In addition to being connected to the world at 1.6 terabits per second, the recent SC15 conference in Austin provided powerful networking opportunities for five up-and-coming women network experts through the NSF-supported Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program. The program is aimed at training and mentoring women faculty and staff from institutions across the country by having them participate in SCinet, the ultra-high bandwidth network created each year to support SC.
Jason Zurawski, a member of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team and longtime SCinet member, mentored WINS participants Sana Bellamine from CENIC and Megan Sorensen from Idaho State University. Nick Boraglio of ESnet’s Network Engineering Team worked with Debbie Fligor from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as members of the SCinet Routing Team.
ESnet staff will be presenting talks and demos at the SC15 conference being held Nov. 15-20 in Austin. Here’s a quick look at some of your opportunities to find out what’s new with the Energy Sciences Network:
Tuesday, Nov. 17
ESnet Chief Technologist Inder Monga will hold a demo on “ESnet’s Network Operating System: An SDN Platform to Handle Big Science” from 10-11 a.m. in the DOE booth 502.
Jon Dugan of the Tools Team will host a demo on ESnet’s Network Visualization Tools from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by a roundtable discussion. Both will be in the DOE booth #502.
Wednesday, Nov. 18
ESnet Chief Technologist Inder Monga hosts a mini-panel presenting “The Future of DOE Networking: A Tasting Menu” served up at 1:45 p.m. in the DOE booth #502.
Monga will give a demo on “ESnet’s Network Operating System: An SDN Platform to Handle Big Science” from 4-5 p.m. in the DOE booth 502.
ESnet’s Inder Monga and Eric Pouyoul will demonstrate “Software-Defined Networking” in the Corsa Technology booth# 364. Corsa and ESnet will be demonstrating ENOS (ESnet Network Operating System) running on the 100G SDN ESnet Testbed. ENOS includes all components that are needed for automating complex network provisioning and optimization and it will control the Corsa SDN switch in real-time. The demo will be offered from 7 – 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 17 – 18, and 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19.
Attending SC15? Get a Close-up Look at Virtualized Science DMZs as a Service
ESnet, NERSC and RENCI are pooling their expertise to demonstrate “Virtualized Science SMZs as a Service” at the SC15 conference being held Nov. 15-20 in Austin. They will be giving the demos at 2:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday in the RENCI booth #181.
Here’s the background: Many campuses are installing ScienceDMZs to support efficient large-scale scientific data transfers. There’s a need to create custom configurations of ScienceDMZs for different groups on campus. Network function virtualization (NFV) combined with compute and storage virtualization enables a multi-tenant approach to deploying virtual ScienceDMZs. It makes it possible for campus IT or NREN organizations to quickly deploy well-tuned ScienceDMZ instances targeted at a particular collaboration or project. This demo shows a prototype implementation of ScienceDMZ-as-a-Service using ExoGENI racks (ExoGENI is part of NSF GENI federation of testbeds) deployed at StarLight facility in Chicago and at NERSC.
The virtual ScienceDMZs deployed on-demand in these racks use the SPOT software suite developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to connect to a data source at Argonne National Lab and a compute cluster at NERSC to provide seamless end-to-end high-speed data transfers of data acquired from Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) to be processed at NERSC. The ExoGENI racks dynamically instantiate necessary compute virtual resources for ScienceDMZ functions and connect to each other on-demand using ESnet’s OSCARS and Internet2’s AL2S system.
For the first time, SCinet, the research and production network for the SC conference series, will be using software defined networking (SDN) to manage and simplify the operations for a portion of the SC15 conference’s show floor network. Nick Buraglio of the ESnet Network Engineering Group is leading the project.
SCinet is the research and production network that serves as the data communications backbone for the annual SC conference. By using SDN, the network engineers deploying SCinet will be able to transfer the task of configuring individual network switching devices to a single piece of software, removing human error from the process of setting up connections within the network.
“Take the last three problems or errors that have occurred on a network of any notable size,” says Buraglio, “and it’s almost always a configuration problem—some kind of human error that caused those issues.” Deploying SDN will simplify managing these network connections and will hopefully reduce the time engineers spend troubleshooting configuration and provisioning errors.
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.