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MAGPI, Penn’s Internet2 Connector: Enabling Princeton Institutions to Access Global Sites at Lightning Speeds
October 21, 2008, Volume 55, No. 9

The University of Pennsylvania’s Internet2 regional connector, MAGPI (Mid-Atlantic GigaPoP in Philadelphia for Internet2), is providing high performance Internet connections for several institutions on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus, including its Plasma Physics Lab and High Energy Physics Department as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

The project provides a 6,400 percent improvement in the performance of the physics lab’s Internet connection, now at 10 gigabit, 10 billion bits per second, from a previous speed of 155 megabit, 155 million bits per second.  This upgrade allows researchers to access sites worldwide at near real-time speed and will facilitate collaborations on international fusion facilities, including the future ITER burning plasma experiment in France and existing facilities in Korea and China.

This connection was made possible through the US Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, which supports the department’s science mission.

Through the use of ESnet, NOAA lab received a 1Gb circuit, providing high-speed access to supercomputing sites like Oak Ridge, where climate simulations will be run. Princeton’s High Energy Physics Department is also linked up at 1Gb, providing a “tiered” status for access to the new Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. 

Penn’s MAGPI connector serves as the coordinator and manager of this multi-agency consortium, through a funding model whereby DOE and NOAA equally share the cost of the fiber installation, with Princeton University contributing to the on-campus cost of the optical equipment. Penn is playing a leading role in developing Internet2 and is a founding member of the Internet2 consortium. MAGPI provides Internet2 connectivity to Penn and other research and education institutions in the tri-state region.




Almanac - October 21, 2008, Volume 55, No. 9