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U Maryland-Led MAX To Provide Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Platform for Research, Education

Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), a 100-gigabit, multi-state optical transport network operated by the University of Maryland, is establishing an advanced cyberinfrastructure platform for the research and education community in the mid-Atlantic region.

The platform will be a terabit-capable point of presence (TeraPoP) located in 214,000-square-foot data center in the White Oak Science Gateway and Life Sciences Village in Silver Spring, MD. The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-compliant data center is operated by ByteGrid, a provider of multi-tenant data centers, and it is located within MAX's high-performance network footprint, which has an aggregated capacity of 8.8 terabits per second. The data center consists of two facilities with 91,000 square feet of computer room floor and nine megawatts of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) capacity.

According to ByteGrid, MAX's new advanced cyberinfrastructure platform "will provide a much-needed resource to members of the local life sciences research community by helping them integrate massive storage archives (typically involving petabytes of data) with high- performance compute and network requirements."  The platform will also offer direct connection to Amazon Web Services and an Innovation Sandbox for the development of ultra-high-throughput IT infrastructure solutions. The partnership will also enable both organizations "to offer highly secure colocation solutions to participants within the government community."

MAX currently offers a 100 Gbps advanced networking infrastructure, and it achieved 400 Gbps speeds in recent field trials. It's aiming to offer 400 Gbps speeds (and eventually 800 Gbps) in the future.

MAX participants include universities, federal research labs and other research organizations in Washington and Baltimore. The network also serves as a connector and traffic aggregator for the Internet2 national backbone.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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