The technological landscape of computing is changing at a phenomenal rate with recent advances in big data, deep learning, data mining, cloud services, and cybersecurity, along with many novel consumer and scientific devices. Research universities, especially IT support, are challenged to be agile in this landscape, as they must keep pace with the needs of the research and user community. To bolster researchers working on these technologies, this project seeks to support two key network-centric requirements: incorporating user-owned devices at the edge of the network and moving bulk data between data collection nodes and data processing nodes over the network.
This project will design, implement, test, and utilize a novel research testbed, the Rutgers University Next-Generation Edge Testbed (RU-NET). RU-NET is a campus-wide platform designed to simplify the deployment of new and emerging edge technologies, while preserving the stability of the campus network. RU-NET will allow integrating user-owned devices in laboratories at the edge of the network with Rutgers's three campus networks into a unified 100 Gbit/s network managed using programmable switches and host devices. The RU-NET design is multi-layered, constituting researchers' applications, RU-NET-owned physical resources, and orchestrator software mapping applications to resources and isolating different research applications.
RU-NET will serve as a catalyst to position Rutgers University researchers at the forefront of scientific discovery and to improve compute and network infrastructure that benefits the University community as a whole. The project plans to develop course material to educate undergraduate and graduate students about novel network-centric technologies, training students from Rutgers's diverse student body. The project also plans to share best practices with academic institutions and enterprise communities that are planning similar distributed computing environments, with the possibility of this project serving as a template for similar future efforts.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.