Welcome to MiLR

Michigan State University

David A. Gift, MSU vice provost for libraries, computing and technology, said, “We are all very proud of this collaboration between the state’s research universities, and very pleased by the progress we’ve made in implementing this complex, advanced-networking project, which we expect will become a truly vital part of our research future.

University of Michigan

“More than ever before, higher-education institutions need to collaborate on advanced networking to keep pace with rapid change and to meet the growing demands of research and teaching,” said James Hilton, associate provost for information technology at the University of Michigan. “Additionally, costs are significant and can be reduced by working together. MiLR is a perfect example of such collaboration.”

Wayne State University

Creating MiLR will give the three universities a competitive advantage in attracting external support for research, says John Camp, WSU chief information officer and associate vice president, Computing and Information Technology.  We are now members of a small and elite group of universities nationally that are investing in high-performance networks to strengthen research and facilitate collaboration, he points out.

Merit Network

“Transition to a facilities-based network is an exciting move for Merit,” said Mike McPherson, Merit Network Interim President and CEO. “This move will provide Merit tremendous growth in bandwidth, while containing future costs and establishing Merit in the field of regional optical networking.

What is Michigan LambdaRail (MiLR)?

MiLR (pronounced “MY-lar”) is a very high-speed, special purpose, data network built jointly by Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, and operated by the Merit Network.

MiLR provides campus researchers low-cost, 10 Gbps Ethernet connections between the three university campuses and to national and international research and education connection points in Chicago.  Work is underway to interconnect MiLR with other similar networks being built in the U.S. and internationally.

Where are the MiLR facilities located?

Planning for MiLR began in 2003, 750 miles of dark fiber were acquired and optronics equipment selected in 2004, and the network became operational in the spring of 2005.

The fiber connections include geographically diverse routes between Detroit and Chicago, as well as metro rings within both cities. The network connects Merit Members and Affiliates with direct peering connections to national and international research and education networks such as National LambdaRail, Internet2/Abilene, CANARIE (Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education) and MREN.

What kind of technology does MiLR use?

The MiLR collaboration acquired the rights to use six strands of fiber-optic cable for 20 years along a 750-mile ring in the Detroit-Chicago corridor. MiLR has the ability to provide as many as 40 10 Gbps Ethernets between Ann Arbor, Chicago, Detroit, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo through the use of the dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) equipment used to initially “light” two of the six fiber strands that were acquired - one strand in each direction.

The DWDM system, as currently built out, provides 10 Gbps Ethernets between the campuses of the three universities as well as three Ethernets between each university and the MiLR node in Chicago over the fully diverse MiLR fiber ring.