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GraphicsNet

GraphicsNet was the SIGGRAPH 97 conference intranet. It served as the link among the many conference programs and events, and as the gateway to the global graphics community.

For the first time, GraphicsNet included two different optical fiber backbones (see GraphicsNet Layout).

A production backbone based on Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) linked the Exhibition; the Internet Access Centers; the 14 presentation rooms for Papers, Panels, Courses, Sketches, and the Educators Program; the Electric Garden; 10 information kiosk locations; and the Creative Applications Lab (CAL). The production backbone was built with products from Cisco Systems, LANCAST, and others. It was connected to the Internet through a Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS) circuit on the Pacific Bell optical fiber Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) ring that serves the Los Angeles Convention Center. The SMDS circuit provided a 34 Mbps path to Pacific Bell Internet Services and their multiple Internet backbone providers.

The other GraphicsNet backbone was based on ATM (155 Mbps, OC-3) and was designed primarily to serve as the high-performance video network for SIGGRAPH TV. It connected presentation venues with three video walls and with SIGGRAPH TV Master Control. The ATM network was built using switches and video encoding and decoding products from FORE Systems. An external link to the ATM backbone that uses Pacific Bell's TV1 optical fiber video service fed the SIGGRAPH TV satellite uplink provider during SIGGRAPH TV's live broadcast.

GraphicsNet also included several dedicated optical fiber links used by exhibitors to distribute digital video and for other applications.

The primary network management workstations and servers used in the Network Operations Center (NOC) were supplied by Sun Microsystems.

 Acknowledgements

I wish to extend a special thank-you to each of the following volunteers and their employers for their immense contribution to GraphicsNet and SIGGRAPH 97. Without their expertise, creativity, dedication, and teamwork, GraphicsNet simply could not have been realized.

Networking Committee

David Evans
Sandia National Laboratories

CJ Murzyn
University of Illinois at Chicago

Keith Nesson
FORE Systems

Ralph Orlick
University of Illinois at Chicago

David Spoelstra
MediaMachine

Bruce Whittet
Sandia National Laboratories

Onsite Support

Joe Cychosz
WorldServer

Larry Des Jardines
Abacus Commerce Group

Jeff Jortner
Sandia National Laboratories

Larry Kauffman
USA Group

Sanjay Lall
California Institute of Technology

Alan Verlo
University of Illinois at Chicago

All of us on the GraphicsNet team owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the following people, who provided professional support to the team.

Robin Myran

Larry Rummens and the staff of the Los Angeles Convention Center

Tim Gebelin and the crew at United Contractors

Grateful acknowledgement is extended for the support of the following companies. Through generous loans of equipment and personnel, they helped to ensure the success of GraphicsNet and SIGGRAPH 97.

Cisco Systems
Fluke
FORE Systems
LANCAST
Microsoft Corporation
Shomiti Systems
Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Sun Microsystems Inc.
Tripp Lite

And I wish to thank the many SIGGRAPH 97 committee members, contributors, exhibitors, and attendees who inspired us to build GraphicsNet.

Steven M. Van Frank
SIGGRAPH 97 Networking Chair