University explores software-defined networking to provide research opportunities

NC State is partnering with regional organizations to explore software-defined networking (SDN), a new network architecture, to conduct leading-edge research.

MCNC recently upgraded an optical network connection between NC State and the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) from 10 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s. MCNC operates NCREN, one of the nation’s first statewide education and research networks.

As a result, OIT Communication Technologies (ComTech) has provisioned a new 10 Gb/s Ethernet circuit to run over MCNC/NCREN to access a regional SDN testbed currently under development. A joint effort involving NC State, MCNC/NCREN, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), the testbed will be used to transfer large research data sets and permit regional experimentation with SDN technologies. It will eventually allow institutions to dynamically construct research circuits across the networks of multiple universities and national labs.