Implementation plan for interagency research Internet
RFC 1015

Document Type RFC - Unknown (July 1987; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                   Barry M. Leiner
Request for Comments:  1015                                       RIACS
                                                              July 1987

         Implementation Plan for Interagency Research Internet

STATUS OF THIS MEMO

    The RFC proposes an Interagency Research Internet as the natural
    outgrowth of the current Internet.  This is an "idea paper" and
    discussion is strongly encouraged.  Distribution of this memo is
    unlimited.

OVERVIEW

    Networking has become widespread in the scientific community, and
    even more so in the computer science community. There are networks
    being supported by a number of the Federal agencies interested in
    scientific research, and many scientists throughout the country have
    access to one or more of these networks. Furthermore, there are many
    resources (such as supercomputers) that are accessible via these
    networks.

    While many of these networks are interconnected on an informal
    basis, there is currently no consistent mechanism to allow sharing
    of the networking resources. Recognizing this problem, the FCCSET
    Committee on Very High Performance Computing formed a Network
    Working Group. This group has recommended an administrative and
    management structure for interconnecting the current and planned
    agency networks supporting research.  The structure is based on the
    concept of a network of networks using standard networking
    protocols.

    This report elaborates on the earlier recommendation and provides an
    implementation plan. It addresses three major areas; communications
    infrastructure, user support, and ongoing research. A management and
    administrative structure is recommended for each area, and a
    budgetary estimate provided.  A phased approach for implementation
    is suggested that will quickly provide interconnection and lead to
    the full performance and functionality as the required technologies
    are developed and installed.  While this report addresses the
    interconnection of agency networks, and cooperation by certain
    federal agencies, some discussion is presented of the possible role
    that industry can play in support and use of such a network.

    Work reported herein was supported by Cooperative Agreement NCC 2-
    387 from the National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA) to

Leiner                                                          [Page 1]
RFC 1015                      IRI Plan                         July 1987

    the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). This report was
    prepared in response to a request from John Cavallini, Chairman of
    the Networking Working Group of the FCCSET Committee on Very High
    Performance Computing.

INTRODUCTION

    Computer networks are critical in providing scientists access to
    computing resources (such as supercomputers) and permitting computer
    supported interaction between researchers.  Several agencies,
    recognizing this need, have established networks to provide the
    needed communications infrastructure.  The need for this
    infrastructure, though, cuts across the various agencies. To that
    end, the FCCSET Committee on Very High Performance Computing Network
    Working Group has recommended the formation of an Interagency
    Research Internet (IRI) [1].

    The purpose of this report is to suggest an implementation plan for
    such an IRI. It addresses three major areas; communications
    infrastructure, user support, and ongoing research. A management and
    administrative structure is recommended for each area, and a
    budgetary estimate provided. A phased approach for implementation is
    suggested that will quickly provide interconnection and lead to the
    full performance and functionality as the required technologies are
    developed and installed. Finally, some discussion is presented on a
    possible role for industry in supporting and using such a network.

Motivation

    The prime responsibility for providing the required infrastructure
    for successful research lies with the researcher, his/her
    institution, and the agency supporting that research.  Thus, the
    individual agencies have installed and are continuing to enhance
    computer networks to allow their researchers to access advanced
    computing resources such as supercomputers as well as being able to
    communicate with each other via such facilities as electronic mail.

    However, there are a number of reasons why it is advantageous to
    interconnect the various agency networks in a coherent manner so as
    to provide a common "virtual" network supporting research.

    The need to make effective use of available networks without
    unnecessary duplication.  The agencies each support researchers in
    many parts of the country, and have installed equally widespread
    resources. Often, it is more effective for a scientist to be
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