Operating a highly optimized network across two continents that meets the needs of very demanding scientific endeavors requires a tremendous amount of automation, orchestration, security, and monitoring. Any failure to provide these services can create serious operational challenges.
As we enter the ESnet6 era, ESnet is dedicated to ensuring that we continue to relentlessly push the boundaries of operational excellence and obsessively seek out and improve upon operational risks. Our new High Availability Services Site (HASS) in San Jose, CA. will be a critical component to realizing those goals in our computing platforms and services. ESnet’s HASS will soon provide fully redundant network operations platforms, allowing us to seamlessly maintain services if our operations at LBL are disrupted.
For about a decade, ESnet has augmented its data center operations at Berkeley Lab in California with a small footprint at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. This has allowed us to synchronize important information across two sites and to run multiple instances of important services to ensure operational continuity in the case of a failure. While this has provided great stability and reliability, there are limitations. In particular, the 2,500 mile gap across a continent does not let ESnet restore operations without some degree of delay as some key services must be manually transitioned. HASS will enable seamless operational continuity, since the shorter distance between Berkeley and San Jose will let us automatically maintain the active synchronization of operational platforms.
Deployment of HASS involves a team effort of our ESnet Computing Infrastructure, Network Engineering, and Security teams, working together to architect and deploy the next evolution in our computing and service reliability strategy. After finalizing our requirements, we are now working with Equinix, a commercial colocation provider, to deploy a site adjacent to the ESnet6 network. Equinix was able to provide a secure suite in their San Jose facility and this location gives us the capacity, and physical adjacency we require to directly connect this suite to ESnet6 and reach our Berkeley data center comfortably within our demanding latency goals (10ms or less).
As part of standing up HASS , we’ll be installing a new routing platform with a 100G upstream connection to ESnet6 in both San Jose and Berkeley. We’ll also be installing new high performance switching platforms, security services (high throughput firewalls, tapping, black hole routing, etc.), virtualization resources, and several other redundant internal operational platforms. Our existing virtualization platform (ESXi/vSAN) will “stretch” into the new space as part of the same logical cluster we operate in Berkeley. Once this is deployed, even networking services that lack native high availability capabilities will be able to simply “float” between the two physical data centers with data mirrored and striped across both sites.
We’re very excited by the addition of the San Jose HASS, and HASS, in combination with existing reliability resources at Brookhaven, will continue to ensure that ESnet6 has the ability to meet scientific networking community needs for service hosting, disaster recovery, and offsite data replication.