in the United States and in Asia.

Andrew Lee, TransPAC co-PI, associate director for International Networks at Indiana University

This link, together with resources from TransPAC, PacificWave, Internet2, Japan’s National Institute of Informatics, and the WIDE Project, enables the research and education community to complete a first-of-its-kind ring network, the Asia Pacific Ring, across the Pacific between Asia and North America. TransPAC engineers operate, support and manage the Seattle to Tokyo portion of the network, known as the Asia Pacific Ring (APR).

By bridging the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific, the new link help scientists and researchers make faster discoveries in a wealth of areas, including weather/climate studies, advanced manufacturing and engineering, healthcare and biomedical sciences, robotics/AI, machine-learning, big data analytics, and precision engineering.

“The APR collaboration is a big advance for research and education networking in Asia. By joining forces in this way, we’re better able to support science and discovery in our community and help provide improved science outcomes for researchers in the United States and in Asia,” said Andrew Lee, TransPAC co-principal investigator and associate director for International Networks at Indiana University.

TransPAC got its start in 1998, when current IU President Michael A. McRobbie was IU vice president for information technology, CIO and vice president for research. He served as principal investigator for the initial grant, funded by a five-year, $10 million award from the National Science Foundation. In 2015, IU received a new $4.8 million National Science Foundation grant to continue planning, operation, engineering support and management of TransPAC – the fourth consecutive grant of its kind awarded to IU.

The high-speed networking community got a look at the new network last year at SC17, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis held November 12-17 in Denver. There, attendees learned about Massively Multi-Connection File Transfer Protocol (MMCFTP), a new file transfer protocol designed for big data sharing of advanced research projects and data intensive science. Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology tested MMCFTP’s data transfers over the Asia Pacific Ring.