Sunday, November 15, 2015

Connecting Live in Austin with One of the Mosts Powerful Networks in the World

The SCinet network, SC’s Supercomputing Internet, is now live! On November 14, the Austin Convention Center became home to the fastest and most innovative computer network in the world built by volunteers, delivering more than 1.6 terabits per second of network bandwidth to the SC conference (SC15).

SCinet gives the SC conference attendees a unique chance to showcase and discover the latest research in HPC. By building the fastest, most innovative operational network possible every year, SCinet enables data-intensive research and live-use of high performing hardware to run multi-gigabit demonstrations, requiring a fast and robust infrastructure.

SC15 SCinet Contributors (click to enlarge).
“This network is unrivaled with regards to its capabilities and the broad-reaching influence, both nationally and internationally, to support demonstrations and experiments that could not be done easily in any other place. It’s a one-of-a-kind environment where research meets production,” says Davey Wheeler, SCinet Chair and Senior Network Engineer from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). “As the SCinet Chair leading the development of this network, this year is a culmination of 17 years of experience working on SCinet from year to year. It is humbling and honoring to be able to work aside these colleagues and see the tremendous talent, dedication, and creativity of the volunteers.”

SCinet is built by a team of expert volunteers from around the world, taking one year to design the network, three weeks to set it up, four days to operate it, and twenty-four hours to tear it down. Over 100 engineers from industry, academia and government institutions came together to build this network, using over $22 million in loaned equipment and over 89 miles of newly installed fiber optic cables.

“Having been the SCinet Chair for SC07 in Reno, I am intimately familiar with the incredible amount of planning and work that goes into creating what will be the most powerful network. Over 130 SCinet volunteers from more than 15 countries have worked energetically for the past year to provide wired and wireless access to our conference attendees, and the platform for our exhibitors to showcase bandwidth-driven HPC and cloud computing applications. SCinet continues to be a crucial part of SC and I am extremely grateful for their hard work,” says Jackie Kern, Director of IT Shared Services at UIUC and SC15 Conference Chair.

For SC15, SCinet has connected multiple 100 gigabit circuits, bringing an unprecedented 1.62 terabits per second of bandwidth to the Austin Convention Center. Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) leads this effort in collaboration with leading national and international research networks and commodity providers. LEARN and SCinet supports the HPC community by providing multiple 100 gigabit waves and complementary capabilities throughout the SC15 conference events. 

In addition to the massive external capacity SCinet brings to the convention center, the network is also supporting research initiatives through a half-day workshop, Innovating the Network for Data-Intensive Science (INDIS); and the Network Research Exhibition (NRE). SCinet organizes the INDIS workshop to discuss technical papers and show floor demonstrations dedicated to high performance networking technologies, innovations, protocols, hardware, and much more.

Further, SCinet is providing the wireless connectivity for more than 11,000 expected conference attendees throughout the conference areas. The SCinet team built the SC15 wireless network using 339 wireless access points to support more than 4,000 simultaneous users on the conference wifi. The wireless network will include support for eduroam (education roaming) service, which allows users (researchers, teachers, students, and staff) from participating institutions to securely access the protected wireless network using their home organization’s login credentials.

SCinet is the result of the hard work and significant contributions of many government, research, education and corporate collaborators who have volunteered time, equipment and expertise to ensure SC15’s success. This year, SCinet continued the Contributors Program and we would like to give a special thank you to all SCinet contributors and volunteers!

Platinum contributors: CenturyLink, Ciena, ESnet, Infinera, Internet2, Juniper Networks, and Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN).

Gold contributors: Brocade, Cisco, and Gigamon.

Silver contributors: Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, Austin Convention Center, Dell, Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN), inMon, IXIA, Reservoir Labs, Spirent, and The University of Texas System.

Bronze contributors: CABLExpress, Commscope, Splunk, Verisign, and Viavi Solutions.

Volunteers from the following organizations supporting the development and deployment of SCinet: Alcatel-Lucent, Army Research Laboratory, CABLExpress Corporation, CENIC, CenturyLink, Ciena, Cisco, Clemson University, DFN-Verein, DataDirect Networks, Dell Research, Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Florida LambdaRail (FLR), Freelance, Georgia Institute of Technology, Idaho State University, InMon Corporation, Indiana University, Indiana University GlobalNOC, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Infinera, Internet Consulting of Vermont, Internet2, JDSU, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), Louisiana State University, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, REANNZ, Radware, Reservoir Labs, SURFnet, Sandia National Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, University of Amsterdam, University of California, San Diego, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Heidelberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Oklahoma, University of Pittsburgh, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Utah Education Network, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

If you’re interested in volunteering for SCinet or participating in the Contributor’s Program for SC16, please email


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