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Leading edge: Using the Internet2 network to enable big science

Sep 10, 2015, by Elizabeth Boten
Tags: Advanced Networking, Community-Driven Innovation, Frontpage News, Health & Life Sciences

Upcoming presentation at ConvergedIT to address network abundance in the era of big data

The research and education community has played a seminal role in the creation of the modern Internet and the applications that have made it the most transformative technology of the last hundred years. This technology has facilitated national and global connections between researchers and scientists, propelled innovation, and convened a community of members on the leading edge of science.

Internet2 Vice President of Network Services, Rob Vietzke, will detail lessons learned from the R&E community’s history in supporting big science and how community-powered solutions can support computational research at the ConvergedIT Summit in San Francisco on September 10. The presentation will also spotlight Internet2 community members and their dynamic and successful use of the Internet2 network to benefit life sciences.

One such Internet2 community member, Clemson University, has used the network to drive several research initiatives across campuses. Clemson houses many programs that work with massive data sets and involve collaboration with other institutions. These programs focus on a wide range of disciplines and require the ability to share large amounts of data very quickly between researchers.

In fact, two endpoints connected by the new Internet2 Advanced Layer 2 Service (AL2S) helped researchers and technologists at Clemson and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in Maryland team and optimize the transfer of genomics data. After optimization, the team was able to transfer the datasets totaling 12 terabytes across the Internet2 AL2S circuit in 11.6 hours instead of eight days.

Other Internet2 community members, The University of Missouri and The Ohio State University, also created a research environment to support campus scientists. The project entailed collaboration to better detect, diagnose and treat autism with brain-imaging innovations, and enable new capabilities for real-time sensor-based elderly care. These types of global collaborative projects would typically strain modern-day network resources, but was addressed using the combination of advanced technologies and the engagement of entities with varying expertise. The project connected MU’s network infrastructure with the Internet2 100GE national network and implemented the Internet2 Innovation Platform with a 100GE pathway, Science DMZ and advanced networking services.

The configuration facilitated integration of a web-based brain imaging analysis software, “Brain Explorer,” which allowed the user to upload MRI images and conduct quantitative brain structure analysis in a seamless, secure environment, with the management of new hardware platforms that supported 100Gbps network transmission speeds.

Without a network to quickly transfer data in a safe and effective way, many of these projects would stall or require so much time to undertake, it would be daunting. Universities like Clemson, University of Missouri, and Ohio State University exemplify the many possibilities for the R&E community’s future.

And although it’s impossible to predict the future, it is possible for universities to position themselves for success by building and collaborating on infrastructures and participating in the Internet2 community. Taking part in industry events and working with Internet2 university and industry members such as GE and USDA will allow the Internet2 community to be on the leading edge of the network, to discover functionalities that will support science, understand cloud integrations, and globalize the work being done to enrich science and discovery for us all.

Connect with Internet2 at ConvergedIT.

Attend the Internet2 2015 Technology Exchange in Cleveland, Oct. 4-8. Session tracks include advanced networking, security, and research—that will feature developments in cyberinfrastructure for research, national research computing resources, network research, bridging from campus to national cyberinfrastructure, regional data innovation hubs, models of support for data and computing intensive research, and domain-specific applications of cyberinfrastructure in cosmology, earth sciences, high-energy physics, genomics, and life sciences.