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The Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC)

Over the last decade, the scientific community has experienced an unprecedented shift in the way research is performed and how discoveries are made. Highly sophisticated experimental instruments create massive datasets for diverse scientific communities and hold the potential for new insights that will have long-lasting impacts. However, scientists cannot make effective use of this data if they are unable to move, store, and analyze it.

The Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC) is a production platform for operations, applied training, monitoring, and research and education support jointly led by Indiana University (IU) and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). EPOC provides researchers with a holistic set of tools and services needed to address the growing demands of scientific innovation by helping to assist with expectations related to performance issues, reliable and robust data transfers, and understanding scientific workflow. By considering the full end-to-end data movement pipeline, EPOC is uniquely able to support collaborative science, allowing researchers to make the most effective use of shared data, computing, and storage resources to accelerate the discovery process.

EPOC supports five main activities: 1) “Roadside Assistance” via a coordinated Operations Center to resolve network performance problems with end-to-end data transfers reactively; 2) application Deep Dives to work more closely with application communities to understand full workflows for diverse research teams in order to evaluate bottlenecks and potential capacity issues; 3) network analysis enabled by the NetSage monitoring suite to proactively discover and resolve performance issues; 4) encapsulated Network Services (aka “Services-in-a-Box”) that provide managed data services via support through the IU GlobalNOC and our Regional Network Partners; and 5) coordinated training to ensure effective use of network tools and science support.

EPOC can not only delivers appropriate end-to-end user support and engineering solutions but is a central community hub that provides personal expertise and assistance on an ongoing basis. Through our targeted partnerships, this Center has the potential to benefit nearly all of US science, research, and education on a far broader scale than any one organization can accomplish alone.

By providing not only a depth of understanding to achieve better data transfers but also the human expertise needed to make the most of research collaborations, EPOC will be transformational to science and education.