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Next generation internet optical network for regional access using multi-wavelength protocols (NGI ONRAMP) is a pre-competitive consortium sponsored by DARPA. Its mission is to develop architectures, protocols, and algorithms for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM)-based regional access networks that will effectively support the NGI. A reconfigurable WDM test bed is being built to demonstrate some of the key thrusts of the consortium, including dynamic service provisioning and optical flow switching, service protection in the optical domain, medium access control protocols, and network control and management geared for the efficient transport of Internet traffic over WDM networks. The ONRAMP test bed will consist of a feeder network connecting via access nodes to distribution networks on which the end users reside. ONRAMP network reconfiguration is enabled by access nodes that contain both optical and electronic switching components, allowing data traffic to be routed all-optically through the network or to be switched and aggregated by electronic Internet protocol (IP) routers. This paper describes the goals and basic architecture of the ONRAMP test bed, as well as the design, construction, and characterization of the network access nodes. To illustrate test bed operation, we demonstrate optical flow switching over the test bed that achieves Gb/s throughput of TCP data between end user workstations.
Date of Publication: Dec 2000