ISU Headlines

ISU’s powerful Internet2, NLR network connections provide numerous benefits

Posted October 8, 2008

Idaho State University is well connected to the Internet, Internet2 and other information networks, and through partnerships with educational organizations is able to transfer mass quantities of information fast at low cost, benefiting the University immeasurably.

Partnering with the Utah Education Network and Front Range GigaPop enables Idaho State University to enjoy reduced costs, shared expertise, shared services and increased buying power of data transmission services on much larger scale than it could afford on its own.

“Being able to quickly transfer huge amounts of information via wide area networks is crucial to a University,” said Randy Gaines, chief information officer, ISU Information Technology Services. “We have had the foresight to insure we have that capability and will continue to in the future, even as our needs grow.”

Having access to Internet2 and the National Lambda Rail speeds up ISU’s online connectivity for file sharing and communication to other universities, including in-state institutions such as the University of Idaho and Boise State University.    

Idaho’s new $15 million National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant to study climate change in Idaho epitomizes the need for the Internet and National Lambda Rail infrastructure Idaho State University has invested in through its partnership with the Utah Education Network and Front Range GigaPop.

The NSF climate change grant requires the participating institutions (ISU, UI and BSU) to host statewide video-computer conferences for meetings of 50 researchers at six sites around the state on a regular basis.

To hold these conferences the researchers at the individual sites must share massive imaging data sets and do “real-time” collaboration analyzing, studying and observing them.

In addition, ISU’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center uses these network capabilities to mirror data with the University of Idaho.

“Without our Internet2 and NLR data transferring and computing capabilities these types of communications would be difficult,” Gaines said, “but with our capabilities it makes them routine.”

Idaho State University partners with the Utah Education Network, which gives ISU access to Internet2 and the National Lambda Rail. ISU is also a member of the Front Range GigaPop consortium of universities. Partnership with these entities keeps that information flowing at levels needed for a research-intensive university.

Internet2 is the foremost advanced networking consortium in the United States that was created in 1996 and led by the efforts of the research and education community. Internet2 was designed to provide the most advanced network capabilities and to provide unique partnership opportunities to develop and implement new uses of the Internet.

ISU has partnered with the Utah Education Network for more than 12 years to provide this global network access for ISU researchers.

The Utah Education Network is a consortium of public education partners, including the Utah System of Higher Education and its 10 universities and colleges, the Utah State Office of Education, local school districts and Utah’s Library system. The partners involved share the costs of having Internet2.

Then in 2003, access to the National Lambda Rail was added to the benefits to belonging to the Utah Education Network.

National Lambda Rail is owned and controlled by the U.S. research community and maintains a unique nationwide network infrastructure to meet the demands of its constituencies, allowing its member greater computing network power.

This partnership with the Utah Education Network also includes membership in the Front Range GigaPop and provides additional access to these high speed global networks.

 Participants in the Front Range GigaPop include Brigham Young University, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, University of Colorado-Denver, University of Utah, University of Wyoming and Utah State University.  

Services provided are mature and reliable as the The National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research provide the engineering and network operations center support for the Front Range GigaPop.

For more information on the Utah Education Network visit www.uen.org; on the Front Range GigaPop consortium visit www.frgp.net; on the National Lambda Rail visit www.nlr.net; and on the Internet2 visit www.internet2.edu.