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Rapid progress in deployment of national and regional optical network infrastructures holds the promise to provide abundant, inexpensive bandwidth to scientific communities. The expectation is that this will provide a catalyst for innovation across a range of eScience applications. However, there remains considerable architecture and research work in order to allow such applications to access a common shared high-speed infrastructure efficiently and flexibly. This paper presents an experimental solution currently being designed and tested over the Dynamic resource allocation via GMPLS optical networks (DRAGON) and the Internet2 hybrid optical and packet infrastructure (HOPI). This implementation provides deterministic network services to high-end eScience applications in the form of Ethernet "circuits" using GMPLS to dynamically provision user specific VLAN based configurations. This requires addressing several research issues associated with multi-layer networks, interdomain routing, signaling, and multi-constraint path computation. The larger vision is that of a shared infrastructure consisting of multiple network technology layers over which an intelligent control plane can provide for a unified service model. The instantiation described here of Ethernet over WDM provides an ideal platform for both experimental research and, real services, and a migration path to a production infrastructure.
Date of Conference: 23-29 April 2006