SLAC, AIC and Zettar Move Petabyte Datasets at Unprecedented Speed via ESnet


Twice a year, ESnet staff meet with managers and researchers associated with each of the DOE Office of Science program offices to look toward the future of networking requirements and then take the planning steps to keep networking capabilities out in front of those demands.

Network engineers and researchers at DOE national labs take a similar forward-looking approach. Earlier this year, DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) teamed up with AIC and Zettar and tapped into ESnet’s 100G backbone network to repeatedly transfer 1-petabyte files in 1.4 days over a 5,000-mile portion of ESnet’s production network. Even with the transfer bandwidth capped at 80Gbps, the milestone demo resulted in transfer rates five times faster than other technologies. The demo data accounted for a third of all ESnet traffic during the tests. Les Cottrel from SLAC presented the results at the ESnet Site Coordinators meeting (ESCC) held at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in May 2017.

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The test loop ran from 5,000-mile loop that goes from Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) in Menlo Park, Calif. across the country to Atlanta and then back to SLAC. The data transfers are part of the experiment to handle expected amounts of data generated by experiments at SLAC’s planned Linear Coherent Light Source II ( LCLS-II).

“Collaborations like this provide the networking community with an opportunity to use a production network for testing new technologies and seeing how they perform in a real-world scenario,” said ESnet Director Inder Monga. “At the same time, ESnet also gets to learn about leading-edge products as part of our future planning process.”

Read the AICCI/Zettar news release.

Read the story in insideHPC.