by Olivier Muron
France Telecom is providing INRIA with a virtual private network offering 25 Mb/s interconnection between sites at Rocquencourt in the Yvelines (west of Paris), Sophia Antipolis (on the French Riviera) and Grenoble in eastern France.
On May 26, 1994, INRIA signed an agreement with France Telecom to carry out an experiment on ATM starting September 1, 1994. INRIA will have real time access to information on this private virtual network from a network administration terminal, and will be able to process information on traffic statistics and parametrizable events. The service will be multiprotocol; INRIA will use the Internet IP protocol with connections via Ethernet, Token Ring or FDDI LAN interfaces. The service is supported by a network of ATM concentrators using the Connectionless Broadband Data Service (CBDS) protocol.
INRIA plans to use this network to experiment with the following applications:
Interactive cooperative work
Teleseminars and teleconferences using INRIA-developed TELESIA-IVS software will involve various research centres. Tele-information sharing experiments will be carried out using the above-mentioned technologies together with such dedicated tools as 3 "Live Boards" provided by Rank Xerox (one per test centre).
Although TELESIA-IVS-driven teleseminars and teleconferences have almost moved beyond their purely experimental phase, these tools have not always been used on a regular basis with sound and image on the Internet. Due to problems resulting from asynchrony and load variation, performance has necessarily been limited. The scheduled experiments will therefore demonstrate whether TransREL-ATM type services can broaden the range of uses and make TELESIA-IVS a regular work tool not only for teleconferences but aso for user-friendly, mainstream telemeetings. Tests will also be carried out on network flow control and on the scientific potential for a research project on RODEO high-speed networks at INRIA Sophia Antipolis.
Multimedia information server
A presentation of INRIA and its research activities has been installed on an information server at Sophia Antipolis. This presentation is supported by World Wide Web and is accessible via the ATM network from sites in Rocquencourt and Grenoble, allowing rapid consultation of video sequences stored on the server.
High-performance digital simulation on a remote server
CM 200 (Sophia Antipolis) and SP1 (Grenoble supercomputers will be connected to the experimental ATM network, allowing them to be used for calculations from a remote work station.
One specific application of this computing potential involves the development of a new generation of codes for the large-scale analysis of human genome sequences, and the INRIA Rocquencourt genome project will carry out an experiment in distributed computtion using the KSR and SP1 parallel supercomputers in Rocquencourt and Grenoble respectively.
These experiments will be measured and analysed both for the data flows generated and for the way the TransRel-ATM service responds to network loads.
See figure: ATM Network inter-connections for three INRIA centres