Overview of MAGIC-II

The original MAGIC project (MAGIC-I) demonstrated a high-speed, wide-area IP/ATM network that supports a real-time terrain visualization application and a high-speed distributed storage system. MAGIC-II will extend the MAGIC-I testbed and will develop new networking technology and a large-scale distributed information system. The MAGIC-II information system is based on a very general paradigm in which high-performance computing, storage, and communications are used to provide rapid access to data that have to be processed expeditiously and delivered quickly in order to provide value to end-users. Applications that use this paradigm arise in a variety of situations including military operations, intelligence imagery analysis, and natural disasters. These applications share a requirement for access to large volumes of data, whose existence and locations may not be known in advance. They also require a large amount of processing to transform the data into useful information, and they may have lower-speed and mobile end-users.

In order to develop the information system described above, the proof-of-concept system of MAGIC-I must be scaled in several dimensions:

- managing extremely large (~Terabyte) datasets
- processing real-time data
- fusing multiple types of data
- creating a large-scale IP/ATM internetwork
- supporting very high (~1 Gb/s) network throughput
- enabling a wide range of end-user access speeds (10s of kb/s to 100s of Mb/s)
and host capabilities (laptops to high-end workstations)

The objective of MAGIC-II is to build on the work and facilities of MAGIC-I to solve these scaling problems in the context of an application that uses geo-referenced datasets and image browsing for interactive data fusion and 3-D visualization. The result will be an information system with much functionality, great extensibility, and wide applicability.

The core of the MAGIC-II network is the MAGIC-I facilities, a switched ATM internetwork comprising SONET OC-48 trunks with links to ATM LANs at five sites. This internetwork, augmented with wireless sites, will continue to be the development environment for MAGIC-II. The core facilities will be interconnected with other networks, including AAI, ATDnet, NTON, and the SVTT to create a large-scale ATM internetwork, the MAGIC-II test environment. The designs and implementations of the networking technology, the distributed processing and storage systems, and the application will first be exercised in the development environment. Then, operation and performance will be verified in the much larger test environment.

MAGIC-II is a three-year, collaborative project involving ten principal organizations, including carriers; the project began in August, 1996. The connectivity of MAGIC to other networks will enable organizations on those networks to participate in application experiments, in tests and use of the distributed processing/distributed storage systems, or in the development and evaluation of networking technology.

22 Nov. 1996