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.


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 with the subject line containing "Illinois Research Network" or "CARNE".