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National LambdaRail and Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership: CNS Anchoring Development of Terascale Infrastructure Development for the State

Relying on Communication Network Services (CNS) and Network Infrastructure and Services (NI&S) for technical, executive, and project management support, Virginia Tech is playing a key role for development of the latest advanced network infrastructure initiatives at the national and regional levels.

The National LambdaRail (NLR, is a collaborative effort among the nation's leading high performance research computing and communications organizations to build and operate a national optical network system dedicated to "big science" and network technology research.

The Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership (MATP, is a consortium of research institutions in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia formed to promote the research competitiveness of the region through collaborative development of terascale computational and network insfrastructure.

National LambdaRail, Inc.

Virginia Tech through it's Foundation (VTF) is a founding Class A Member of the National LambdaRail with explicit responsibility to facilitate access to NLR for research institutions in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. In order to effect implementation of NLR and to facilitate access, VTF licensed NLR network access rights and responsibilities to Communications Network Services with a charge to carry out all tasks necessary to ensure the success of the initiative. CNS employees are participating with all facets of NLR design, engineering, and operations. CNS will ensure campus network facilities and regional access networks continue to receive technology enhancements to enable researchers, educators, and students at Virginia Tech to take full advantage of the capabilities of NLR as they develop. CNS will provide support to university research efforts accordingly.

From the NLR web site: "National LambdaRail (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications.

NLR aims to catalyze innovative research and development into next generation network technologies, protocols, services and applications.

NLR puts the control, the power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of our nation’s scientists and researchers."

Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership

Virginia Tech initiated the founding of the Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership in conjunction with the University of Virginia and Old Dominion University in order to 1) carry out the commitment to facilitate access to the NLR for institutions in the region and 2) to create a venue to promote emerging, collaborative "GRID" models for distributed, high performance computing in support of research. The purpose of MATP is to promote the research competitiveness of institutions in the region with the intent to accomplish the following:

• Provide a forum for cooperation among participating institutions to implement terascale research computational and communication infrastructure reaching participating institutions in the region to support research requirements described in the Cyberinfrastructure report published by the National Science Foundation (

• Support a National Lambdarail (NLR) node location in the Washington DC metropolitan area and facilitate use of NLR for research.

• Cooperate for implementation of state and regional optical research network infrastructure connecting participating institutions to one another and to the NLR initially with multiple 10 Gbps channel capability and ultimately capable of scaling to terabit capacity.

• Collaborate where appropriate to establish Teragrid infrastructure by acquiring and combining computational and storage resources and to pursue related research funding opportunities.

CNS is serving as the operation agent for MATP providing technical and management services in support of the organization. By joining MATP, each participating institution gains a share of the NLR rights and responsibilities afforded CNS through the use agreement with the Virginia Tech Foundation. CNS serves as the pivot point between MATP and NLR.

Through direct, aggressive support for the National LambdaRail and the Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership, Communications Network Services is playing a crucial role supporting the research competitiveness of Virginia Tech and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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