UEN, Quilt Members converge in Utah for SC16 Conference

Every November, thousands of researchers and industry representatives in high-performance computing and related fields, such as advanced networking, data storage, and data analysis, meet for the annual Supercomputing Conference (SC16) to learn about HPC and scientific applications and innovations from around the world.

This year’s conference, with the theme “HPC Matters,” took place Nov. 13-18 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This annual event previously was held in Salt Lake City in 2012.

Quilt Members once again were an integral part of the annual event through demonstrations, booths, presentations and building SCinet. Quilt members joined many from the international supercomputing community, essentially a gathering of scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, programmers, system administrators and developers that is unequaled in the world.

The internationally-recognized technical program included presentations, papers, informative tutorials, timely research posters and Birds-of-a-Feather sessions. A 515,000 square-foot exhibition hall featured the latest technologies and accomplishments from the world’s leading vendors, research organizations and universities, offering the first opportunity for attendees to learn about the technologies that will shape the future of large-scale technical computing and data-driven science.

The Salt Palace Convention Center during the event also turned into the home to the fastest, most innovative computer network in the world during SC16 conference.  SCinet, the high-performance, experimental network built specifically for the conference, offers an unprecedented amount of bandwidth within the conference exhibit hall and connecting the convention center to the broader Internet.

Partnering with Quilt Member Utah Education Network (UEN) and CenturyLink, SCinet provided more than 5 Tbps of internal network bandwidth, along with tens of 100 Gbps Ethernet circuits to bring 3.15 Tbps of Wide Area Network bandwidth to the convention center. UEN guided this collaboration with national and international research and education networks and commodity Internet providers. More than 12,000 conference exhibitors and attendees relied on SCinet during SC16.

Listen to the UEN podcast on how Corby Schmitz and Gyongyi Horvath prepare for SC16.

If you or others from Quilt Member Institutions attended SC16, we would like to hear from you and your experience for a future blog. Please contact us or Tweet us @TweetTheQuilt.

FMM logoWe will have an extraordinary line-up of speakers and guests scheduled to participate this year at our annual event. Building on the success of the 2015 events held in Austin, Texas, The Quilt, National Science Foundation’s Campus Cyberinfrastructure and Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop, and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee once again will be co-locating their meetings with us this fall.

Our Fall Member Meeting agenda is shaping to be filled with exciting discussions and presentations.

We’re planning to begin our collocated program with the three groups by exploring the LIGO Gravitational Waves Detection and cyberinfrastructure support for LIGO with Peter Couvares of Syracure University followed by a panel discussion that focuses on the LIGO project, LIGO researchers and cyberinfrastructure required to support the research.

On Day 2, we’ll start with our opening plenary featuring Dr. Jim Kurose, assistant director of NSF computer and information science and engineering, followed by a panel discussion on national cybersecurity featuring CICI/CC* PIs, ESnet and other regional representatives discussing topics such as Science DMZ, medical research, and HIPAA compliance. Then we’ll converse on ways to help bridge the gaps in science engagement along with several other panel discussions throughout the day including statewide data transfer initiatives, integration of vertical member segments in a statewide/regional community, and a summary of the workshop report on the Role of the Regional in Improving Access to Computational Infrastructure. On Friday, we’ll continue with the topic of cybersecurity among others.

The agenda will continue to be updated here leading up to the event.

Thanks again to Quilt member KINBER for inviting us to Philadelphia for this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation now and throughout the meeting using #FMM16 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

NSF cyberinfrastructure report aims to awaken potential of ‘sleeping middle’

The final report on the Role of Regional Organizations in Advancing the Computational Infrastructure has been submitted to the National Science Foundation with the goal to developing recommendations to assist regional organizations to leverage their work for the benefit of the research community as well as understand what actions, if any, are needed to achieve a radical shift across a diverse set of organizations to improve coordination of, access to and utilization of the national computational infrastructure.

There are many cyberinfrastructure organizations in the space between campuses and nationally-shared cyberinfrastructure facilities that enable use of advanced cyberinfrastructure in research. According to the contributors of this report (which included staff and several members of The Quilt), now is the time to harness the collective energies of these organizations and focus them on innovating CI infrastructure and expertise while also sharing those solutions on an intra- and inter-regional basis.

“The recommendations provided in this report are aimed at awakening the potential of the ‘sleeping middle’ of regional network/CI organizations to develop and enrich the national CI ecology,” as noted in the summary.

pdf-icon-1Download a copy of the full report.

The Role of Regional Organizations in Improving Access to the National Computational Infrastructure conference was held in Kansas City, Missouri, in October 2015. A total of 36 white papers were submitted in advance, and 39 individuals were in attendance. The majority of the participants were from academic institutions, and many also represented a state, regional or national organization with significant interest in improving access to the national computational infrastructure. Contributions by white paper authors and conference attendees are grouped into key thematic areas as presented in the report in addition to two sets of recommendations – core recommendations and recommendations for actions within specific communities.

The purpose of this project was to gain input from relevant organizations and to develop a set of recommendations to reinvigorate the state of advanced cyberinfrastructure and to lay the groundwork for a vibrant, healthy national computational cyberinfrastructure that brings together all the relevant players and is flexible enough to accommodate new developments. By carefully considering the information and choosing to implement the recommendations from this 34-page report, it may be possible to accomplish broad scale change across the cyberinfrastructure landscape in support of future computational and data-intensive science in the United States and beyond.

This work was funded by National Science Foundation Award No. 1543655 to Kansas State University. Gregory E. Monaco, Ph.D. Department of Psychological Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, and the Great Plains Network. This replaces the Draft Report submitted in March 2016.

NTIA seeks input on new Community Connectivity Initiative

The National Telecommunications and Information Initiative (NTIA) will be hosting a nine-part webinar series in an effort to grow the Community Connectivity Initiative.

The webinars, taking place on the second Thursday of each month starting in July through March 2017, will support accelerated broadband access, improve digital inclusion, strengthen policies and support local priorities. These hands-on and interactive sessions will allow stakeholders the chance to have a say in the future growth of the initiative while identifying tools that could benefit communities in the present and future.

The planned discussion topics are as follows:

  • July 14: Initiative update and framework and assessment design discussion
  • Aug. 11: Initiative update and discussion of the report and recommended output
  • Sept. 8: Initiative update and recommendations discussion
  • Oct. 13: Initiative update and discussion on user support requirements
  • Nov. 10: Initiative update and evaluation discussion
  • Dec. 8: Initiative update and discussion of training requirements
  • Jan. 12: Initiative update and discussion of roll-out timeline
  • Feb. 9: Initiative update and communication discussion
  • March 9: Initiative update and next steps discussion

Admission is open to the public, although it is requested that participants pre-register for each webinar. Questions during the webinar may be sent to BroadbandUSA@ntia.doc.gov.  For more information about the webinars, how to register and the webinar topics, visit the Federal Registrar.

Additionally, NTIA has invited several thought leaders to Washington D.C. for a two-day design workshop to help complete the next level of detailed design for the Community Connectivity Framework, Online Assessment Tool, and Reports.

This event is invitation only and is scheduled for June 28-29.

The NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team is developing new tools to support communities working to accelerate broadband deployment, deepen broadband adoption, strengthen local policies, and use broadband to advance local priorities. The Community Connectivity Initiative design is based on the best practices and best thinking of leading practitioners in communities throughout the country. The program structure encourages continuous improvement, inviting community leaders to take stock of their current broadband assets, access, and applications, identify opportunities and next steps, and re-assess later. The goal is to support more communities as they develop local plans to increase access, adoption and use and to use common measures rooted in local practice to create a foundation for further investments in broadband.

For more about the initiative, visit http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/CCI

Workshop reports available for Looking Beyond the Internet

Workshop reports for three “Looking Beyond the Internet” workshops that took place a month ago are now available.

  • Applications and Services in the Year 2021
  • Future Wireless Cities
  • Software Defined Infrastructure / Software Defined Exchanges

All three workshops and their reports are here.

The “Looking Beyond the Internet” effort is intended to discuss new research opportunities in the broad areas of future wireless, networks and clouds. The goal is to engage the research community to identify potentially transformative network architectures, enabling technologies and applications in three broad categories: software-defined infrastructure, community-scale wireless networks and future applications and services.

Special thanks to Suman Bannerjee, Prasad Calyam, Nick Feamster, Ray Raychaudhuri, Glenn Ricart, and Rob Ricci for organizing and running these workshops, and for quickly writing up three great reports.

For more information about this effort, visit this webpage.

Happy Holidays from The Quilt

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic community for your support and contributions over the last year.  Working together, our collective efforts advanced networking for research and education across the country.  We are excited about continuing our work together in 2016.

We look forward to seeing many of you in February at our Winter Meeting in La Jolla.

Again, thank you for what you do and your support. Happy Holidays to you and yours from The Quilt.

Security, risk and privacy take center stage at 2015 Fall Member Meeting

Our 2015 Fall Member Meeting is next week.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas.

This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

Over the last couple of weeks we have previewed some items on the agenda.  Please see previous posts including features on Pacific Research Platform and the Science DMZ and Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas as well as Regional Networks & Support for Research, OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure and new Broadband Opportunity Council Report.

Today’s post highlights discussions on cybersecurity and risks.

Quilt Member Collaborations for Security Tools and Services will be presented by Steve Wallace of Indiana University.

wallaceWallace leads IU’s Software-Defined Network (SDN) education and international collaboration initiatives. He has more than 25 years of experience in network design, research, and deployment – including 10 years leading IU’s engineering support for Abilene (Internet2’s first high-speed backbone) and directing the university’s Advanced Network Management Lab.

Heidi Wachs of Jenner & Block LLP also will present on Regional Network Security – Privacy, Data Security, and Risk.

Wachs_Heidi_COLORWachs is a member of the firm’s Privacy and Information Governance Practice. A nationally recognized leader in privacy, breach response and data security compliance, her wealth of experience includes serving as a privacy researcher and as chief privacy officer of a major university. Clients seek her counsel in data breach handling and recovery, information classification, information security and identity governance and administration.

Wachs also will moderate a panel discussion on Regional Network Risk Levels where Quilt members will share their plans and processes to assess privacy and data security, assess organizational risk, and strategies to mitigate organizational risk. Elwood Downing of Merit Network, Mike Hrybyk of BCNET, and Tim Lance from NYSERNet also will participate on the panel.

Finally, our meeting this fall will close with two briefings.

Dave Pokorney of Florida LambdaRail will provide an update on the Quilt Facilities Futures Working Group, and Mark Johnson from MCNC will give us the latest on Quilt InCommon Pilots and Business Model.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation throughout the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

Those interested in the NSF PI Workshop also can follow on Twitter with #CCPI2015.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!

Spotlight: Examine new Broadband Opportunity Council Report at FMM15

We’re getting excited for our 2015 Fall Member Meeting is next week.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas. This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

This will be one Texas-sized meeting with the best networking minds in the country gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges.

Over the last couple of weeks we have previewed some items on the agenda.  Please see previous posts including features on Pacific Research Platform and the Science DMZ and Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas as well as Regional Networks & Support for Research, OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure.

Today’s post highlights two engaging discussion on Thursday.

LauraSpiningLaura Spining of the NTIA will present Thursday morning on the new Broadband Opportunity Council Report, which describes steps that 25 federal agencies will take over the next 18 months to eliminate barriers and promote broadband investment and adoption.

Over the past six years, the United States has expanded broadband access, bringing millions of people online and creating significant new economic, educational and social opportunities. Investments from the federal government have helped deploy or upgrade more than 110,000 miles of network infrastructure, and more than 45 million additional Americans have adopted broadband Internet. And as a country we’ve made high-speed wireless coverage available to 98 percent of Americans.

The council made four broad recommendations in the report:

  1. Modernize Federal programs to expand program support for broadband investments.
  2. Empower communities with tools and resources to attract broadband investment and promote meaningful use.
  3. Promote increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to Federal assets.
  4. Improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband.

Laura Spining also will moderate a Quilt Member Panel Discussion on Regional Networks and Community Broadband – What is the Next Frontier? This panel will focus on the regional networks’ roles in working with communities and municipalities to increase the availability of broadband; strategies for convening and connecting community area networks; and the role of regional networking organizations in local and state economic development efforts.

The panel includes Jean Davis of MCNC, John Gillispie of MOREnet, Scott Taylor of CEN and Jack Smith of WVNET.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation throughout the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!