Esnet’s Sowmya Balasubramanian and Mary Hester will present a workshop on “Exploring an Open-Source Software on Miniature Computers” at the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing to be held Oct. 14 – 16 in Houston, Texas. Balasubramanian is a software developer for the Advanced Network Technologies Group at ESnet and Hester is a member of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team.
The Oct. 15 workshop attendees will explore the free, open-source software perfSONAR (Performance focused Service Oriented Network monitoring Architecture). Co-developed by ESnet, perfSONAR is a network monitoring and measurement tool to help network and IT staff understand and visualize packet loss and throughput problems on network connections through active testing and publishing of the data. The workshop will simulate a world-wide network of servers to troubleshoot and explore networking on small single-board computers.
Mmmmm…raspberry pi — just the thing for
serving up a workshop on using small computers
for network performance measurement.
To propel the automation and deployment of large-scale distributed monitoring infrastructures across the Research and Education (R&E) community, ESnet, GEANT, Indiana University, and Internet2 announced the release of perfSONAR v3.5. perfSONAR is a widely deployed test and measurement infrastructure that is used by science networks and facilities around the world to monitor and ensure network performance.
Released Oct. 5 at the Internet2 2015 Technology Exchange in Cleveland, the perfSONAR updates include support for accelerating the deployment of nodes within a campus or enterprise, improves the security profile of perfSONAR nodes, and reduces network operations center (NOC) integration costs.
When ESnet, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Sciences Network, unveiled its online interactive network portal called MyESnet in July of 2011, the reaction was strongly positive – other research and education networks liked it so much, they wanted the code to create their own portals.
After four years of development and refinement, they will get their wish. On Oct. 5, Jon Dugan of ESnet’s Tool Team will give a presentation on “ESnet’s Network Visualization Toolkit” at the 2015 Technology Exchange conference in Cleveland, Ohio. About 500 network experts from around the world are expected to attend the meeting.
“People really appreciate MyESnet, which we think is a great visualization of the network and network data. We have received a lot of queries from the community to help them create a similar portal,” said ESnet Chief Technologist Inder Monga, who leads the Tools Team. “So as a way of giving back to the community, we are releasing as open source three software libraries we developed that provide critical components to create the portal.”
From individual universities around the country to a consortium of research institutions stretching the length of the west coast, networking teams are deploying an infrastructure architecture known as the Science DMZ to help researchers make productive use of ever-increasing data flows.
The Science DMZ traces its name to an element of network security architecture. In a security context, a DMZ or “demilitarized zone” is a portion of a site network which is specifically dedicated to external-facing services (such as web and email servers). Typically, located at the network perimeter, a DMZ has its own security policy because of its dedicated purpose – exchanging data with the outside world. A Science DMZ is specifically dedicated to external-facing high-performance science services. For example, the data servers for a large data repository would be put in a Science DMZ so that collaborating institutions could easily transfer hundreds of terabytes of data for analysis.
Eli Dart, a network engineer with the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), first coined the term “Science DMZ” in early 2010 to describe the network configuration linking two DOE sites – the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. ESnet provides high-bandwidth connections between 40 DOE sites in the U.S. and links to collaborators around the globe. Both NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.
Since then, the concept has been endorsed by the National Science Foundation (NSF), replicated at more than 100 universities, is being considered by several federal research organizations and is the basis for the new Pacific Research Platform, a cutting-edge research infrastructure which will link together the Science DMZs of dozens of West Coast research institutions. On July 30, 2015, the NSF announced it would fund a $5 million, five-year award to UC San Diego and UC Berkeley to support the Pacific Research Platform as a science-driven high-capacity data-centric “freeway system” on a large regional scale.
“In the R&E (Research and Education) networking space we have a close working relationship and that helps with NSF’s mission to fund research at colleges and universities,” said Kevin Thompson,program manager in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Advanced Cyber Infrastructure. “It’s been a great partnership. The Science DMZ is one of the more important network engineering events for the community to build around in a long time. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this seminal engineering program. ESnet has shown national leadership in campus networking and it’s a big reason why the NSF program has been so successful.”
Making advanced computing and networks understandable to a general audience can be a challenge, but a revamped weekly online publication called the Science Node is up to the task.
With over 11,000 subscribers in 190 countries, theScience Node was previously known as International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW). The publication has been engaging with the public and supporting the research computing community for over a decade. Now, with iSGTW’s reporting extending well beyond grid computing, the editors decided it was time for a new tech-neutral name — and an updated look and feel.
“The Science Node’s new look and name comes at a time when the roles of high performance computing centers and networks are also changing and being viewed as integrated tools for discovery,” said Lauren Rotman, chair of the Science Node’s advisory board and science engagement group lead for ESnet, the US Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network. “But since these facilities are so well integrated, the contributions they make to research are sometimes not fully apparent, an issue that the Science Node is ideally positioned to address.”
Five employees in the Computing Sciences organization staff members, including ESnet Network Engineer Eli Dart, are recipients of this year’s Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards for Exceptional Achievement, which were announced on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
Dart, a member of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team and Brent Draney, head of NERSC’s Networking, Security and Servers Group, were recognized for their work in developing the Science DMZ, a network architecture that allows science data to securely bypass institutional firewalls. The Science DMZ has been endorsed by the National Science Foundation, which has funded Science DMZs t more than 100 universities across the country. Dart and Draney were honored in the area of operations for “achievement in operational effectiveness, process re-engineering or improvement, resource management and efficiency, or partnerships across organizational/departmental boundaries.”
Deb Agarwal, head of the Computational Research Division’s (CRD) Data Science and Technology Department, was recognized for her effort to support diversity at the lab.
James Sethian, head of CRD’s Mathematics Group, was recognized for establishing CAMERA, the Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications.
Lynn Rippe was awarded a Berkeley Lab Citation for her longtime procurement work in support of NERSC.
Computing Sciences recipients of the 2015 Berkeley Lab Director’s Awards for Exceptional Achievement are (from left) CRD’s Deb Agarwal, ESnet’s Eli Dart, NERSC’s Brent Draney, CRD’s James Sethian and NERSC Lead Procurement Administrator Lynn Rippe.
In a recap of the recent IEEE Hot Interconnects 2015 conference, networking news site Viodi.com featured a tutorial on Software Defined WANs co-led by ESnet Chief Technologist Inder Monga and Srini Seetharaman of Infinera. Viodi (pronounced V-O-D) provides information about broadband networks to independent network operators and their vendors. The 2015 Hot Interconnects, the 23rd in the conference series, was held Aug. 26-28 in Santa Clara.
According to Viodi.com, the tutorial on “Software Defined WANs (which is a much broader topic than SDN for WANs)…was a terrific ‘tag team’ lecture/discussion by Inder & Srini who alternated describing each slide/diagram. We present selected highlights below.
“Inder summarized many fundamental problems in all facets of WANs:
Agility requirements are not met for WAN provisioning (sometimes takes days or weeks to provision a new circuit or IP-MPLS VPN)
Traditional wide-area networking is inflexible, opaque and expensive
WAN resources are not efficiently utilized (over-provisioning prevails)
Interoperability issues across vendors, layers and domains reduces chance of automation
Hard to support new value propositions, like: Route selection at enterprises, Dynamic peering at exchanges, Auto bandwidth and bandwidth calendaring, Mapping elephant (very large) data flows to different Flexi-Grid channels
“Srini commented that the Network Virtualization (NV)/ overlay model has more market traction than the pure SDN/Open Flow model.”
GÉANT, Europe’s leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education, has appointed a new CEO, former ESnet head Steve Cotter, to complete the restructuring of the organisation and take on the challenges of a rapidly changing global science environment.
Cotter is presently CEO of REANNZ, New Zealand’s NREN (National Research and Education Network). He will assume his new role at GÉANT in November, where he will be responsible for developing and fulfilling the organisation’s strategic vision, through management of GÉANT’s day-to-day operations, strengthening relationships with NRENs and the European Commission; and developing major international collaborations.
Formerly Department Head of ESnet, and having also worked for technology companies in Europe and the U.S. including Google, Internet2 and Cisco, Cotter brings a track record of working with government funders and research and academic users.
Jason Zurawski of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team gave presentations on the Science DMZ architecture and perfSONAR network measurement toolkit at a two-day workshop held last month at Penn State. The workshop, which aimed to strengthen campus cyberinfrastucture, drew more than 30 higher education network engineers representing 11 higher education institutions.
The workshop was a collaboration of ESnet, the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) and Penn State with funding from the National Science Foundation. Zurawski and other members of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team regularly participate in similar workshops and give webinars to share ESnet’s expertise and experience with campuses and regional networks as they handle increasingly large data flows.
For the last three years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a series of competitive grants to over 100 U.S. universities to aggressively upgrade their campus network capacity for greatly enhanced science data access, with many incorporating ESnet’s Science DMZ architecture. NSF is now building on that distributed investment by funding a $5 million, five-year award to UC San Diego and UC Berkeley to establish a Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a science-driven high-capacity data-centric “freeway system” on a large regional scale.
The PRP is basing its initial deployment on a proven and scalable network design model for optimizing science data transfers developed by ESnet. “ESnet developed the Science DMZ concept to help address common network performance problems encountered at research institutions by creating a network architecture designed for high-performance applications, where the data science network is distinct from the commodity shared Internet,” said ESnet Director Greg Bell. “As part of its extensive national and international outreach, ESnet is committed to working closely with the Pacific Research Platform to leverage the Science DMZ and Science Engagement concepts to enable collaborating scientists to advance their research.”
In the PRP the Science DMZ model will be extended from a set of heterogeneous campus-level DMZs to an interoperable regional model. Read more.