Collaborative Service Delivery Experiments and Proof of Concept Projects

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By Dale Finkelson, Internet2 Senior Program and Services Manager

Over the past several months the Internet2 community has been working on a number of Collaborative Service Delivery Experiments and Proof of Concept (PoC) projects with the aim of helping to inform future Internet2 and regional network infrastructure investments. In addition to looking at technology, these efforts also investigate non-technical opportunities—in particular the operational and business model changes that the ideas in the experiments and PoCs might enable across the Internet2 community.

Reports on the results of the experiments and PoCs will be presented during the Internet2 Technology Exchange this fall. Early insights may also be shared at the National Research Platform meeting in Bozeman in August, pending progress on the experiments and pilots.

The following efforts are in progress: 

Cloud Access PoC:

Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX) is working with Internet2 to develop and make available a tool to access commercial cloud services like AWS using a direct connect to AWS procured by MAX and then to extend this connectivity to multiple domains over the Internet2 network. MAX is developing a front end and orchestration software making this service available through the Washington Exchange Point (WIX).

Federated HPC – The Eastern Region Networks PoC:

The Eastern Region Networks (ERN) PoC is investigating a federated sharing of campus HPC resources across multiple institutions, including public cloud resources, by extending an intra-institution sharing mechanism developed by Rutgers University and Google based on the Slurm workload manager. The goal is to have a participating regional network, university and research user in each of several states, and to tease out the operational and scaling issues, including scheduling and data transfer. Universities and regional networks involved include those in the states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, with Connecticut also beginning to get involved. The steering group includes KINBER, Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), NYSERNetOSHEAN and Rutgers University. The group envisions an eventual Eastern Region Research Platform integrated into a future National Research Platform.

SD-WAN Public Cloud Access – the OSHEAN PoC:

OSHEAN is investigating improved access to public cloud resources leveraging “SD-WAN” (software-defined wide area networking) technology being developed by a commercial partner, Underlay Networks. Various levels of integration with the OSHEAN Layer 2 Network and Internet2’s AL2S are being explored, along with the analytics that introducing SD-WAN can provide. The initial public cloud service being investigated is delivering Microsoft Azure using ExpressRoute in Ashburn over AL2S to users in Rhode Island and the proposed service is being compared to Internet2’s developing CloudConnect offering.

Packet-Optical Disaggregation Field Trial (Voyager):

Voyager is a “white box” developed originally by Facebook and intended to be a low-cost data center interconnect solution. Bill Owens, NYSERNet, has been testing this platform, primarily in his lab in New York. Bill is investigating the capabilities of this hardware over both the NYSERNet and Internet2 optical fabrics, testing the software stack provided by Cumulus Networks and investigating whether this type of technology could provide a cost-effective, easily scalable solution for supporting the massive data movement needs of data-intensive science.
If you have a question about or are interested in participating in any of these activities, please send a note to networkdevelopment@internet2.edu.

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