ESnet Teams Up for Workshop on Programmable Switches

A collaboration between the University of South Carolina, the Great Plains Network (GPN), and EPOC (a joint effort between Indiana University and ESnet) recently sponsored a two-day workshop on programmable data plane switches, with specific emphasis on Programming Protocol-Independent Packet Processors (P4).

Data plane programmability has attracted significant attention from the research community and industry due to its ability to enable programmers to run customized packet processing functions in the data plane, but so far there has been limited training available on P4. 

P4 is a domain-specific language for network devices, specifying how data plane devices (switches, NICs, routers, filters, etc.) process packets. Using P4, application developers and network engineers can implement specific behavior in the network, enabling changes to be made in minutes instead of years.

“With FABRIC coming online and GPN as a host of one of the nodes, this P4 Workshop was a very welcome educational opportunity for our community” said James Deaton, the executive director of the Great Plains Network, one of the sponsors for the workshop.  

More than 200 people attended the February event, which was presented via the University of South Carolina’s cybertraining system and offered free of charge. ESnet’s Jason Zurawski was among the organizers. Sessions covered the fundamentals of P4 programmable switches, FABRIC’s national cyberinfrastructure, use of P4 switches on campus networks. There were also hands-on sessions covering P4 building blocks, parser implementation in the data plane, populating match-action tables at runtime, and others.

Submissions Now Open for Workshop on Improving Data Management for Climate Science

ESnet and Internet2 are now accepting submissions for the Focused Technical Workshop on Improving Data Mobility & Management for International Climate Science. The workshop, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will be held July 14-16, 2014, in Boulder, Colo.

The program committee is seeking presentation proposals for these focus areas:

  • Technology Best Practices
  • Scientific Drivers
  • Facility Overviews

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please send an email to that includes the title, length of talk, abstract, name of speaker and contact information (title, organization, and email for any speakers other than the submitter).

Submissions are due by Wednesday, April 30. Accepted speakers will be notified by May 15.

ESnet and Internet2 – in collaboration with partners Indiana University (IU), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and NOAA – are hosting the workshop to bring together network, software and data management experts with scientists from the international climate community. The goal is to initiate a dialogue among climate scientists, climate data manager, and cyberinfrastructure engineers with the aim of building longer-term relationships. The workshop also seeks to provide climate researchers with immediately useful tools and resources for improved data transport and management.

The workshop will include a slate of invited speakers and panelists in a format designed to encourage lively, interactive discussions with the goal of developing a set of tangible next steps for supporting this data-intensive science community. The workshop intends to include breakout sessions as well as many opportunities for professional networking.

Find more information at: