Oak Ridge First National Lab with 100G Production Connection to ESnet


More labs scheduled to follow soon

On Tuesday, April 9, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee became the first DOE lab with a 100 gigabit-per-second production  link to ESnet’s 100G backbone. Since the high-speed backbone went into production in late 2012, each of the labs served by ESnet has been developing plans to upgrade their connections to 100G. Within the next 6 months, DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Fermilab, and Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, Brookhaven  national labs are expected to put 100G links into production as well.

Since the faster connections replaces the old links when they go live, it’s important to thoroughly test the new links. We do this by building the new link so we can test it in parallel with the existing one and troubleshoot as needed. When everything appears to be ready, we conduct a 24-hour link acceptance test, sending network traffic nonstop for 24 hours. It’s basically a bit-blast followed by a thorough check for problems, then a handover to the end site.

Once the test is completed, we schedule a maintenance activity to move traffic to the new link.  When that comes, we time get everyone who is involved in the switchover on the phone, each one does their part, and the changeover is completed.

ESnet’s Patrick Dorn did a great job heading up the project, and Vangelis Chaniotakis and Chris Tracy helped to architect the ORNL hub to make this possible.

Read about how we tested the 100G backbone before switching into production mode at: https://esnetupdates.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/esnet5-is-well-on-its-way-to-entering-production/

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