ESnet Partners with North American, European Research Networks in Pilot to Create First 100 Gbps Research Link Across Atlantic

Six of the world’s leading research and education networks – ESnet, Internet2, NORDUnet, SURFnet, CANARIE and GÉANT – have announced their intent to build the world’s first 100 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) intercontinental transmission links for research and education.

 The project, called the “Advanced North Atlantic 100G Pilot” or ANA-100G, is aimed at stimulating the market for 100 Gbps intercontinental networking and advancing global networks and applications to benefit research and education. In addition to ESnet (the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network), the other participating networks are Internet2, NORDUnet (the Nordic Infrastructure for Research & Education), SURFnet (the Dutch National Research and Education Network), CANARIE (Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network), and GÉANT (the high speed European communication network dedicated to research and education, operated by DANTE).

 The partners are inviting other national research and education networks (NRENs) and their constituencies from around the world to participate in the project. The announcement was made April 24 at the 2013 Internet2 Annual Meeting before 800 technology, education and research leaders.

Read more.

ESnet’s Greg Bell to Deliver Keynote at Canadian Conference

ESnet Director Greg Bell will give the keynote address at the 2013 THINK Conference organized by ORION, the high-speed network linking 1.8 million researchers in Ontario, Canada. The conference will be held April 25, 2013, in Toronto.

This year’s THINK Conference will focus on “Extreme Data” – including the trends, the issues and what they mean for Ontario’s research, education and innovation communities. The THINK Conference will challenge organizational leaders affected by the circumstances of the day to take notice, exchange knowledge, share best practices and develop ideas that lead to innovative solutions.

According to Bell, “It’s time to start thinking about research networks as instruments for discovery, not infrastructures for service-delivery.” In his talk, Bell will describe what’s at stake in this distinction, and explain how campuses and networks in Ontario can prepare themselves to support data-intensive science collaborations and workflows. 

Read more about the THINK Conference


ESnet Director Greg Bell

Oak Ridge First National Lab with 100G Production Connection to ESnet

More labs scheduled to follow soon

On Tuesday, April 9, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee became the first DOE lab with a 100 gigabit-per-second production  link to ESnet’s 100G backbone. Since the high-speed backbone went into production in late 2012, each of the labs served by ESnet has been developing plans to upgrade their connections to 100G. Within the next 6 months, DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Fermilab, and Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, Brookhaven  national labs are expected to put 100G links into production as well.

Since the faster connections replaces the old links when they go live, it’s important to thoroughly test the new links. We do this by building the new link so we can test it in parallel with the existing one and troubleshoot as needed. When everything appears to be ready, we conduct a 24-hour link acceptance test, sending network traffic nonstop for 24 hours. It’s basically a bit-blast followed by a thorough check for problems, then a handover to the end site.

Once the test is completed, we schedule a maintenance activity to move traffic to the new link.  When that comes, we time get everyone who is involved in the switchover on the phone, each one does their part, and the changeover is completed.

ESnet’s Patrick Dorn did a great job heading up the project, and Vangelis Chaniotakis and Chris Tracy helped to architect the ORNL hub to make this possible.

Read about how we tested the 100G backbone before switching into production mode at:

ESnet’s Eli Dart to Present Case Study at GlobusWorld Conference

The 11th annual GlobusWORLD conference, to be held April 16-18, 2013, will feature a presentation by ESnet’s Eli Dart on how the Science DMZ infrastructure combined with Globus Online is helping a scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source keep up with a 50-fold increase in data generation.

Globus Online has become a primary on-ramp for researchers to access high performance networks like ESnet for rapidly sharing data or to use remote computing facilities like NERSC. This year’s conference at Argonne National Laboratory focuses on “moving, syncing and sharing” research data at scale.

Dart, an ESnet network engineer, will discuss “Optimizing Data Management at the Advanced Light Source with a Science DMZ.” ESnet is working with scientists at the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab who are seeing massive increases in the data output of their experiments and who now require HPC and network resources to support their research. Dart’s talk details ESnet’s work with an ALS scientist who needed new resources to handle a 50-fold increase in data generation.

 ESnet staff worked with the beamline scientist to deploy new infrastructure based on the ‘Science DMZ’ architecture where data-intensive science applications are run on dedicated infrastructure specifically configured for high performance.

Leveraging Globus Online as the data primary data transfer tool on the Science DMZ, the beamline scientist now seamlessly transmits data to DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Oakland, where the data is stored, managed and shared with other researchers.

Last November, ESnet and Globus Online announced a collaboration to help scientists better manage the growing amounts of data they need to move, share, and analyze worldwide. Read the announcement.