EdgeDiscovery: A Platform for Scientific Research

Inspired by the vision for a national research platform and with the realization that regionalization and collaboration are prerequisites to attracting grants from preeminent research funding entities, NJEdge has now strategically advanced its capacity and capability to support and advance research in New Jersey and beyond with a research as a service (RaaS) solution called EdgeDiscovery.

NJEdge has been fortunate to partner with Rutgers University and the Rutgers Office of Academic Research Computing (OARC), which has redefined the paradigm for research support toward a model that relies upon optimized, federated, regionalized, and shared services approaches. Convinced that the model is extensible, Rutgers has worked collaboratively with research institutions, Internet2, and other Research and Education Networks (RENs) to spearhead the Eastern Research Network proof of concept (ERN-POC) and demonstrate the viability of the new construct.

Recognizing the new model’s potential to democratize access to research capacity and capability for less well-resourced institutions, NJEdge regards these developments as an opportunity to bring value to the community with EdgeDiscovery. EdgeDiscovery combines an NJEdge research network DMZ with an optimized technology stack residing on our backbone, and is outfitted with hardware and software components which enable researchers accessing it to streamline their research projects, schedule compute cycles, and access applications, analytics tools, and storage resources. NJEdge’s new research network paradigm is accomplished on a common, federated platform that will interoperate with the many research support constructs currently evolving in conjunction with the quest for a standards-based national research platform.

The EdgeDiscovery prototype was developed in conjunction with the ERN-POC program recipe and is intended to serve as an on-demand research platform available to researchers in under resourced organizations otherwise unable to invest in next generation research infrastructure. Those accessing EdgeDiscovery will receive a clear set of instructions to provision HPC clusters with a set of software tools that are thoroughly tested and easy to implement. EdgeDiscovery will serve as their staging area for connecting to the ERN and similar projects under development as the quest for a national research platform continues. This solution will provide access to compute nodes hosted in on-premise datacenters or in cloud environments. The EdgeDiscovery solution saves the researcher valuable time by allowing them to focus on research data rather than technology tools. Relying upon automation and best practices for HPC, the EdgeDiscovery RaaS model will evolve in concert with the hardware and software landscape, ensuring the latest relevant tools are incorporated into the solution.

With the addition of EdgeDiscovery, NJEdge will enable access to the cyber-infrastructures and e-infrastructure resources required for full participation in the new research paradigm via our high-performance network. NJEdge resides at the geographic and technical crossroads in the pursuit of innovation through advancements in next generation networking and research computing. In seizing opportunities to advance our footprint regionally, NJEdge will continue to instantiate and evolve a United States northeast regional research ecology involving services in support of scientific discovery, a thriving data economy, research infrastructures as thematic service providers, and sustainable, configurable research environments.