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Many existing and emerging Scientific high-end applications (E-science) require end-to-end circuits interconnecting Grid resources for large data transfers. A few advanced Networks, mainly Research and Education Networks (NRENS), such as Surfnet, National Lambda Rail and Internet 2, now provide mechanisms for end-users to reserve and provision lightpaths via middleware referred to as Network Resource Mangers (NRMs). Although, some progress has been made in automated intra-domain lightpath services, inter-domain lightpath provisioning still requires manual intervention and presents several key challenges such as scalability of topology information exchanged, consistency and scalability of information model, security of access to the resources, hybrid networking and multilayer lightpaths, and accounting and billing.
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