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Grid

European potentials emphasised at workshop
on Grid Middleware

E urope is well positioned for building up its lead in grid computing but needs to ensure a continued dynamic environment that stimulates innovation coupled with more efficient approaches for commercial exploitation. That was the main message at the Workshop entitled Delivery of industrial-strength Grid Middleware , held by Information Society and Media Directorate-General on 21 January 2004.

The workshop brought together key industrial players and representatives from research networks and centres to discuss the way forward for European software for Grids. Grid Systems - the sharing of information and processing resources between networked computers- are considered to be potentially one of the major growth areas in the future software and service industry. The European Union has made it one of the Strategic Objectives in the Information Society Technologies (IST) priority of the latest research programme - the 6th Framework Programme. High-quality middleware is a crucial component in grids as the layer that links together sharable resources and applications on different computers.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss how EU actions and research can better support the development of middleware to run distributed applications with low installation and maintenance costs, which is reliable and secure enough for businesses and industry to exploit. The need to address industrialisation of grid software was stressed at the workshop. Several speakers highlighted the potential benefits of open source software development of grids and participants underlined the need to allow co-existence of different licensing schemes to maximise innovation.

The high-speed European Research infrastructure was also seen as providing a possibility to test and deploy Grid software. The importance of standards in the international context was discussed and the role of industry was recognised as paramount in this respect. Active strategies for multilateral co-operation with third countries, either developing or industrialised, were as well deemed to be required. The workshop participants recommended that the Commission launches working groups addressing the issues identified through, for example, specific support actions to be submitted in response to the next IST Call for proposals.

B its & P ieces

L iving next door to ALICE

The ALICE project ( América Latina Interconectada con Europa , @LIS Action 4) partners’ meeting was organised on 27-28 November 2003 in San José de Costa Rica. The initiative to hold this meeting in the Centro Nacional de Alta Tecnología de San José was taken by the representative of Costa Rica in the project, i.e. the Red Nacional de Investigación Avanzada which is supported by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología . Fifteen from the eighteen Latin American countries were represented in the meeting showing continued active involvement of the ALICE partners in the project.

The interconnection of the LA-EU research networks is expected to become operational by spring 2004. The official launch will be carry out during the High Level Information Society Forum that will be organised also under the @LIS Programme to prepare a contribution to the EU-LA Heads of State and Government Summit (27-28 May Mexico). http://www.dante.net/

TEIN 2

The TEIN2 Information Day took place in Brussels on 14 January and was jointly organised by the Information Society and Media Directorate-General, the EuropeAid Co-operation Office and the External Relations Directorate-General of the European Commission and DANTE. More than 40 government officials and experts from ASEM partners, research institutes, national and international network organisations have participated in this meeting. The next TEIN 2 meeting is expected to be held in Kuala Lumpur in May 2004. ( http://www.transeurasia.org )

N ews . . . News . . . News . . .

IPv6

Smart House & Home Networking with IPv6

P ress Release - Brussels, January 7

The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization ( CENELEC ) and the IPv6 Forum have joined forces to promote each other’s essential technologies in deploying IPv6 and Smart Home-based applications and architecture concepts across Europe. Forum members will jointly benefit from this awareness and dissemination initiative in sharing essential knowledge in their key events and seeking and designing joint research projects.

CENELEC in collaboration with the European Commission and the ICT Standards Board (ICTSB) has been working for quite a long time on the Smart House concept. Now that the concept is maturing and interest from the Consumer and Industry is rising, the challenge is more to help the convergence of the different initiatives in a structured and coherent way for the benefit of the European citizen. The role of Standardization is very important here. And IPv6 will facilitate the broad development of Home Networking,
states Mrs. Elena Santiago, Director General of CENELEC.
Very pleased to convince CENELEC to join the IPv6 Forum call for action with just one single email. This speaks for CENELEC’s prompt vision of the future home. CENELEC’s embracing of new Internet technologies will unleash largest-scale deployment of new smart home models, arming its members with a hotbed of innovation and invention for next generation applications still to uncover,
emphasizes Latif LADID, Chair IPv6TF, Internet Society Trustee and President of the IPv6 Forum.

CENELEC launches SMARTHOUSE project
CENELEC announces the launch of a project supported by the EU Commission to develop a SMARTHOUSE Code of Practice. The SMARTHOUSE Code of Practice will be aimed at delivering in one document, recommendations for the best practice in equipping, communicating with, and providing services to the Smart House of the future.

It will not in itself be a new standard but will be designed so that it makes recommendations and reference to the Standards, Specifications, Networks, Protocols and Methodologies that should be used in order to build, equip and inform the Smart House. IT will aim to ensure that there is interaction and interoperability of all the elements in the house and in the delivery of applications and services to the House. It is intended the SMARTHOUSE Code of Practice shall be the definitive document for Europe and potentially world-wide.

It is intended that the work of editing the Code of Practice will involve all the relevant organisations that are stakeholders in the Smart House environment. These include:

  • All the relevant standards and specifications organisations such as ETSI, CEN, CENELEC, and their Technical Committees (such as CLC TC205, TC215...)
  • Industry Groups and Associations (such as AIE, CECED, DHWG, EICTA, EURESCOM, EHTEL, OSGi, IHA, KONNEX, TAHI...)
  • Equipment Sector Groups (such as Alarms, Powerline, RF.)
  • Links to emerging standards in EU Framework Programme Projects (such as TEAHA, @HOM, Future Home... through COPRAS)
  • Specific work in areas such as IPv6 and other W3 activities and work on Smart Houses and Future Homes in EU states
The SMARTHOUSE Code of Practice will be of use to every one involved in the Home:
  • The Citizen who will have reliable equipment, services and systems
  • The Manufacturer, Installer, Service Provider, Network Operator, Builder, Architect and tradesman who will all have a recommended and pragmatic set of standards for Europe with which to apply new technology in the Smart House of the future
CENELEC is now calling all interested parties to declare their interest in this definitive work. The target is to deliver the first SMARTHOUSE Code of Practice by the end of 2005 as part of the e-Europe 2005 initiatives. Thereafter, it is expected there will be an annual revision and update of the Code to ensure it remains at the forefront of technological advance.

IPv6

First European vendor in Internet
access technology certified IPv6-Ready

P ress Release - Paris, January 21, 2004.

6WIND  announced today the certification of their IPv6-ready gateway technology for the company's flagship product, 6WINDGateTM, by the IPv6 Forum. This certification places them as one of the only two European vendors, with Nokia (NYSE: NOK), to have passed the multiple interoperability tests set by the Forum's global qualification program.

The announcement follows the recent press conference given by European Commissioner, Erkki Liikanen, for the Global IPv6 Service Launch in Brussels last week. 6WIND Chairman, Patrick Cocquet, a spokesperson at the conference, stated that the company's flagship product has been commercially deployed for multiple users and applications in France. 6WIND is therefore among the key players, setting an example and leading the way in effecting large scale deployment on IPv6 today.

Mr Cocquet said:
we are honoured to be recognized for our innovative technology and leadership in the area of IP networking, particularly in IPv6-related deployments. This certification reinforces what our customers already realize. Our network solutions were designed and built from day one to enable smooth interoperability and transparency in the deployment of richer IP features and services across IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
He added that the 6WINDGateTM is already powering networks to benefit from improved secure access, WLAN, mobility and simpler network management applications, thanks to its advanced features. It will just be a matter of time before the 6WINDGateTM receives full certification following the program's Phase II test plan which will cover security, mobility, and multicasting.

For more information on the IPv6-Ready Program visit http://www.ipv6ready.org/pdf/IPv6Ready_GetReady.pdf and http://www.ipv6ready.org/first_relese.html

Security

Security for the Next Generation Internet

P ress Release - Paris, January 19, 2004.

New European Project to lead the eEurope Initiative on security and privacy issues
The European Commission has signed a research agreement for a two year project Security Expert Initiative (SEINIT) with a European consortium of 13 partners, including the ‘Internet Society’ (ISOC), to address the issues of security and privacy and next generation Internet based on the Internet protocol IPv6. The SEINIT project, funded by the European Union and Switzerland with 5M€ and co-ordinated by Thales, will develop a trusted and dependable security framework, ubiquitous, working across multiple devices and heterogeneous networks, being organisation independent (inter-operable) and centred around an end-user. In particular, SEINIT defines innovative security models and policies to address the new issues of the pervasive computer world.

SEINIT is the first project in the 6th Research & Development Framework Programme of the European Union that would delve into the security challenges posed by the advent of Ambient Intelligence.

Thanks to the complementary skills of its partners, and to their high commitment and dedication, it would pave the way for key European researchers to develop the security technologies, architecture, models and policies needed to fully reap the benefits of Ambient Intelligence,
said Gerald Santucci, Head of the Unit Trust and Security in the Directorate General Information Society that partially funds the project.

Thales Group’s Technical Director Deputy, François Magne, said:
Thales is very proud to have been chosen to lead this high-level consortium. This projects highlights, on a European level, Thales capacities in the field of national and collective security, which are bundled in the recently announced Thales SHIELD TM concept. SEINIT research & Thales SHIELD TM developments will enhance each other to provide best-in-breed security solutions to worldwide corporations and governments.
The European IPv6 Task Force welcomes the project SEINIT as a major pillar in the roadmap of validation and deployment of new security models for IPv6, driving security from a showstopper status to a new business and communication enabler.
commends Latif Ladid, Chairman European IPv6 Task Force.

The consortium partners of SEINIT are: Thales Communications (France - Coordinator), 6WIND (Fr), BT (UK), ENST (Fr), IABG (Ge), Kyos (CH), T-Systems (Ge), Telscom (CH), Thales Research and Technology (UK) Ltd, University College London (UK), University of Murcia (ES), Waterford Institute of Technology (IRL), and ISOC (Int’l).

For further information, please contact the project coordinator Thales at:
Web site: http://www.seinit.org

International

Pacific Wave to be first extensible
international peering collaboration

P ress Release - Honolulu, January 26, 2004.

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) have agreed to cooperate in a joint project to create, deploy, and operate an advanced, extensible peering facility along the entire Pacific Coast of the U.S.

The implementation of this novel international peering facility known as Pacific Wave creates a new peering paradigm by removing the geographical barriers of traditional peering facilities. Pacific Wave enables any U.S. or international network to connect at any one location along this U.S. Pacific Coast facility, as well as the option to peer with any other Pacific Wave participant regardless of the site of their physical connection.

By presenting a seamless, unified international peering exchange facility at strategic Pacific Coast locations, the Pacific Wave peering facility will be a magnet for research and education partners throughout Canada, Mexico, South America and the Pacific Rim. It’s an innovative network facility bound to enhance the robustness of cyberinfrastructure for global collaborations,
noted Douglas G. Gatchell, program director for International Networking in the Division of Shared Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation

The Pacific Wave international peering exchange facility will initially offer connection points in Los Angeles and Seattle, which are proximal to submarine cable landing sites along the coast. A 10 Gig-E service will interconnect the two Pacific Wave nodes. Plans for the Layer 2, Ethernet-based exchange facility include support for all IP traffic types (IPv4, IPv6, and multicast) and jumbo frames. The Pacific Wave 10 Gig-E facility from Los Angeles to Seattle is expected to be deployed by the summer of 2004. The program will be jointly managed by CENIC and PNWGP.

Both CENIC and the PNWGP work to enhance network services for research and education in their regions, and each are actively engaged in the collaborative deployment of the National LambdaRail (NLR). The availability of the NLR facility made it simple to provision the first connector between LA and Seattle .

PNWGP has operated an international peering facility in Seattle since 1998, which has significant participation by federal and Pacific Rim research and education entities. The University of Southern California (USC), a founding member of CENIC, has operated the Los Angeles Access Point (LAAP) since 1996 and is partnering with CENIC to transition the LAAP to become the Pacific Wave Los Angeles Connection point. Current participants of these two peering locations will benefit from the advanced capabilities of the new Pacific Wave international peering collaboration.

Some of the organizations already participating in peering at these locations include AARNet (Australian Academic & Research Network), Boeing Research, CA*Net4 (Canada's Research and Education Internet Backbone), Defense Research & Engineering Network (DREN), Energy Sciences Network (ESNet), GEMnet, Internet2/Abilene, Microsoft Corporation, SingAREN (Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network), and TANET2 (Taiwan Academic Network).

For more information about Pacific Wave, visit http://www.pacificwave.net

GÉANT & Radioastronomy

GÉANT reaches for the stars

P ress Release - Cambridge, January 27, 2004.

Faster, deeper, sharper: thanks to GÉANT, Europe’s radioastronomers can now observe transient objects at the edge of the Universe.

For the first time, astronomers led by JIVE , the European Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry, used GÉANT, the world’s most advanced international research network, to combine data from radio telescopes in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands, generating images of a jet of gas moving at nearly the speed of light close to the edge of the visible Universe.

Thanks to GÉANT’s bandwidth, Europe’s astronomers got the image they were looking for in hours, rather than months. Without GÉANT, they would have had to wait for up to six months to see the result of their labours. And would have missed most of the show anyway.

Europe’s radio-astronomers have dreamed for some time of transmitting their data electronically using a network such as GÉANT. GÉANT matters to them because the ability to electronically combine several radio telescopes’ data together has the effect of bringing an enormous boost to the telescopes’ sensitivity and operational reliability. Concretely, this means they can look deeper into the early Universe - and do so in exquisite detail.

In the experiment, the astronomers created Europe’s - and the world’s - first internationally distributed electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometer (eVLBI) . VLBI allows radio astronomers to distinguish objects separated by about 1 milliarcsecond – that’s the equivalent of seeing individual astronauts on the moon from earth (by comparison, the resolution of the Hubble space telescope is about fifty times poorer).

Radio interferometry is based upon the principle that the resolution of an image depends on the size of the eye looking at it – and that a very large eye can be simulated by combining images obtained from several remote telescopes. In this experiment, the data from the telescopes was combined to yield an image offering the resolution of a single, 957 km -wide radio telescope.

It is a potent technique, allowing astronomers to gaze back to the very edge of the Universe. But until now, its practitioners faced two serious challenges, both born of the fact that the data had to be recorded onto tape and physically shipped to a central location for processing and analysis.

First, the image may be sharp – but it’s very dark. That’s because each telescope generates enormous amounts of data, most of which is lost (until last week, there was no way to collect, match and process the tens of gigabits per second generated directly - and the data tapes used typically yield an effective bandwidth of only 128 Mbits per second). This seriously degrades the image’s sensitivity. "It’s like trying to look up at the stars at night wearing sunglasses," said Mike Garrett, JIVE’s director. At the edge of the Universe, only the very brightest objects can be seen at all, and most of the sky seems dark to VLBI astronomers.

Second, the physical handling of data storage media from various locations led to months of frustrating delay between an observation and the resulting image. This can waste precious observing time, since it’s impossible to know during the observation if all the telescopes are operating as they should (if one of them didn’t, the time all of them spent on that observation is irrevocably lost). And it forces VLBI astronomers to treat the cosmos as a static display. They simply can’t react to the Universe’s sudden events like gamma-ray bursts or supernova explosions.

The solution is obviously to link the telescopes together through an electronic network – to do eVLBI, with its potential to realise much higher data rates, and make analysis in near real time a possibility. But, before GÉANT, doing this was simply impossible: the required bandwidth simply wasn’t available (indeed, VLBI in the United States is also still carried out with data tapes).

In last week’s experiment, three telescopes at the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in England and the Westerbork Radio Observatory in the Netherlands, were connected by GÉANT to the European VLBI Network’s central processing facility (operated and developed by JIVE) in Dwingeloo, also in the Netherlands, to be correlated and processed into a ten-milliarcsecond resolution image of Blazar 2007+777. Astronomically, the test resulted in a routine image. But "for someone who spent a lot of time watching telescope data stream locally on to tape, this was quite an event," said Dr Garrett.

Each telescope was connected to its country’s National Research and Education Network, and the data routed onwards through GÉANT to SURFnet, the Dutch research network, for delivery to JIVE.

Telescopes, for obvious reasons, tend to be located in remote areas – but networks aren’t. The difficulty and expense of building a high bandwidth network all the way to each telescope is what makes international eVLBI a challenge.

We are as delighted as our friends at JIVE at the success of this first experiment. We look forward to connecting more telescopes through GÉANT to the eVLBI network as the year progresses,
said Mr Dai Davies, General Manager of DANTE , which operates GÉANT. Thanks to GÉANT, radio-astronomers using Europe’s telescopes can look forward to much more sensitive, sharper images – and will soon be able to react quickly to the Universe’s many surprises.

The achievement shows how GÉANT can support distributed European big science . GÉANT provides the network infrastructure essential to support the growing number of research projects that use facilities located in several different countries.

As radio-astronomers are discovering, Europe’s delivery trucks have a rather low bandwidth compared to GÉANT,
said Dai Davies.
I’m very pleased indeed to see GÉANT supporting distributed European research so successfully. This achievement is a real Big Bang for international research networking.

The data rates used for this first test were still quite low (256Mb/sec). "But we are aiming for 1Gb/sec on six telescopes by the end of this year," Dr Garrett said. "We’ll finally be able to take those sunglasses off." With GÉANT and its successors, DANTE hopes to offer astronomers data transfer rates of 10 Gb/sec within four years. "We’ll see objects almost ten times fainter than we can today in incredible detail," Dr Garrett added. Astronomers will then be able to explore the Universe when it was still a baby. Dr Garrett explained that the hope was to catch the light of the very first galaxies:

with eVLBI, we may finally see the most famous event in all of Genesis: the transition from ‘And darkness was upon the face of the deep’ to ‘Let there be light: and there was light’.
It is at that remote time that the Universe is suspected of having taken on the basic shape it has today. Many of the heavier chemical elements that make up our bodies were forged in those first, young stars. With electronic VLBI, we may in a very real sense be able to witness our own creation.

NREN

Networks for Knowledge and
Innovation

T he project SERENATE (Strategic Study of European Research and Education Networking - Results and Recommendations) investigated the likely development of research and education networking in Europe over the next 5-10 years. The following is a report of these investigations:

Research and Education Networking in Europe currently involves three levels:

  • the Local Area Network to which the end-user is connected
  • a national level of a single National Research and Education Network organisation (NREN)
  • the pan-European level provided by GÉANT.
This structure has proved successful and is expected to remain for at least the next 5-10 years. NREN’s are an asset for economic growth and prosperity and promoting technology transfer should be one of their explicit goals.

An irreversible move to optical techniques in data transmission is taking place, bringing enormous opportunities for research and education networks. An optical-fibre infrastructure therefore becomes an asset of crucial importance, not only for research and education, but for the economy in general. The economics shows that a competitive market for fibre infrastructure must be promoted, in all countries. The European Commission, with the national regulatory authorities, should establish and publish an annual census of installed optical fibre, and should, by the end of 2004, consider under what conditions, and for which parties, it would be reasonable to introduce a right of non-discriminatory access to optical-fibre infrastructure. Governments across the whole of Europe, including those beyond the borders of the European Union, should empower their NREN, should they wish, to install, or lease, their own optical-fibre infrastructure.

There is a growing divergence of network requirements from researchers, some needing very high capacities and putting heavy demands on availability and performance. Recent technical and market developments can permit the existing network organisations to serve these demanding needs thereby maintaining the coherence in European research and education networking, - but to achieve this goal, research network organisations will need to introduce new infrastructures, technologies and network architectures. Moreover, funding and cost-sharing models for research network facilities will need to be adjusted to accommodate this increasing diversity of use.

The institutions of the European Union and governments in Europe need to recognise that, at the present time, a digital divide exists inside the European research and education community and take energetic measures to reduce, and preferably eliminate, this digital divide. One of the main objectives of the European Research Area and of the eEurope Action Plans is to provide equal opportunities to researchers, teachers and students independent of location. Widespread and cost-effective access to research and education networks is therefore of crucial importance to the success of these policy initiatives. The European Commission should monitor and annually publish the state of the digital divide between the European Union's research and education communities, including the neighbouring European countries. It should cover the availability and cost of Gigabit services and the functionality and performance offered by the various national research and education networks.

In Europe, campus networks are now often the weakest link in the chain of end-to-end services for research and education. Therefore, universities and research institutes and their supervisory and funding authorities need to ensure that their campus networks are appropriately resourced. Expenditure for ongoing technical upgrades needs to be treated as an annual budget expense.

Users expectations have evolved beyond the provision of pure bandwidth towards the needs of more complex services, including security, privacy and confidentiality. There will be a demand for authentication and authorisation services. Increasingly, researchers and teachers want to be able to access networks and their own usual set of network and information services wherever they happen to be. Establishment of a pan-European Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure will need action by the European Commission and other actors

Decisions as to which communities should be served by an NREN, such as schools etc, can only be determined nationally. Economies of scale may exist in extending use, but in doing so, adequate resources must be allocated, additional to those needed to support the research and higher-education communities.

In recent years, the European Commission has acted as a uniting force for the network development. The European Council and the European Parliament should ensure that the European Commission continues to play a significant role in enabling Europe's research and education network facilities to remain competitive at a global level. There will be no successful European Research Area without the long-term commitment of adequate resources to the evolution of Europe's research and education networking.

IPv6

IPv6 research networks pioneer global provision
of next generation data networks

P ress Release - Cambridge, January 2004.

GÉANT, the multi-gigabit pan-European research network that connects over 3,500 research and education institutions in more than 30 countries, is taking the lead in implementing the IPv6 protocol. Together with its counterparts across the world, GÉANT now offers the world’s first next generation IPv6 Internet network with global reach.

Thanks to GÉANT and its counterparts, IPv6 research networking services are now available across Europe, North America, Asian countries including China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, and Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

The implementation of IPv6 on GÉANT was achieved in an ambitious timescale in recognition of the importance of adopting the new network protocol. Pilot IPv6 services were begun on GÉANT in April 2003, and a full production service was launched in November 2003. The experience gained from testing and implementing IPv6 on GÉANT has also been valuable to several other research projects dedicated to developing IPv6.

GÉANT continues to accomplish its mission of adopting and proving new technologies ahead of the marketplace. Together with most of Europe’s National Research and Education Networks, which also now operate IPv6, GÉANT continues to offer Europe’s research community the most advanced research networking services in the world. This European IPv6 network of networks is the product of successful co-operation within Europe’s research networking community.

By offering IPv6 on GÉANT, DANTE, the company that operates GÉANT on behalf of Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), has reinforced its leading role as the provider of the world’s most advanced research networking infrastructure.

"GÉANT must remain at the forefront of network technology developments to provide the world’s best network to Europe’s researchers. That’s why early implementation of IPv6 services on the GÉANT network was so important," explains Dai Davies, General Manager of DANTE. Native IPv6 is operated in dual-stack mode across the GÉANT network using Juniper Networks routing platforms. "We are very satisfied with the performance the Juniper Networks routing platforms have provided. Juniper Networks ASIC-based forwarding and JUNOS software have consistently provided great performance while supporting stable dual-stack operation on GÉANT," Mr Davies added.

IPv6 offers extraordinary new opportunities over IPv4, the current standard (see What is Ipv6? , below). However, deployment of IPv6 suffers from a classic chicken-and-egg problem. Commercial ISPs are reluctant to invest until the demand is there - and developers won’t offer new applications until the network is IPv6-enabled. The tough economic climate of the past few years didn’t help.

Hence the importance of introducing IPv6 in GÉANT. Tim Chown, Professor at the University of Southampton, said:

GÉANT reaches over 3,000 universities in Europe, and tens of millions of students. By making it IPv6-enabled, GÉANT encouraged the National Research and Education Networks to follow suit and deploy IPv6 – which, in turn, is convincing the universities to take the same step. And what better place than a university to generate innovation in new applications and services? By working with vendors, the research networks are validating high performance IPv6 equipment that can be deployed with more confidence by commercial ISPs.

The fact that the first global IPv6 transit service is now available thanks to GÉANT and other research networks around the world is of great commercial importance.
The development of new markets based on applications that rely on IPv6 will be accelerated by the widespread deployment of IPv6-capable networks,
said Mr Davies.
The challenge IPv6 still faces is to achieve a globally accepted protocol and its uniform interpretation, so as to avoid market fragmentation due to technical incompatibilities. The fact that research networks around the world are leading the way with early adoption of IPv6 is an important step towards overcoming this challenge.
What is IPv6?
IPv6, a new version of the Internet Protocol, offers three key benefits.

First, it enormously expands the number of addresses available (from 32bit addresses to 128bit addresses). This means that a huge number of devices can become linked to the Internet (such as every package carried by the post office, or every electrical appliance in every home in the world).

Second, it can offer built-in Plug and Play: the computer is automatically configured and made internet-ready whenever and wherever it is plugged in.

Thirdly, security is vastly enhanced by sender authentication and data encryption, which is built-in to IPv6.

IPv6 will help to ensure a more open and competitive arena, revolutionising the provision of new networked services which favour direct communications.

All manner of consumer digital devices will benefit from being able to communicate directly between homes, opening new worlds of convenience and entertainment,
explains Tim Chown, Professor, University of Southampton.

Beyond the home, IPv6 will enable direct communication with very large networks of sensor devices. This is extraordinarily useful for all manner of applications.

For example, IPv6 will enable accurate monitoring of water levels or local meteorological conditions, making the forecasting of floods or local weather events much more accurate and timely. Companies will be able to easily monitor their entire supply chain. Automobile self-diagnosis can be communicated into the full maintenance supply chain before the driver even knows there’s a problem – and the key parts wait for her by the time she gets to the garage. Large factories will have exact, timely readings of energy and input consumption at every step of the manufacturing process. The possibilities are almost literally endless, and in practice limited only by the imagination of users.

Such networks have already been introduced, for example, in the automobile industry:

A famous demonstrator in Japan showed how 2,000 IPv6-enabled taxis were used to give a city-wide overview of congestion and weather conditions thanks to sensor information from their speed and their windscreen wipers,
explains Chown.

IST

News from IST Projects

Managing dispersed information
It's never easy getting different databases to talk to one another. COG's solution enables interaction between disparate data formats over an information Grid, using ontologies to create an 'active thesaurus'.

A virtual solar observatory via Grid computing
With solar flares of record intensity hitting the headlines in November 2003, the public is more aware than ever of the many ways in which solar activity can affect our day-to-day lives: power grids and navigation system disrupted, some satellite operations suspended – our need to understand and accurately predict such phenomena is clear.

Grid technologies for the medical community
Powerful computer simulation tools have been developed to assist doctors in diagnosis, pre-operation planning and surgery. So powerful in fact that many of these tools cannot be run efficiently on normal computers. The Grid, however, is much more than a normal desktop - it is a vast interconnected collection of computers, programmes and people. And the IST project GEMSS is harnessing the Grid's processing power to place it in the hands of medical practitioners.

Commercial outsourcing of Grid computing services
A successful demonstration of Grid technology in a commercial setting underlines the enormous benefits to business and industry of access to high-end computing infrastructures, provided security and interoperability challenges can be solved.

Making the Grid transparent to users
A key objective of the ongoing EU Grid programme is to make available large-scale, distributed resources capable of solving complex processing problems. The environment, energy, health, transport and industrial design are all likely application areas. At the end of 2003 the Grid infrastructure is already a reality, interconnecting national research networks in Europe and across the world. The next question is - how do researchers access and use this huge resource? 7

Managing the data on the worldwide Grid
Did you just load that interesting new software on your PC? Then wondered where all your storage space has gone, while at the same time your PC seems to have ground to a halt? Think of the same predicament but magnified, not thousands but millions of times. Now you begin to see the problems confronting the world's research community in cutting-edge research projects. And in particular, the challenges facing the DATAGRID project.

TransAtlantic research led to new Internet speed record
Scientists from Europe and the US teamed up and set a new record for sending data across the Atlantic. Their Internet2(r) Landspeed Record results showed a huge increase both in the flow of data across wide area networks and between local systems closely linked together.

New IPv6 standardisation report available
6LINK has made the latest version of its IPv6 standardisation report available. The report focuses on the Internet Engineering Task Force's standardisation status of IPv6 technology, in a number of IETF working groups. This is the sixth issue of the report series produced by 6LINK, the coordinating project for the IST IPv6 Cluster. The next issue will be published in April/May 2004.

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Cooperation ICT - Issues, Challenges & Opportunities , Vienna, Austria
- to stimulate rapid take-up of Research & Technology Development (RTD) results by European Industry, and SMEs in particular. 27 -29 October, 2004.

Food for Thought


For the Diary

January, 2004

EU

1 Ireland to take presidency of the European Council

IPv6

9 IPv6 Day at Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas, Nevada , USA

IPv6

12 - 14 Australia IPv6 Conference Adaleide , Australia

IPv6

15 - 16 Global IPv6 Service Launch Event Brussels , Belgium

Grid

20 - 23 GLOBUSWORLD 2004 San Francisco , CA, USA

Grid

21 Delivery of Industrial-strength Grid middleware: Establishing an effective European approach Brussels , Belgium

IPv6

28 - 30 BANGALORE Global IPv6 SUMMIT Bangalore , India

Grid

29 - 30 HealthGrid 2004 Clermont-Ferrand , France
February

IETF

29 - Mar 5 59th IETF Meeting Seoul , Korea
March

IETF

Feb 29 - 5 59th IETF Meeting Seoul , Korea

EC

9 - 10 First FP6 concertation meeting on Communication and Network technologies Brussels , Belgium

Grid

9 - 13 The 10th meeting of the Global Grid Forum Berlin , Germany

CeBIT

18 - 24 CeBIT 2004 Hannover , Germany

ICT

24 - 26 EuroIndia 2004 New Delhi , India

ICT

30 - 31 The European Tech Investment Forum London , UK
April

IPv6

2 Workshop - A fully networked user environment based on IPv6 Brussels , Belgium

IPv6

12 - 14 Global IPv6 Summit, China Beijing , China

Research

25 - 28 The Europe of Knowledge 2020: A Vision for University-based Research and Innovation Liège , Belgium

Photonics

26 - 30 Photonics Europe 2004 conference Strasbourg , France
May

IPv6

18 - 19 2004 6NET Conference and Eurov6 Showcase Brussels , Belgium
June

Photonics

2 - 4 OPTIMIST/EPIC/COST joint workshops Athens , Greece

NREN

7 - 10 TERENA Networking Conference 2004 Rhodes , Greece

IPv6

14 - 18 US Global IPv6 SUMMIT Santa Monica, CA , USA

Mobile

27 - 30 IST Mobile and Wireless Communications Summit 2004 Lyon , France

Photonics

29 - 1 July 9th European Conference on Networks & Optical Communications Eindhoven, NL

Please note that the contents of this newsletter do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the European Commission, except where explicitly stated