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Digitalk: Where IT's at

IS&T Community Forum

Information Services and Technology (IS&T) will host its annual community forum Feb. 13 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Starting in the Mezzanine Lounge (W20-307), MIT community members will have the opportunity to hear about and give feedback on IS&T's FY09 strategic plan and key strategic initiatives.

At 3:30 p.m., immediately following the presentation, IS&T staff will host a services trade show in Twenty Chimneys (W20-306), featuring next-generation mobile devices, the MITvoip telephone system, Thalia image management and many other IS&T offerings. For more information on IS&T services, see

MIT Regional Optical Network

It's huge and it's fast and it's just been unleashed. The new MIT Regional Optical Network provides connectivity to key Internet exchange points with speeds exceeding 10 Gbps, the equivalent of transmitting 10 full-length, high-definition movies in 30 seconds. This adaptive, all-optical network is one of the world's largest institutional networks for research and collaboration.

IS&T partnered with Nortel to create this next-generation network, acquiring already-laid fiber-optic lines ("dark fiber") from Level 3 Communications and Vermont Telephone. The network is designed to accommodate faster technologies and upgrades as they become available. Initially, it is being deployed across the northeast United States, connecting MIT's main campus to New York, Washington and Baltimore via 1,500 miles of fiber, with optical equipment at 17 locations across seven states. Plans include linking to LHCnet, the research network maintained by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the National LambdaRail.

To see a map of the regional network in its first stage of development, go to

MIT on the Access Grid

If you're an MIT researcher with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), chances are good that you share that funding with partners at other universities. When it's time to make a presentation on your research to the NSF, everyone involved can participate without having to travel--thanks to the Access Grid, an advanced web-conferencing resource that allows multiple camera feeds from each of the participating Access Grid nodes to appear on the high-resolution displays at every site.

Funded by IS&T, MIT's node on the Access Grid is a state-of-the-art facility in 9-152. Managed by the Libraries' Academic Media Production Services (AMPS), the room is equipped with several large projection systems, cameras, a Crestron control panel and a high-end microphone system for clear transmission.

While key to communications with the NSF, the AMPS' facility can be used for web conferencing with any of the numerous other sites on the Access Grid. For information about tapping into this high-tech facility, including scheduling and fees, visit To learn more about the Access Grid itself, visit

New service levels for TSM backup

To complement its standard TSM backup service, IS&T has introduced a "basic" level of service and will soon round out its TSM offerings with an "enterprise" level of service.

The basic service, for desktops and laptops, lets users back up 15 gigabytes (GB) of data in selected directories and folders. This service is offered at no cost to new TSM users and existing subscribers who switch to it.

Under the standard offering, which has been in place at MIT for over 12 years, users can back up 300GB of data. The fee for this service level is now $15 per month, an increase of $7.50 per month.

Later in the first quarter of 2008, IS&T will launch the enterprise service for server-class machines. Departments, labs and centers that sign up for the Enterprise service will be able to back up 10 terabytes of data for a monthly fee of $65.

Note that you can now check how much data you're storing on the TSM server by going to To learn more about the upcoming changes, go to

Digitalk is compiled by Information Services and Technology.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 16, 2008 (download PDF).

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