ESNet - The Network - Northern California


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High speed, and high performance are two words that describe ESNET’s next generation network, ESNET4 ESNET 4 is richer in terms of connectivity and more robust in terms of architecture than previous versions of ESNET. ESNET 4 is the 4th generation of ESNET’s networking infrastructure. It has grown as the Department of Energy’s need has grown and today it comprises of 13,000 miles worth of shared infrastructure. Steve cotter is the department head of the Energy Sciences Network. His primary job is to develop the best networks possible for the Department of Energy, their labs, and the scientists who use them. What we do here at ESNET is we run a national scale network infrastructure that provides end to end connectivity for the scientists to do their research and conduct their regular business. ESNET4 is essentially comprised of two networks within a network. The "Science Data Network" is basically an expressway for large data flow, while the second network allows for the more conventional "every day" usage of network access, including common activities like logging onto the internet and retrieving email. What we’ve done with this is we decided to split a network into two kind of distinct sections. This allows opportunistic use of the network for the movement of large scale data sets , it also allows us to do traffic engineering in support of specific requirements for large scale science experiments. One way ESNET achieves that is by utilizing, OSCARS, or the On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System The idea of the OSCARS virtual circuit system is to allow a user to provision the amount of bandwidth that they need, when they need it and essentially how long they need it for. If you had an experiment run every hour on the hour and if you needed to get the data to a compute cluster within 10 minutes of when your experiment ended and the results back subsequently from that, you could make a reservation that would actually started when you think the data transfer would occur. It guarantees them that they have the bandwidth that they are expecting to do the job that they need to do. And it’s created for them as needed and torn down and made available to others when they’re finished. The virtual circuit technology has another benefit as well. ESNet can use it to route traffic around network outages faster than waiting for them to be repaired which is a time and cost savings for those who use it. It’s also private, so those using it are guaranteed network security from a “peeking in” standpoint. The network is an end point to end point network as far as ESNet is concerned. Through our network it simply is not seen, it cannot be touched , is unaffected by any other traffic out there. Human collaboration can be done with Reliability and consistency as well through ESNET4, driving more discussions and discoveries for science. It enables collaboration, we run an audio, video and data collaboration service so scientists can get together from large distances or remote areas and collaborate and discuss and share ideas. It’s really nice to know that our network is critical to helping understand global warming and better biodiesel technologies and things that are very hot scientific issues these days. When I hear about discoveries that our customers make, I like to feel that in some small way, I helped enable that, I helped make that possible.

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