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XSEDE Upgrades to 100 Gigabit Network

XSEDE, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, has upgraded its network backbone infrastructure to the Internet2 network, enabling more than 8,000 scientists that regularly use XSEDE to use Internet2's new 100 gigabit Ethernet-enabled and 8.8-terabyte-per-second optical network, platform, services, and technologies.

XSEDE brings together 17 supercomputers, visualization and data analysis engines, data storage resources, data collections, computational tools, and services to help scientists complete thousands of research projects. To support its researchers and educators, the organization required advanced networking capabilities, according to John Towns, project director for XSEDE. "Our partnership with Internet2 enables us to continue to provide advanced, powerful, robust services for discovery and innovation," he said in a prepared statement.

The XSEDEnet networking group and Internet2 will collaborate to configure a private network between the XSEDE provider sites across the shared network backbone, according to a news release from the organizations. Most of the XSEDE sites will connect to the nearest Internet2 Advanced Layer 2 Service node at a speed of 10 gigabits and will share bandwidth across a 100 gigabit backbone with other XSEDE participants, but Indiana University and Purdue University will initially have 100 gigabit connections. According to H. David Lambert, president and CEO of Internet2, the upgrade will enable XSEDE to provide the "fastest research and education network in the nation."

The upgrade will provide XSEDE researchers with numerous benefits, according to the organizations. XSEDE will be able to easily add new sites to its backbone through connections to Internet2 Layer 2 Services nodes. The upgrade will eliminate the potential bottleneck between Denver and Chicago that existed with the previous XSEDE backbone architecture. And the new network infrastructure should "enable the development of new applications, such as an XSEDE-wide file system (XWFS), which will allow the increasingly very large files required by researchers to be moved rapidly between XSEDE sites," according to a news release.

XSEDE is a collection of integrated digital resources and services that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. Internet2 is a member-owned advanced technology community consisting of more than 220 United States universities, 60 corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks, and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries.

About the Author

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

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