Networking, Illinois Research Network information for departmental researchers
This page provides additional information on the Illinois Research Network on how it can benefit researchers.
While the University of Illinois' network core is a high speed network, the processing time required by the campus firewalls and exit architecture can slow down traffic to off-campus sites -- particularly when there is a large quantity of data being transferred, as is frequently the case for high end research networking.
In order to provide high-speed, high-volume network access to off-campus locations, the Illinois Research Network is positioned "outside" the campus firewalls despite the fact that the core routers handle the research network data. Data on the research network doesn't cross through the campus exit architecture on its way to other researchers at other locations.
Latency is the delay between the time that the source computer sends data and the time that the target system receives it. This can affect time-sensitive applications ranging from videoconferencing to remotely monitored surgical procedures.
Because the research network is positioned outside the campus firewalls and exit architecture, research network traffic undergoes far less processing between its source on campus and the Internet. This reduction in campus-based processing significantly reduces latency.
With the large 9000-byte packet size used as a standard on the research network, and without the restrictions of the firewalls and campus exit architecture, research network participants can transmit a much greater volume of data at higher speeds than would be possible from the standard campus network.
There is no direct cost to departments for assigning research computing systems to the Illinois Research Network. However, since the Illinois Research Network is positioned outside the campus firewalls and a security design will be needed for each project, there may be indirect costs to your department in the form of increased support time from your departmental IT professionals.
Individual responsibility for system security: Because the research network is positioned outside the campus firewalls and the associated security they provide, you and your department's team of IT pros will need to design your research systems' security carefully in order to balance speed, latency, and throughput with the importance of protecting both your data and your systems from compromise.
Network isolation: Because the research network is positioned outside the campus firewalls, machines placed in the research network will not receive "on campus" access to other University systems. Traffic from the research network to the campus network will pass through the campus firewalls and exit architecture just as though you were working at another location. You may find the campus VPN system valuable in order to access other University systems (within the campus firewalls) from your research computers. ("Outbound" access from University systems to your research computers is not restricted by the firewalls; "inbound" access from your research computers to the University systems can be.)
How to join the Illinois Research Network
If you've decided that your project would benefit from use of the Illinois Research Network, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject line containing "Illinois Research Network" or "CARNE".