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09/30/2006 - CNCACS Circle Impacts Triangle

Like a ripple from a stone tossed into a pond, the widening circle of projects and partnerships associated with Eastern Washington University’s (EWU) new Center for Network Computing and Cyber Security (CNCACS) has reached the Terabyte Triangle. This research-focused center, one of only nine certified by EWU’s president and board of trustees, is now working with Triangle companies and organizations on a wide variety of projects.

CNCACS became operational in 2005, powered by several equipment grants and a state HEC Board grant to support faculty and graduate students. Last academic year, the center focused on building up a working organization, according to Dr Steve Simmons, CNCACS director. “Our main efforts then,” Simmons states, “were in recruiting expert faculty in computer networking and setting up research and project equipment in the brand new Computing and Engineering Building on the Cheney campus.” The resulting configuration now includes a set of rack-mounted cyber warfare “pods” for experiments in cyber security, a powerful distributed computing cluster, and the experimental “Green Network” -- an isolated gigabit network reserved for experiments in network security, network performance, protocol development, and similar research and project uses.

Aided by the EWU computer science department’s convenient facilities in the Sirti building, CNCACS is now involved in three projects involving Terabyte Triangle companies:

*) The Distributed Music Project.

This is an extremely challenging technical project aspiring to allow high quality real time collaboration by interacting musicians at various locations on a high performance Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). This project was the brainchild (and ongoing project) of Craig Volosing, principal of Craig Volosing Event Service Associates in the Triangle’s Courtyard Office Center at 827 West 1st Ave. Other partners include VPnet and the EWU Department of Music.

*) iDynaTech Product Testing and Development

This project was proposed by a Sirti accelerator tenant, startup company iDynaTech, which asked CNCACS to help test and evaluate a high performance, rich content, Web service application under development at their company. The desired results are product measurements and other evaluations leading to improvements in both the performance and the usability of the new product, which is now in the early prototype stage.

*) The VPnet Microsoft SharePoint Project

This project involves the hardware, software, and network performance aspects of setting up a powerful Web based collaboration system on VPnet, to be based at an Avista-operated collocation center in the Triangle. The system will be used for research and educational collaboration. Partners include Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, VPnet, and Avista. The project was engendered via a grant from Microsoft to VPnet of over $140,000 in software and support. The project goal is to deploy Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software in an optimal way on VPnet, and to promote its use by members.

CNCACS staff now includes, in addition to director Simmons: Dr. Atsushi Inoue, Chief Scientist for Intelligent Systems, Dr. Timothy Rolfe, Chief Scientist for Distributed Systems, Dr. John Shovic, Chief Scientist for Cyber Security, Dr. Kosuke Imamura and Dr. Carol Taylor, Network Systems Scientists, and Tom Capaul, Code Security Scientist. To contact CNCACS, e-mail Dr. Simmons at or call 358-2063.

Billie Moreland
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