HP has joined PlanetLab, a worldwide research consortium working on building an open, scalable, global network test-bed for pioneering next-generation Internet applications and services. HP will join founder Intel as a major corporate research and technology contributor to the consortium.
The Internet is evolving, as are the applications that leverage it. Businesses, consumers and research organizations increasingly demand more adaptable, scalable and secure systems connected to the Internet. This has prompted a technology shift toward decentralized, self-organizing, automated applications-as-services. These-services exist as overlay networks, running atop the Internet -- just as the original Internet emerged as an overlay on top of the telephony network. PlanetLab is a collaborative test-bed designed to run research projects simultaneously on a single, shared global overlay network.
"The concepts being developed by PlanetLab represent a potential revolutionary leap in how the Internet is used and in HP's adaptive computing architecture," said Patrick Scaglia, vice president and director of the Internet and Computing Platforms Research Center, HP Labs. "The resources HP is contributing to PlanetLab underscore our commitment to delivering innovative, adaptive next-generation Internet services."
The initial PlanetLab deployment consists of 115 nodes - Linux-based PCs or servers connected to the PlanetLab overlay network -- distributed around the world. HP will contribute an additional 30 nodes spread across 10 sites, helping push PlanetLab toward its goal of growing to 1000 nodes.
The PlanetLab overlay network will allow users to conduct research into new network services running under realistic conditions on a global scale. HP will begin running more than 20 HP Labs experiments and services on the PlanetLab overlay network, including wireless and network security services, and experiments in the distribution and deployment of media and intelligent, content-based search.
"HP's vision of adaptive computing aligns perfectly with our notion of where the Internet is headed," said Larry Peterson, professor of computer science at Princeton and director of PlanetLab. "The resources and expertise HP brings to PlanetLab will help provide an environment for building better overlay networks, so that they can be readily used in the future to evolve and improve the Internet."
HP Labs researchers have begun exploring several PlanetLab services and are investigating some 20 new PlanetLab experiments, ranging from fast replication of data across the network so that data is never lost, to an enhanced Web server, to a new generation of active, agile, collaborative applications across the Internet and across devices.
Institutions involved in PlanetLab include the University of California at Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Washington, Cambridge, Rice University, and the University of Chicago. Presently, more than 95 experiments are being conducted on the PlanetLab network, with everything from a "network weather service" - an up-to-the-minute report on Internet conditions - to experiments in reliable video distribution. For more information on PlanetLab, including how to join, please visit: www.planet-lab.org.
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