NCR9725292 National Laboratory for Applied Networking Research (NLANR): Distributed Applications Support Team (DAST) In 1995, NSF awarded a cooperative agreement for a National Laboratory for Applied Networking Research (NLANR) providing for engineering, technical support and coordination of the vBNS connections at the supercomputing centers. The purposes of this NLANR team activity were (i) to provide sufficient testing, utilization and measurement of the NSFvBNS to insure that its overall performance was at acceptable levels, (ii) to facilitate the experiments to be performed on the NSFvBNS, and (iii) to provide for the coordination of support activities among the centers. It also provided limited engineering and technical support for general use of the NSFvBNS and provided for the coordination of such activities and facilitated the development at the supercomputing centers of a skilled and distributed network engineering team with a thorough knowledge of the NSFvBNS and its performance capabilities and use for high performance applications. The recently initiated expansion of the NSFvBNS to encourage its use as a "leading edge but stable" platform to enable the development and use of high performance applications by the broader academic research community requires that the original NLANR activities be significantly expanded to encompass support for new users, sites and applications as well as continued measurement and testing of an expanded network. The need for this expansion has defined the NLANR activity into separate awards for three functional areas: the NLANR: Distributed Applications Support Team (DAST), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigne, aimed at assisting the end users of high-performance applications in maximizing the performance of their applications; the NLANR: National Center for Network Engineering (NCNE), located at Carnegie-Mellon University, aimed at assisting high performance connections campuses in optimizing their network engineeri ng and connectivity; and the NLANR: Measurement and Operational Analysis Team (MOAT), located at the University of California, San, Diego, aimed at measuring and optimizing performance and use of the NSFvBNS and interconnected networks. The three efforts will continue to be be closely coodinated with each other and with the NSFvBNS. The agreement provides for the NLANR: Distributed Applications Support Team (DAST) which builds on the NLANR activity and brings to bear NCSA's experience in supporting users of both high performance networks (through NLANR, IWAY, BLANCA, etc.) and complex computing environments (through the NCSA user support structure that serves several thousand users). DAST will place network and software engineers in direct contact with users, develop training materials and the host workshops to facilitate the transfer of expertise in supporting applications to the High Performance Connections end users and user service organizations at their institutions. DAST establishes a central help desk for High Performance Connection award site users with high performance applications to coordinate the routing and resolution of problems related to the vBNS and other networks associated with the High Performance Connections program.