Access Grid Node connection to Internet 2?

Bill Nickless nickless at
Wed Aug 23 13:24:31 CDT 2000


At 11:29 AM 8/23/2000 -0600, Stewart, Corbin J wrote:
>Our group is in the process of putting together an access grid node and we
>were wondering what Internet 2 network we need to connect with to be part of
>the access grid node community.  Our research points to either Abilene or
>ESnet.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Either ESNet or Abilene support Access Grid activities.  Both of these 
networks support native IP Multicast service, which is what the Access Grid 
nodes require.

Our experience has been that local site support for IP multicast has been a 
gating factor for the majority of Access Grid node deployments.  That is, 
the wide area networks are able to support IP multicast, but the site 
networks have required upgrades or reconfiguration to turn it on.

To get a head start on this problem, NLANR has developed an IP Multicast 
Beacon.  Point your web browser to

for more information on this tool, as well as for the free download.  It is 
written in Java, and we have successfully run it on systems ranging from 
Windows 95 through Origin 2000s.  It is a standard piece of the Access Grid 
software distribution.  I strongly recommend that you start an IP Multicast 
Beacon running in the room where you expect to install an Access Grid node, 
preferably connected to the same network jack.

When you do install the Beacon software, the default configuration as 
distributed will cause your information to show up on

This web page can be shared with your network people so that they can 
observe the efficacy of network changes and upgrades.  Thus, you should 
leave the Beacon running continuously so that it can reflect fixes made 
over time.

Once you get your Beacon going, please consider me a resource for assisting 
you and your local networking people with IP multicast deployment.  I have 
the scars from deploying IP multicast for Access Grid nodes at several 
institutions, including Dine' college in Shiprock NM near Four Corners.  I 
am partially funded by the NCSA Alliance to support Access Grid deployment, 
and am willing to do whatever I can do (up to and including traveling to 
your site) to assist with the IP multicast deployment.

I'm happy to say that we have been able to successfully deploy IP multicast 
at every site where we've tried, given a few days and proper introductions 
to the networking people.  This is very "do-able", especially if we get 
started on it now while you're getting your Access Grid node procured and 
Bill Nickless      +1 630 252 7390
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