This project, CC-NIE Network Infrastructure: High Performance Research Networking (HiPerNet), establishes a Science DMZ at the University of Chicago that is distinct from the general-purpose campus network and that is purpose-built for data-intensive science. This Science DMZ includes support for virtual circuits, software defined networking, and 100 gigabit Ethernet. It includes a targeted renovation of the existing campus networking infrastructure, focusing on intra-campus networking from labs and buildings which have high data I/O and networking needs, as well as improving the throughput from these facilities to high-speed national and international research networks.

Intellectual Merit: This upgrade supports a range of projects in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Computer Science, Social Sciences, Genomics, and Particle Physics. Data-intensive science in these fields requires an upgrade to support high-performance bulk data movement, data-intensive experimental needs, and access to high performance national and international networks in order to foster collaboration and discovery on high-priority projects. The Science DMZ also benefits computer science projects at that are developing innovative data-intensive computing infrastructure, including Globus Online, Open Science Data Cloud, and the UDP-based Data Transfer (UDT) protocol, providing a testbed for new methods.

Broader Impact: This upgrade enables researchers to share data with a larger community of users by facilitating collaboration across universities and labs. In addition, UChicago will take lessons learned from this experience and package them in a form suitable for consumption by other campuses pursuing similar goals. Enhancing campus networking abilities also benefits the surrounding community including schools, community hospitals, and the Adler Planetarium.

Project Report

This project established a Science DMZ network at the University of Chicago distinct from the general-purpose campus network, engineered specifically to support data-intensive science. The Science DMZ further enables the University’s participation in activities involving data access, collaborative research, real-time analysis, science education, and citizen science. The Science DMZ will benefit current and future projects including: Increasing access to and improving analyses of particle physics data generated at the Large Hadron Collider; accessing large genomic datasets stored on the Bionimbus system; connecting communities of scientists to raw data from upcoming ground and space based telescope surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey; using data from the South Pole Telescope to probe astrophysical processes at new levels of detail and sharing this data with the larger scientific community; assisting computer science researchers to explore future Internets at scale and research advanced data-intensive computing infrastructure and tools; providing general public to access high fidelity cosmological simulations and visualizations from the Adler Planetarium; and enabling community access to a unique database of marketing data from Chicago Booth and Nielsen. This project has enabled these goals by extending high-speed networking on campus through the purchase, set-up and installation of a dedicated core research switch capable of providing Layer 3 routing and Layer 2 switching functionality with both 10 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s optics and enough fabric/backplane bandwidth per slot to support multiple 100 Gb/s connections, as well as the connection of scientific computing equipment and implementation of dynamic circuits by connecting the DMS to the campus DYNES server. With increased network speed and reliability, our researchers will be able to further develop ideas and support the growth of students in the increasingly technological research world. By enabling increased connection speeds, faculty will be able to utilize the network to further their research. This could possibly shorten the time taken to complete research thus getting the results to the scientific community faster.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Advanced CyberInfrastructure (ACI)
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Kevin Thompson
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University of Chicago
United States
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