Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Department of Energy Builds National 100GigE Research Net

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Internet2 announced plans to build one of the world's fastest and most advanced scientific networks on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (ESnet).

Berkeley Lab has received $62 million in funding to create the Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) in order to develop a 100 Gbps prototype network between DOE's supercomputing centers to facilitate research and experimentation around this new technology. The prototype network is a key step to the DOE's vision of an eventual 1 terabit wavelength network to connect DOE facilities. Part of the ANI funding was also used to create a high-performance reconfigurable testbed where researchers and industry can test advanced concepts in networking and develop new protocols.

Under the project, ESnet and Internet2 will build and operate the 100 Gbps ANI prototype network using one of the first national-scale deployments of 100 GigE. Internet2 will use fiber from Level 3 Communications' network. ESnet will also have the option to access 4.4 terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity for the ESnet ANI network using Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. The ESnet ANI prototype network will initially connect three DOE unclassified supercomputing centers: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in Tennessee, and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in Illinois, as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point (MANLAN) in New York.

During the prototype phase, the network will be used for applications and networking research, including connecting the Magellan cloud computing resources at NERSC to ALCF, and the Acadia project, which will develop network interface controller (NIC) hardware and device-driver/protocol-specific software for host and gateway systems operating at 40 and 100 Gbps. The prototype network will also serve as a platform for building out technologies leading to an eventual 1-terabit per second wavelength network.

"The ANI prototype is a crucial step forward to a future nationwide 100 Gbps production network that will connect DOE scientists with unprecedented network capabilities to conduct data-intensive research and collaborations, bolstering U.S. scientific innovation in areas that will impact society, such as climate studies, clean fuels, particle physics, and genomics," said Steve Cotter, ESnet department head. "The agreement extends a strong working relationship between Internet2 and ESnet to provide the research and education community with the most robust networking resources to meet its current and future needs."

"Science is becoming more data-intensive and remote instruments are producing significantly more data volume than in previous generations. As a result, research network traffic is growing at twice the rate of commercial Internet traffic, and the trend is expected to accelerate as the scope of scientific collaborations increases and scientists around the world draw data from geographically dispersed experimental facilities like the Large Hadron Collider," said Dave Lambert, Internet2 president and CEO, "Increasing the capacity of networks is more important than ever to enable scientists to analyze data, collaborate, and combine data sets in new ways from these experiments." http://www.internet2.eduhttp://www.lbl.gov/

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