ESnet Among Five Groups Honored with SCinet Spirit of Innovation Award

The award recognizes contributors’ role in supporting 800 gigabits/sec of bandwidth for SC18

Jason Zurawski accepts the SCinet Spirit of Innovation award for ESnet at the SC18 conference. Zurawski chaired this year's all-volunteer effort to plan, build, operate and tear down the network.

November 12, 2018

Today marks the official start of the SC Conference in Dallas, bringing together members of the international high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis community to share the latest research, technologies, and demonstrations.

Exhibitors and visitors at the SC Conference this year will enjoy access to 4.02 terabits per second of bandwidth across 1 million square feet in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas thanks to SCinet, the dedicated high-capacity network for the conference.

SCinet is a collaborative effort by 225 volunteer experts from 85 organizations that span industry, academia, and government. This spirit of collaboration is a major driver for the success and innovation that SCinet delivers on a yearly basis.

Five organizations in particular were instrumental in delivering 800 gigabits per second of long-haul bandwidth to the SC Conference this year, and they are being recognized with the SCinet Spirit of Innovation Award: Ciena®, Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Internet2, Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), and Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN).

“The winners of the inaugural SCinet Spirit of Innovation Award have embraced the spirit of collaboration and cooperation that showcases the best there is to offer in demonstrating, implementing, and operating leading-edge solutions to challenging problems,” said Jason Zurawski, SCinet chair. “This project is truly special to SCinet, and we are all encouraged by and appreciative of their efforts to showcase partnership and innovation.”

To deliver a bandwidth of 800 gigabits per second, volunteers from all five organizations spent six months planning, testing, and delivering the necessary connections to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas.

The path between Chicago and Dallas uses Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 Extreme modems without optical-electrical-optical (OEO) regeneration, reducing equipment cost and latency. These modems are running over spectrums and paths from ESnet, Internet2, LEARN, and UETN. This was achieved without the aid of Raman amplification or any other modifications to the existing line system.

The metro configuration uses Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai technology to deliver 400 gigabits per second per wave for increased spectral density and decreased cost per bit. This was all made possible with the loan of server hardware from ESnet, LEARN, and UETN as well as the space and power donations by both Internet2 and LEARN.

SCinet contributors donate millions of dollars in equipment, software, and services that are needed to build and support the network each year for the SC Conference. At this year’s conference in Dallas, it’s estimated that contributions from 40 organizations will total $52 million.

"ESnet is honored to be recognized for its contributions to the SC Conference and SCinet,” said ESnet Director Inder Monga, noting that ESnet staff have been supporting SCinet for more than 20 years. This year, a dozen volunteers from ESnet, NERSC and Berkeley Lab IT are contributing to SCinet management, routing, interconnect, security and WINS. ESnet is also actively helping the FAUCET open-source team deploy and operate a large-scale SDN/OpenFlow network to help meet the networking needs of many SC booths. “In addition to supporting leading science demonstrations from our national labs, we collaborate actively with research and education partners to push the boundaries of network technology,” Monga said, citing this year's SENSE and Mono400 project demonstrations at SC18.

Ciena, ESnet, Internet2, LEARN, and UETN are being recognized at a private ceremony before today’s opening gala celebration at 7 p.m. CT.