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Penn is playing a leading role in developing the next generation Internet, called Internet2. Penn is a founding member of the Internet2 consortium and operates a regional Internet2 Research and Education Network called MAGPI. MAGPI provides Internet2 connectivity to Penn and other research and education institutions in the tri-state region.

What is Internet2?

"Internet2" refers to both an organization and a network. As an organization, it's a consortium of over two hundred research universities (like Penn), affiliated organizations (such as MAGPI), government entities (like the NLM), and corporate partners (like Google). For information on the Internet2 organization and general information about the Internet2 national network, see the Internet2 website. As a network, Internet2, is a national and international collection of interconnected high performance networks that allow sites attached to these networks to interact in ways that are not possible using the commodity or "regular" Internet. The Internet2 networks are a significant advance in networking capability for the research and education community. The development of Internet2 was partly driven by the shortcomings of the commodity Internet, but also by a desire to allow the creation of new network applications that are not possible on the regular Internet. The University of Pennsylvania has a 100 Gbps connection that carries Internet2 traffic. All users on Penn's network who have access to the Internet have access to Internet2 as well.

How does Internet2 benefit Penn?

Everyone at Penn benefits from the high speed connection to Internet2. Email, web browsing, and file transfers between Penn and other Internet2 connected institutions automatically travel over the Internet2 network instead of the regular Internet and so are much faster and more reliable. The power of Internet2 also allows for the development of new applications and initiatives underway at Penn and in collaboration with other Internet2 member institutions around the world. Internet2 gives researchers the ability to move immense amounts of data in a quicker and more reliable amount of time. Internet2 provides Penn researchers and students real-time control of remote instruments allows them to perform live musical duets in two different physical locations and much more. Internet2 allows for "grid" computing which enables distributed global problem solving. Internet2 provides high speed videoconferencing opportunities which allow for the internationalization of education like never before. Internet2 provides immediate access to resources and experiences otherwise unavailable over the "commodity" Internet. From the Arts and Humanities to the Health and Physical Sciences, Penn's access to Internet2 enables the development of new collaborations and communities that have the power to enhance every aspect of research and education.

Internet2 networks enable advanced applications that would be otherwise impossible over the regular or "commodity" Internet. Examples of advanced applications include TeleImmersion, Digital Libraries, Distance and Distributed Learning, Virtual Laboratories, intensive Data Transfer and Digital Imaging. Additional examples of advanced Internet2 applications can be found on the applications section of Internet2's website.

What is MAGPI?

MAGPI is a GigaPoP (Gigabit Point of Presence) run by the University of Pennsylvnia that serves to aggregate network traffic destined for advanced research and education networks such as Internet2. In addition to serving as the Internet2 connector for the University of Pennsylvania, MAGPI also connects other approved research and education institions in the Pennylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware regions. MAGPI connects Higher Ed, government entities, and hospitals to the Internet2 backbone network and is also its own regional high performance network. Currently, MAGPI operates at a 30 Gbps connection to Internet2 and is moving to 100 Gbps in the near future.

Is anything special required to use Internet2?

No special cables, connections, or equipment are needed to be connected to Internet2. In most cases, Penn's data network (called PennNet) automatically chooses Internet2 if you are connecting with another Internet2 member, a government agency or research center connected to an Internet2 network or an international research and education network with the same high-bandwidth capacity. This connection is used whether you are browsing the web, e-mailing, sending a large data transfer, or collaborating on an shared experiment.

If you have questions about what you might need to run a particular application, contact your LSP.

Select Internet2 Activity at Penn

Related Project Activity

  • Internet2 - A university-led consortium working with government and industry to develop the next generation Internet
  • Cyberinfrastructure - Term used to describte the next generation tools to enable scientific discovery, also NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure
  • KINBER - The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research, a non-profit organization that was incorporated to provide services to Pennsylvania through the establishment and operation of a high-speed network for research and education purposes.
  • PennREN - PennREN, the Pennsylvania Research and Education Network, will be a high speed fiber broadband network providing 100M-10G Ethernet connectivity and is being developed to provide services to institutions of higher education, preK-12 programs, health care entities, libraries, non-profits and other partners to advance Pennsylvania's capabilities and services in education, health care, workforce development, economic development that supports sustainable growth, government and enables enhanced services.
  • K20 - An initiative that opened Internet2 access to K12s, Museums, Zoos, Libraries
  • US UCAN - United States Unified Community Anchor Network is s an Internet2 program working with regional research and education networks across the country to connect community anchor institutions including schools, libraries, health care facilities and other public institutions—to advanced broadband capabilities.
  • The Quilt - A consortium of regional Internet2 connectors across the country
  • Net+ - The Internet2 NET+ initiative is creating a unified, integrated portfolio of cloud and trust solutions, blending both commercial services and community offerings.


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