Virtual Circuits (OSCARS)
ESnet's On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System (OSCARS) provides multi-domain, high-bandwidth virtual circuits that guarantee end-to-end network data transfer performance. Originally a research concept, OSCARS has grown into a robust production service. Currently OSCARS virtual circuits carry fifty percent of ESnet’s annual 60 petabytes of traffic. As of November 2010, ESnet traffic topped 10 petabytes a month. In 2010, ESnet operated over 30 (up from 26 in October 2009) long-term production OSCARS virtual circuits supporting scientific areas including High Energy Physics: (Large Hadron Collider) Computational Astrophysics (OptiPortal) Biological and Environmental Research, Genomics, Climate (GFD and Earth Sciences Grid). Approximately 5000 in total OSCARS virtual circuit reservations have been created for demos, transient experiments, and projects, ect. but 5000 are not all currently in use today.
OSCARS gives ESnet the ability to engineer, manage and automate the network according to user-specified requirements for using scientific instruments, computation, and collaborations. OSCARS software was initially developed by ESnet under funding by the DOE Office of Science. Now open to the community, development of its open source code is conducted by multiple international collaborations.
OSCARS open source software is the most widely adopted inter-domain dynamic circuit services application within the global research and networking community. Its open and evolving framework is inspiring and inspired by global organizations like the Open Grid Forum (OGF) standards body and Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), as well as the global networking community.
OSCARS software works as both a framework for research innovation and as a reliable production level service for ESnet users. While ESnet offers a menu of service components to novice users, ESnet is exploring a composable services framework to assist experienced users to configure highly modular atomic services as desired and for network researchers to customize according to experimental parameters.
Ongoing research goals include the following:
- Defining “atomic” service functions and building mechanisms for users to compose these building blocks into custom services
- Restructuring OSCARS to increase the modularity and expose internal interfaces so that the community can start standardizing IDC components, code development, and collaborations
- Participating in OGF working groups to help standardize inter-domain network services messaging