What is Internet2?
Over thirty years ago, the Internet began as the Arpanet, a government sponsored computer network for universities and the military. Today, the Internet has grown into a way of life with over 200 million people using the system worldwide (Hafner, 1999).
In 1996, led by the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), the Internet2 project was established to not only overcome the congestion caused by commercialization, but to provide a testing ground for advanced networking technology that will eventually be used with the current Internet (Jones, 1999).
Using the Abilene network as its backbone, Internet2 currently connects 176 universities and over 25 corporations, including Sun Microsystems and AT&T.
Faster and Better
While pursuing the goals of UCAID, Internet2 researchers have explored a number of new technologies for increasing both the speed and reliability of transmissions, including potentially memory hogging video and audio.
The first of these technologies involves the idea of multicasting. The idea behind this theory is to send out a single transmission of video or audio. This stream could be copied to other computers on the network without the need for each individual computer to request the data from the original server. Without the need for these repeated requests, network service can be greatly improved (Garner, 1999).
The second of these technologies helps to insure reliable service. Today, when using the regular Internet, transmissions are sent in what is called "best effort" packages. Using an Internet2 application, different packets of information can be assigned different priority levels for transmission. So, an email message that is low priority will arrive when it arrives, while a high priority video broadcast will arrive almost instantaneously (Garner, 1999).
SDSU Background Information
In July of 1997, CSU submitted a proposal for funding (CalREN-2) to The National Science Foundation (NSF) for access to the very high performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS). vBNS allows educators across the country to collaborate and share powerful computing and information resources. The proposal was coordinated by Dave Sharpe at SDSU and the Education Center, along with several other SDSU campus researchers
In February of 1998, SDSU was
added to the vBNS. (Grant#9729574