Internet2 - NetLingo The Internet Dictionary: Online Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms, Acronyms, Text Messaging, Smileys ;-)

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  1. What is Internet2
  2. Will Internet2 build a new or private network to replace the current Internet?
  3. How will Internet2 be different from the current Internet?
  4. Why are universities taking the lead in Internet2?
  5. What sorts of other organizations are involved with Internet2?
  6. How can I join or connect to Internet2?

1) Q: What is Internet2?

A:  Internet2-also known as I2-is a collaborative effort joining over 100 U.S. universities.  A primary goal of Internet2 is to develop the next generation of computer network applications to facilitate the research and education missions of universities.  At each of the member universities a team of developers and engineers is working to develop and enable Internet2 applications.  At the same time, each team coordinates its efforts with similar teams at other Internet2 universities.

Leading universities see advanced networking as critical to their teaching and research missions.  Internet2 provides the framework for them to work together.  The project will simultaneously push the leading edge of multimedia broadband networking, and help meet the growing production requirements of member universities.  I2 is also working with computer networking corporations and non-profit organizations to ensure that the developments of Internet2 are used to improve all computer networks, including the existing Internet. Internet2 provides a framework for developing the tools-the applications and the network-necessary to connect member universities. Internet2 is based on developing leading edge applications such as tele-immersion, digital libraries, and virtual laboratories.  Network engineering will be developed as necessary to enable these applications.

2) Q: Will Internet2 build a new or private network to replace the current Internet?

A:  Internet2 will not replace the current Internet, nor is it a goal of Internet2 to build a new network.  Initially, Internet2 will make use of existing national networks, such as the National Science Foundation's very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS).  Eventually, Internet2 will use other high speed networks to connect all of its members to each other and to other research organizations.  Part of the Internet2 mission is to assure that the technology-both software and hardware-is based on open standards and is available to be adopted by others, including commercial network and Internet service providers. Internet2 will not replace current Internet services for members, other organizations, or individuals.  Member institutions have pledged to use existing Internet services for all network traffic that is not related to Internet2.  Other organizations and individuals will continue to use the existing Internet services from commercial providers for applications like e-mail, the World Wide Web, and newsgroups.  Internet2 will provide the means to demonstrate the next generation of computer network applications and engineering that can be used to advance existing networks.

3) How will Internet2 be different from the current Internet?

A: Aside from the much faster networks that will be used by Internet2, the applications developed will utilize a whole set of network tools that do not currently exist.  For example, one of these tools is commonly known as "Quality-of-Service" guarantees.  Currently, all information on the Internet is given about the same priority as it is passed along the network from one computer to another.  Quality-of-Service would allow applications to request a specific amount of bandwidth or priority for themselves.  This would allow two computers running an application like tele-immersion to communicate at the high speeds required for real-time interaction.  At the same time, an less network intensive application like the World Wide Web would need only use the connection speed necessary for it to operate smoothly. It is important to realize that the difference in speed will provide much more than just a faster World Wide Web.  It is envisioned that the 100 to 1,000 times faster network will enable applications that will change the way people work and interact through computers.  Applications like tele-immersion and digital libraries will change the way people use computers to learn, communicate and collaborate.  Perhaps the most exciting possibilities are those that have yet to be imagined and will be developed in the course of Internet2.

4) Q:  Why are universities taking the lead in Internet2

A:  Universities are uniquely qualified to play a major role in pursuing the of goals Internet2 because they encompass both the demand for the types of applications Internet2 will develop and the supply of talent needed to implement the project.  University leading-edge research and education missions increasingly require collaboration of personnel and hardware located at campuses throughout the country.  These are exactly the types of tasks Internet2 applications seek to enable. At the same time, the pool of computer-networking talent and expertise at Internet2 member universities is unsurpassed.  Universities have had a long history of developing advanced research networks and putting them to work. This combination of needs and resources provides a perfect setting for developing the next generation of computer network.

5) Q:  What sorts of other organizations are involved with Internet2?

A:  To ensure the goal of transferring I2 technology to the general networking world is met, and to tap the vast pools of expertise that lie outside the university, Internet2 is working with federal government agencies, private corporations and non-profit organizations that have experience and know-how developing computer networks.  These organizations provide Internet2 members with resources and expertise in addition to those on their own campuses.  Moreover, they provide a channel to the project for the types of considerations that will have to be taken into account for I2 technology to migrate to broader-based and commercial networks.

6) Q: How can I join or connect to Internet2?

A:  If you are part of a university, a non-profit organization involved in networking, or a corporation interested in becoming involved in Internet2, you should review the membership information available on this web site as a first step.  As an individual, you can sign up for an electronic newsletter that will provide you with the latest I2 happenings.  As a member of the press, you can register to receive Internet2 news releases. Internet2 is a research and education network that joins teams at member institutions.  Connecting to Internet2 in the way a person connects with the Internet through an Internet Service Provider or through a company network isn't possible.  Internet2 is not simply a separate or private network that requires a special dial-up connection.  It won't provide a link to things like the World Wide Web or email.  The developments made possible by Internet2 will, however, soon find their way into nearly every computer network, including the Internet.  The applications and hardware provided by Internet2 will transform the way people work with computers and with each other.

Internet2 is a project of the Unversity Corporation for Advanced Internet Development
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