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WEB100: Facilitating Effective and Transparent Network Use

“While the national high-performance network infrastructure has
grown tremendously both in bandwidth and accessibility, it is still
common for applications, hosts, researchers and other users to be
unable to take full advantage of this new and improved
infrastructure. Without expert attention from network engineers,
users are unlikely to achieve even 10 Mbps single stream TCP
transfers, despite the fact that the underlying network
infrastructure can support data rates of 100Mbps or more. On
unloaded networks, this poor performance can be attributed
primarily to two factors: host system software (principally TCP)
that is optimized for low bandwidth environments and the lack of
effective instrumentation and tools to diagnose performance issues
at the end hosts….”

“During the first year of the project, Intel-based Linux will be
the principal development platform. This platform is readily
available and widely used by the scientific community. It uses an
open source code based operating system, is cost effective, and
supports a large range of network-based applications. During
subsequent years of the project, additional platforms will be added
to the Intel-based platform. However, additional platforms will be
supported only in conjunction with partnerships developed as a
result of the Vendor Liaison component of this project….”

By the end of the first year of the project, code will be
available for distribution via downloads from a Web100 web site.
Early in the second year of the project, Web100 will produce a
complete CD-based Linux distribution.
This distribution will
likely be based on a popular Linux distribution such as Red Hat,
Caldera, Mandrake or Debian; the Web100 kernel patch set, libraries
and tools will be added to the selected base distribution. During
the third year of the project, as part of the Vendor Liaison work,
Web100 will offer its kernel changes for addition to the standard
Linux kernel distribution and attempt to have the other parts of
its distribution adopted by one or more commercial Linux
distributors.”

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