ESnet’s Inder Monga Brings High Performance Networking to Maker Faire


ESnet Interim Director Inder Monga was among the many representatives from the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy and the Office of Technology Transitions on hand at DOE’s “Make | ENERGY Pavilion” at the Bay Area Maker Faire held May 20-22 at the San Mateo County Event Center.

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ESnet’s Inder Monga chats with attendees at the Bay Area Maker Faire.

Up to 150,000 people were expected to attend the event. On the last day, the DOE pavilion received a “Best in Class” award.

In addition to answering questions about DOE’s high performance scientific network, Monga also led a hands-on demonstration of perfSONAR (PERFormance 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 demo used Raspberry Pi computers to simulate a worldwide network of severs and participants used the free and open-source perfSONAR software to troubleshoot bottlenecks. The display was created by Sowmya Balasubramanian, a software developer in ESnet’s Advanced Network Technologies Group, and Mary Hester of ESnet’s Science Engagement Team.

“It was great chatting with so many intellectually curious kids and adults at DOE’s first official presence at the Maker Faire, the whole experience was personally very satisfying. The audience appreciated the engineering done by ESnet, DOE’s High Performance Network facility, and our solutions for dealing with big data science,” says Monga.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s presence in the Make | Energy Pavilion was coordinated by the lab’s Innovation and Partnerships Office. DOE was one of five sponsors of the event.