Skip to content

Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development

GLORIAD is the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development.

The United States, China, and Russia jointly launched GLORIAD in 2004—a big step forward in relations among three countries not generally known for mutual cooperation. In 2005 GLORIAD expanded to include Korea, Canada, and the Netherlands; and in 2006 the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland joined GLORIAD, bringing together the world’s top networking experts into one distributed, virtual network infrastructure and team.

Today’s GLORIAD is a modern communications infrastructure constructed from a fiber-optic ring of light—connecting universities, research institutes, and national laboratories across the globe—with individual network circuits providing up to 10 Gbps (one billion bits of information per second). Our hybrid network of multiple technologies allows us to provide services to our network users according to their specific needs. The network topology provides several ring redundancies, representing a true “ring of rings” around the Earth. GLORIAD has the capability to link to all international advanced computing networks.

Sponsors / Contributors

  • U.S. National Science Foundation
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences and CSTnet
  • Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea and KISTI/KREOnet
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Russian Research Institute—Kurchatov and RIPN
  • CANARIE network of Canada
  • Netherlands SURFnet team
  • NORDUnet
  • Tata Communications
  • Tyco Telecommunications

Participants / Partners

U.S. government agencies, national laboratories, and research facilities use GLORIAD to collaborate with their counterparts in China, Russia, Korea, and other nations and to engage in joint research and discovery on the most important global scientific issues. Users of GLORIAD include NASA, NOAA, USGS, the Department of Energy, and more than 500 U.S. universities and colleges and research and educational facilities.

Our advanced science Internet network provides an optical network ring around the Northern Hemisphere. GLORIAD’s bandwidth is sufficient to support the most advanced high-energy physics applications (such as the Large Hadron Collider), transmit entire libraries of information in seconds, permit thousands of simultaneous video-conferences for distance learning or shared seminars, and enable remote sharing of expensive scientific instrumentation. GLORIAD allows literally millions of scientists, educators, policy makers, artists, and students to work together in a shared, highly advanced environment where they can engage in activities that support scientific endeavors, from discovery to teaching to science diplomacy.


Climate change, cybersecurity, international disaster early warning systems, seismology, atmospheric science, global public health, renewable and alternative energy, nuclear energy, nuclear nonproliferation: research on these vitally important science problems, along with every other scientific discipline known to humankind, takes place on GLORIAD’s network every day—roughly 6,000–8,000 large international collaborative applications every second. Essentially, the GLORIAD network is a platform upon which a diverse array of advanced applications for science and education is carried out by international partners in the government and in academic, public, and private sectors across the globe.

Research / Education

GLORIAD is a platform for deploying applications for researching and solving the world’s major science problems, as well as offering high bandwidth distance learning opportunities. GLORIAD also supports growing fields within the digital humanities and social sciences. In short, GLORIAD’s services provide opportunities for collaboration and cooperation—for all scientists, educators, and students—in ways unimagined only a few years ago.

Outreach / Development

GLORIAD’s network is comprised of hybrid technologies that serve the most diverse user group possible. Network services include Layer 1 optical lightpaths for fundamental capacity building and reliability/redundancy, Layer 2 switched Ethernet services for big science projects and experimental networking research, and Layer 3 routed services for serving the needs of users requiring general-purpose but high-capacity network services.

The Future

We are working today on a “southern arm” of GLORIAD stretching from GLORIAD’s HKLight facility in Hong Kong to Singapore, Mumbai, and Cairo, establishing and connecting to a new Middle East network facility, and terminating in Europe. The new infrastructure will support a wide range of U.S. science, education, and development interests across Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East, while also supporting improved network services for our Asian and European partners.

Contact Information

Greg Cole, Principal Investigator
P209 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996

Phone: (865) 974-2459

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.