After working at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) for less than a year and learning about the lab as a whole, I can say that I am happy to be a part of this growing organization. In passing, when mentioning my position at the UNH-IOL, I am never surprised by responses such as, "You are so lucky to be working there" because I know just how true the statement is.
The UNH-IOL began more than two decades ago in a small room at UNH and was founded by: Bill Lenharth, Former Director of Research Computing Center (RCC), and Barry Reinhold, President of Lamprey Networks. In 1988, the UNH-IOL started off as a branch of the University's Research Computing Center (RCC). The RCC was testing Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) equipment with the intention of deploying it in its network. Once finding that equipment from two vendors was not interoperable, the RCC contacted the vendors in an attempt to find an answer. After some debate, the two vendors came together to solve the problem, which stemmed from differences between the draft and final versions of the FDDI specification. During the same time period, the RCC was testing 10BASE-T Ethernet interfaces for another, unrelated project. Over the next decade, the lab continued to expand its testing efforts into many new technology areas. In the 1990s technologies tested at the lab ranged from FDDI, token ring, ATM and 10 Base-T and 10-Gig.