When the services are officially launched in the coming months, users involved in data-intensive projects such as high energy physics, radio astronomy and fusion research will be able to access interoperable, dynamically provisioned on-demand network links and multi-domain monitoring on both sides of the Atlantic for the first time. This seamless approach makes it simpler to collaborate on large-scale projects, speeding up research and adding flexibility to high performance computing.
A longstanding collaboration has existed between leading research networks GANT (operated by DANTE), the Department of Energys ESnet, Internet2, Canadian research network CANARIE, Indiana University GlobalNOC and US LHCnet. From which, many of the partners have now co-operated to create a fully interoperable, extensible end-to-end service portfolio that will enable users to quickly establish and configure on-demand end-to-end high capacity links, across multiple networks, safe in the knowledge that they are completely interoperable. Projects will benefit further from a higher quality of service through perfSONAR multi-domain monitoring that keeps a constant watch over the end-to-end network performance, enabling a faster troubleshooting response. The partners expect to extend this framework to regional and international peers around the globe.
One of the first users of the collaborations fruits will be CERNs Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which generates 15 petabytes of data per year. The LHC Open Network Environment (LHCONE) network is using both bandwidth on demand and network monitoring to transfer this data between scientists and researchers in Europe and the US and to assess network performance. A demonstration at the Internet2 booth at SC11 (#1327) will illustrate Layer 2 transatlantic data traffic flow in support of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project. Data movement will be shown across transatlantic links as well as participating end sites in the US and Europe. This innovative work provides dedicated network overlays for the particle physics community.
Given the increasingly global nature of research, the interoperability standards developed by the collaboration have potential to contribute to the development of a global standard. The collaborators are working together with other networking organisations on the Network Services Interface (NSI) protocol, which is being developed within the Open Grid Forum (OGF), to ensure the seamless delivery of dynamic circuit provisioning around the world.
The rapidly increasing number of data intensive research projects rely on high performance computing to transmit, process and analyse massive volumes of information, said Niels Hersoug, Joint General Manager, DANTE, the organisation which on behalf of Europes National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) has built and operates the GANT network. In a global research economy ensuring this data quickly reaches users across the world is critical to collaboration and progress. The technical partnership behind this innovative portfolio of services will enable the interoperability that researchers need to move high performance computing forward.
Transatlantic co-operation is at the heart of research and it is imperative that projects have the tools and services they need to seamlessly share information across multiple networks, said Steve Cotter, head of ESnet. This collaboration will deliver the flexibility and high performance that research projects need, building on our own services to create an end-to-end, multi-domain portfolio to underpin vital research.
Research collaboration, particularly on data-intensive projects in physics and radio astronomy is truly global, said Dave Lambert, Internet2 CEO. Networks therefore need to work together to deliver seamless services to support this. Our own collaboration is a first step towards the creation of open, standards-based services that can be deployed around the world in support of global research and have the potential to transform the practice of networking.