AURORA is one of five U.S. networking testbeds charged with exploring applications of, and technologies necessary for, networks operating at gigabit per second or higher bandwidths. The emphasis of the AURORA testbed, distinct from the other four testbeds, BLANCA, CASA, NECTAR and VISTANET, is research into the supporting technologies for gigabit networking. Like the other testbeds, AURORA itself is an experiment in collaboration, where government initiative (in the form of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, which is funded by DARPA and the National Science Foundation) has spurred interaction among pre-existing centers of excellence in industry, academia, and government. AURORA has been charged with research into networking technologies that will underpin future high-speed networks. This paper provides an overview of the goals and methodologies employed in AURORA, and points to some preliminary results from our first year of research, ranging from analytic results to experimental prototype hardware. This paper enunciates our targets, which include new software architectures, network abstractions, and hardware technologies, as well as applications for our work.
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