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Dynamically Provisioned Networks as a Substrate for Science. David Foster CERN. Objectives. T o explain in a high-level way why dynamic circuits are needed to serve demanding scientific users.

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Dynamically Provisioned Networks as a Substrate for Science

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Dynamically Provisioned Networks as a Substrate for Science

David Foster



  • To explain in a high-level way why dynamic circuits are needed to serve demanding scientific users.

  • To put the activities into an overall context of global research networking and show the future directions.

David Foster, CERN


  • Science projects are global enterprises

    • Megascience: LHC, ITER, LoFAR, JIVE, SKA …….

    • ESFRI projects funded under FP7:

      • http://ec.europa.eu/research/infrastructures/index_en.cfm?pg=ri_projects_fp7

    • Increasing coordination on an increasingly global scale.

  • Computing for science is increasingly distributed

    • Clouds and Grids

  • People are mobile but lifestyle choice is important

    • Work anywhere, anytime.

    • “Think Globally but act Locally”

  • Open access to information is empowering

    • “Bring Science to the Scientists” - Bring the best minds to the problem.

David Foster, CERN


  • As perceived by the user community, networks are a victim of their own success

    • Expected to be transparent. “Networking is not a problem”

    • Assumed to be infinite and free (or nearly so).

  • Data volumes are increasing

    • LHC creates 6-7 PB raw data per year , all 4 experiments together.

    • CERN generates in total 15 PB of data per year, all 4 experiments together.

    • The raw data, 6-7PB/year, is distributed and there are more than 120PB/year of data products that are created and stored world-wide.

    • Other science project collaborations will generate equivalent or more data.

David Foster, CERN

Characterization of the User Marketplace

Cees de Laat


David Foster, CERN

Issues With Demanding Users

  • There are more and more of them.

  • The swamping of IP infrastructures with traffic from “well connected sites”

    • Occurs when the capability of a site are approaching that of the routed IP network.

    • Looks like a “denial of service” to the other users.

  • Solution 1: Build a bigger routed IP network.

    • A big investment to solve a problem for relatively few users.

    • All domains in any end-end path must do the same.

    • Only temporary, new users will come with bigger requirements.

  • Solution 2: Give the sites “what they need when they need it”.

    • May be considered as “Just in time provisioning”

    • Has led to the circuit approach.

David Foster, CERN

How Circuits are Used

  • For efficiently using resources:

    • Long term or static circuits if the number of sites is small (~10)

    • Dynamic circuit provisioning for a community that is manageable and has continual needs (~100 sites)

    • Dynamic circuit provisioning for a large community that has occasional needs (periodic data transfer)

  • For traffic management:

    • Separates flows from the general IP infrastructure.

David Foster, CERN

LHC: Case Study

  • LHC tier-1 sites are connected at 10G in a semi-mesh.

    • LHCOPN

  • Tier-2 sites (originally) needed 1Gbps to realistically be “part of” the grid community.

    • A dedicated circuit to India enabled and effectively empowered the TIFR.

  • Now, tier-2 sites are increasingly connected at 10G to be able to dynamically access all data products wherever they are (remember the 120PB/year?)

    • But connected to where? The association between Tier-1 and Tier-2 has “disappeared”.

    • All sites must be able to access all sites, so IP is the best fit!

      • Probably so at 1Gbps/site, but not at 10Gbps/site.

  • A new approach was needed

    • LHCONE: http://lhcone.net

David Foster, CERN

What is LHCONE?

  • A sociology

    • Has helped to raise awareness of end site needs.

    • T2’s in Europe are requesting increasing capacity from the NREN’s

  • A process

    • Transatlantic bandwidth review of all R&E circuits

    • Discussions on really how to make a cross domain network.

    • Process is perhaps more important than outcome in delivering collaboration and focus

      • as long as the outcome works!

  • An architecture

    • Use of open exchanges to empower networks and users

    • Use of software for managing network capacity through dynamic provisioning.

      • OpenFlowis the flavour of the month

  • A model

    • The internet-2 OS3E is an open exchange architecture to support all sciences. Experience with LHCONE will be important.

David Foster, CERN

Open Exchanges

  • A growing consensus on the way forward

    • I2 members meeting discussion with Bill St Arnaud.

    • A paper in preparation on a “definition”

  • Why is there so much interest?

    • They promote customised bilateral relationships by the exchange point owner not interfering

      • “lightweight” rules for connecting, link policies controlled by the link owners.

    • They have no specific commercial allegiance

      • So-called “carrier-neutral”

    • Users of the exchange point (can be NREN’s or end users) like them because they remain in control and directly manage the relationships.

      • no third-party involvement

    • They provide the possibility to create diverse solutions by working with different partners.

      • risk management

    • They do not impose technical decisions, so everyone can go at their own speed.

      • Avoids “lowest common denominator” solutions

    • They allow for organic growth and new entrants are welcome both as exchange operators and connected parties

      • Avoids single point of failure in the system as a whole

    • Optical exchanges permit provisioning of circuits of different transport protocols to exchange traffic.

      • http://www.broadnets.org/2004/workshop-papers/Gridnets/DijkstraF.pdf

    • They allow for activities to follow means and ambition.

      • They can be “pay as you go” and not “subscription based”

David Foster, CERN

To Be Resolved

  • Costs incurred to connect to an open exchange.

    • Depends on the exchange operator and the “last mile” provider.

    • Will be born by the end-site connecting.

  • Costs incurred to interconnect open exchanges

    • Currently born by the exchange owners, but is this scalable?

    • Might be also the responsibility of the science community but they are classically not structured to fund central network resources.

      • Needs to be more awareness that networks are not free inside the science communities.

  • Management of multi-domain circuit based infrastructures

    • Is a hot topic and has been for some time.

      • Buzzword heaven: Oscars, ION, Dragon, DRAC, Federica, OpenFlow, DICE, NSI …

    • Many software solutions are used and under development.

      • But some are moving much faster than others. We need some consolidation.

    • Somecollaboration activities underway to develop domain interworking.

      • But we need a more open and inclusive process.

    • Operations and management processes are still to be agreed.

      • No real process addressing this at present.

David Foster, CERN


  • Science needs are increasing and diversifying rapidly

    • Big growth in large international projects in all areas needing global high bandwidth connectivity.

    • The pressure is to always seek Open, Neutral and Diverse solutions.

      • The best service at the best price.

  • Circuit based approaches are inevitable

    • They address the needs of the network providers to serve the high-end users with resource efficiency and manageability.

    • The downward pressure on bandwidth costs from commercial operators make them increasingly cost effective.

  • Open Exchanges are inevitable

    • Because of the compelling combination of sociological, business and technical rationale.

    • We are not a strict hierarchy of users, nren’s, operators at world or european level and perhaps becoming less so as time goes on.

David Foster, CERN

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