Saturday, November 16, 2013

Penn wins NSF Campus CyberInfrastructure Award

A while back in a blog article on our 100 Gigabit Ethernet campus upgrades, I mentioned that Penn had applied for a National Science Foundation (NSF) CC-NIE grant to enhance campus network infrastructure for research purposes.

We did in fact win an award. Here's the official notice from NSF. It's about $500,000 which will be used to deploy a dedicated high performance router for researchers and bump up our external connectivity to Internet2 to 100 Gbps. I hope to provide more updates as we begin deploying the necessary pieces of equipment.

--Shumon Huque

An excerpt from the award notice:

ABSTRACT

The University of Pennsylvania's central computing organization is partnering with leading campus researchers in engineering, physics, biology, pathology, genomics, bioinformatics, and computer science to optimize the campus network in support of big data research and high-performance computing. This project establishes a 100 Gbps-capable Science DMZ that is distinct from the general purpose campus network and is engineered for research applications. Additionally, it extends 10 Gbps connectivity to select research projects and increases Penn's connection to Internet2 from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps, while also extending that connection to the Science DMZ. The project also lays the foundation for further enhancements to research networking infrastructure by extending IPv6 capabilities; upgrading network monitoring tools such as perfSONAR; and enhancing Penn's ability to support experimental networks and network architectures, including OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking.

The project will benefit a range of scientifically meritorious research. It will provide support for the large-scale data transfer, processing, and storage needs of researchers across Penn, while supporting intra- and inter-institutional collaborations and the broad dissemination of research results. Rather than focusing on the logistics of data storage and transfer, researchers will be able to concentrate on the transformation of these data into the information that will drive new discoveries and the creation of new technologies, drugs, therapies, and cures. Network enhancements will also support Penn's commitment to integrating research and education by supporting the network needs of the cross-disciplinary Penn Institute for Computation Science that where faculty actively integrate computation-based research with the training of future generations of STEM researchers.