World's Most Powerful Computer Network

I know I already posted a press release on how Infinera and CenturyLink delivered 1.5 TB of capacity at SCinet, but this is kinda a big deal.…

SCinet gives the SC conference attendees a unique chance to showcase and discover the latest research in HPC. By building the fastest, most innovative operational network possible every year, SCinet enables data-intensive research and live-use of high performing hardware to run multi-gigabit demonstrations, requiring a fast and robust infrastructure.

“This network is unrivaled with regards to its capabilities and the broad-reaching influence, both nationally and internationally, to support demonstrations and experiments that could not be done easily in any other place. It’s a one-of-a-kind environment where research meets production,” says Davey Wheeler, SCinet Chair and Senior Network Engineer from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). “As the SCinet Chair leading the development of this network, this year is a culmination of 17 years of experience working on SCinet from year to year. It is humbling and honoring to be able to work aside these colleagues and see the tremendous talent, dedication and creativity of the volunteers.”

SCinet is built by a team of expert volunteers from around the world, taking one year to design the network, three weeks to set it up, four days to operate it, and 24 hours to tear it down. Over 100 engineers from industry, academia and government institutions came together to build this network, using over $22 million in loaned equipment and over 89 miles of newly installed fiber optic cables.

For SC15, SCinet has connected multiple 100 gigabit circuits, bringing an unprecedented 1.62 terabits per second of bandwidth to the Austin Convention Center.

Virtually every major company had a hand in developing this build out. And here is how the network actually looks. It is a live “heat map” showing where the traffic is coming and going.

Pay close attention to the Infinera corner. First, CenturyLink is showing boatloads of connections with the outside world coming in. Then, when it connects through to Infinera’s DTN-X, its showing a dense wave division multiplex at 1200G. Ciena and Alcatel-Lucent show their dense wave division multiplexing at 200G.

Next, take a look at who is providing the 100G connections to the exhibitors at the conference. That would be the next box directly connected to Infinera - Arista Networks. The other routes coming from other vendors in the topology (Cisco and others) are at 10G and 1G.

Keep in mind, this is a conference where all the networking gear, planning and installation sweat is volunteered, but it is also a proving ground for the vendors to show how well they can shine. Ultimately, the network plan is put together by SCinet based on a best of breed solution with consideration for all the options.

I checked the other vendor’s press release pages. No one else is talking this up for their own accomplishments and contributions. It’s likely they’re trying not to draw too much attention for fear their customers realize the real star of the show.



Forgot to mention one more thing on the topology map. In addition to providing the 100G funnel for the conference participants, Infinera is also the one feeding bandwidth to the Lab for Advanced Computing.