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Toward A National Research Network Toward A National Research Network National Research Network Review Committee Computer Science and Technology Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988
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Toward A National Research Network NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members were drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M.White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O.Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M.White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation under Contract No. NCR-8722333. Available from Computer Science and Technology Board 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America
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Toward A National Research Network NATIONAL RESEARCH NETWORK REVIEW COMMITTEE LEONARD KLEINROCK, University of California at Los Angeles, Chairman HOWARD M.ANDERSON, The Yankee Group RICHARD P.CASE, IBM Corporation DAVID D.CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology T.C.EDRINGTON, Pacific Bell WILLIAM J.EMERY, University of Colorado DAVID J.FARBER, University of Pennsylvania HOWARD FRANK, Network Management, Inc. A.G.FRASER, AT&T Bell Laboratories HENRY GELLER, Washington Center for Public Policy Research BARRY C.GOLDSTEIN, IBM Corporation ROBERT E.KAHN, Corporation for National Research Initiatives SIDNEY KARIN, GA Technologies, Inc. ANTHONY G.LAUCK, Digital Equipment Corporation ALAN J.PERLIS, Yale University ROBERT D.PHAIR, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine MARTHA E.WILLIAMS, University of Illinois KENNETH G.WILSON, Cornell University MARJORY S.BLUMENTHAL, Staff Director MEG KNEMEYER, Staff Associate DONNA F.ALLEN, Administrative Secretary
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Toward A National Research Network COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD JOSEPH F.TRAUB, Columbia University, Chairman STEVE CHEN, Supercomputer Systems, Inc. MICHAEL L.DERTOUZOS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology EDWARD A.FEIGENBAUM, Stanford University SAMUEL H.FULLER, Digital Equipment Corporation RONALD L.GRAHAM, AT&T Bell Laboratories ROBERT E.KAHN, Corporation for National Research Initiatives LEONARD KLEINROCK, University of California at Los Angeles DAVID J.KUCK, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign JOSHUA LEDERBERG, The Rockefeller University ROBERT W.LUCKY, AT&T Bell Laboratories ROBERT M.METCALFE, 3Com Corporation RAJ REDDY, Carnegie-Mellon University MARY SHAW, Carnegie-Mellon University WILLIAM J.SPENCER, Xerox Corporation ANDRIES VAN DAM, Brown University SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM Corporation IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER, IBM Corporation MARJORY S.BLUMENTHAL, Staff Director MEG KNEMEYER, Staff Associate DONNA F.ALLEN, Administrative Secretary
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Toward A National Research Network COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND RESOURCES NORMAN HACKERMAN, Robert A.Welch Foundation, Chairman GEORGE F.CARRIER, Harvard University DEAN E.EASTMAN, IBM, T.J.Watson Research Center MARYE ANNE FOX, University of Texas GERHART FRIEDLANDER, Brookhaven National Laboratory LAWRENCE W.FUNKHOUSER, Chevron Corporation (retired) PHILLIP A.GRIFFITHS, Duke University J.ROSS MACDONALD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill CHARLES J.MANKIN, Oklahoma Geological Survey PERRY L.MCCARTY, Stanford University JACK E.OLIVER, Cornell University JEREMIAH P.OSTRIKER, Princeton University Observatory WILLIAM D.PHILLIPS, Mallinckrodt, Inc. DENIS J.PRAGER, MacArthur Foundation DAVID M.RAUP, University of Chicago RICHARD J.REED, University of Washington ROBERT E.SIEVERS, University of Colorado LARRY L.SMARR, National Center for Supercomputing Applications EDWARD C.STONE, JR., California Institute of Technology KARL K.TUREKIAN, Yale University GEORGE W.WETHERILL, Carnegie Institution of Washington IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER, IBM Data Systems Division RAPHAEL G.KASPER, Executive Director LAWRENCE E.MCCRAY, Associate Executive Director
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Toward A National Research Network PREFACE The National Research Network Review Committee (NRNRC) was established under the auspices of the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Technology Board (CSTB) to review proposals developed by the Committee on Computer Research and Applications of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET) for the establishment of a high-performance, national computer network for researchers. Through CSTB, the committee was asked by Gordon Bell (letter dated July 31, 1987), then chairman of the FCCSET Subcommittee on Computer Networking, Infrastructure, and Digital Communications, to consider three sets of issues: The technical feasibility of the network proposals, The utility of the proposed network to the research community, Developments in computer technology that might impinge on the proposed network and the services that might be offered over it. The committee was subdivided into three subcommittees, each focusing on one of the above sets of issues. Committee members were selected for expertise in computer and network technology, network-based services, and the conduct of scientific research. The committee was launched with the expectation that FCCSET would deliver to Congress a report dedicated to the national research network proposals. However, the actual FCCSET report, dated November 20, 1987, was released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as a combination of the network proposals and other proposals bearing on basic computer science research and computing for science and engineering. This report of the NRNRC primarily addresses the network proposal presented in the final OSTP report (see Appendix A), but it also draws upon background material conveyed in earlier, more detailed drafts from FCCSET (Committee on Computer Research and Applications, FCCSET 1987, Reports from the Workshop on Computer Networks, February 17–19, 1987, San Diego, California, and A Compendium of Supporting Technical Data). One result of the changes leading to the OSTP report was a shift in the committee’s emphasis away from specifics of the network proposals and toward a more general discussion of
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Toward A National Research Network the concept of and parameters for a high-performance computer network. This committee believes that far more detailed planning is required, some guidance for which is provided in this review. The committee began its deliberations with an initial meeting on September 28, 1987, of the committee chairman and the chairmen of the three subcommittees. Subsequently, each subcommittee met and discussed its assigned issues. The full committee met on November 30, 1987, and April 5, 1988. Committee members received briefings from FCCSET representatives and discussed their reactions to the OSTP proposals and their own views on the merits and ideal attributes of a national research network. Because of its concern with the value of the proposed network to the user community, the committee also sought input from representatives of several scientific disciplines both through direct contacts with researchers and through the use of electronic bulletin boards. The committee’s findings as well as a set of issues and recommendations are presented in this report.
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Toward A National Research Network CONTENTS 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 2 INTRODUCTION 5 3 RESEARCHERS AND NETWORKS: APPLICATIONS AND USER CONCERNS 9 A. Justification for a National Research Network 9 B. Status Quo: Inadequate Support and Frustration 11 C. General Applications 12 D. Discipline-Specific Applications 17 E. User Concerns 23 4 ISSUES, OBSERVATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 25 A. Technical Considerations 25 B. Funding 28 C. Management 32 D. Commercial and Specialty Networks 35 5 CONCLUSIONS 39 APPENDIXES A: OSTP Proposals for a National Research Network 45 B: Ocean Science Community Network Requirements 51
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