ESnet to Demonstrate Science DMZ as a Service, Create Virtual Superfacility at Conference

March 20, 2015

Contact: Jon Bashor,, 510-486-5849

At the twenty-second GENI Engineering Conference being held March 23-26 in Washington, D.C., ESnet Chief Technologist Inder Monga will lead a demonstration of the Science DMZ as a service and show how the technique for speeding the flow of large datasets can be created on demand. The demonstration, which leverages DOE and NSF research areas, will be presented during the conference plenary session on Wednesday morning. The conference is tailor-made for the demonstration as GENI, the Global Environment for Network Innovations, provides a virtual laboratory for networking and distributed systems research and education.

The Science DMZ architecture, developed by ESnet, is a specialized network architecture to speed up the flow of large datasets. The Science DMZ is a portion of a network, usually at a university campus, that is configured to take optimal advantage of the campus’ advanced networks. A Science DMZ provides “frictionless” network paths that connect computational power and storage to scientific big data. The” Science DMZ as a Service model” extends a Science DMZ beyond a single campus, creating a hybrid custom system to support scientific collaborations, without extensive advance scheduling and custom expert network tuning.

Monga began planning the demonstration last October, building on the DOE Office of Science's Science Data Pilot Projects, primarily the two led by the Computational Research Division's Craig Tull to manage and analyze data from the Advanced Light Source using Science DMZs, ESnet, NERSC and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. Tull dubbed the combined facilities a "superfacility."  Monga developed a proposal for this week's demo, then lined up the people and resources to carry it out. Staff who helped set up the demo include Chin Guok and Eric Pouyoul of ESnet and Tull and Simon Patten of CRD; and Ilya Baldin and Paul Ruth of RENCI, the Renaissance Computing Institute in North Carolina.

At the GENI conference, the demonstration will establish a virtual Science DMZ to transport and analyze data taken at the Advanced Light Source from a data server at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago. This virtual DMZ creates a data path that traverses ESnet and two GENI racks (at Starlight in Chicago and Berkeley’s Oakland Scientific Facility) and delivers sensor data for analysis at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Oakland. The resulting “superfacility” has the required data transfer and analysis firepower to support on-the-fly calibration processing, with results available to researchers via the SPOT suite and web portal developed by researchers in CRD.