November 12, 2007
This week, at the SC 2007 conference in Reno, NV, a consortium of researchers announced the Teraflow Network (TFN). The Teraflow Network is a unique international facility for working with, and for sharing, large remote and distributed data.
The Teraflow Network is the first advanced network dedicated to linking together large e-science data sets so that they are easier to integrate with each other and easier to share with colleagues.
The Teraflow Network employs specialized transport protocols and dedicated lightpaths using 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps and multiple 10 Gbps data streams that connect Teraflow Network sites around the world. With the ability to move the data at 10 Gbps and higher, the Teraflow Network provides as much bandwidth between its distributed sites as most grid computers have between their nodes that are in the same room.
The design and implementation of the TeraFlow Network is being led by the National Center for Data Mining (NCDM) at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University. Other members of the consortium include StarLight, an international communications facility in Chicago, and the National Lambda Rail.
“This facility is the first dedicated facility for distributing and sharing large e-science data sets,” said Robert Grossman, Director of the National Center for Data Mining at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Managing Partner of Open Data Group. “Until today, most high performance network testbeds have been used for connecting supercomputers, not for changing the way people work with data,” according to Grossman.
“The ability to share large amounts of distributed, federated data and stream between sites to support search, analysis, and visualization requires reliable high-bandwidth, low-latency networking at 10Gbps to 40Gbps over unconstrained lightpaths,” said Henry Dardy, Chief Scientist for the Center for Computational Science at the Naval Research Laboratory. “Our research today with the Teraflow Network deploys Infiniband as a single wire hardware interconnect of processing, storage and network assets along with open source software to demonstrate virtualization of the enterprise.”
“This facility will support multiple advanced applications, including many advanced prototypes that cannot be sustained by traditional technology infrastructures,” said Joe Mambretti, Director of the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) and Co-Director of the StarLight facility, one of the world’s largest optical network exchanges for national and international research and education networks, which is located in Chicago.
The initial leg of the Teraflow Network uses a dedicated 10 Gbps lightpath connecting a Teraflow Network cluster at the StarLight facility in Chicago and a Teraflow Network cluster in Mclean, Virginia. From McLean, the Teraflow Network connects to clusters at NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and to the Naval Research Laboratory in Arlington, Virginia.
The Teraflow Networks also connects with Teraflow Network clusters in Daejeon, Korea, Tokyo, Japan, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands using shared 10 Gbps networks. Over the next year, it will be extended to multiple other sites nationally and internationally.
The Teraflow Network is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation, the US Army, the Department of Energy, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, see: www.teraflownetwork.net
About National Center for Data Mining
About International Center for Advanced Internet Research, Northwestern University (iCAIR)
About National Lambda Rail