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Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS)

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Division Communication Systems

Head of the division Communication Systems

Dr. Thomas Eickermann

Dr. Thomas Eickermann
Phone: +49 2461 61-6596
Fax: +49 2461 61-6656
email: th.eickermann@fz-juelich.de

 

The division is responsible for planning, realizing and operating the campus-wide communication networks of the research centre as well as the connections to external networks. It provides communication services and applications and performs central tasks in the IT-security process of the research centre. The activities comprise:

  • the cable-bound campus network JuNet
  • its wireless network extension W-JuNet
  • the connection to the German Science Network X-WiN (Deutsches Wissenschaftsnetz) and the Internet
  • external access via VPN and NAS for Forschungszentrum Jülich staff
  • network connections for external sites of Forschungszentrum Jülich and PTJ
  • planning and operation of special network needs.

Tasks regarding the IT security are:

  • central technical preventive measures like firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention
  • collaboration with the IT Security Officer regarding concepts of security rules and measures
  • provision of antivirus software
  • FZJ-CERT: processing of IT security critical incidents
  • documentation and training

Research & Development in the network and IT security area are focused on the development and exploitation of concepts and methods of communication and networking techniques and services.

HPC networking

Supercomputers process extreme amounts of data at high speed. This creates extreme demands also for networks, ranging from interconnects inside the HPC systems, the attachment of mass storage, the data centre integration, the connection to users on campus and world-wide, and last but not least the networks between HPC centres in German and European cooperations such as GCS, DEISA, and PRACE. These requirements often push current technologies to its limits. Therefore, JSC does not only plan and operate the data networks of the Research Centre – for HPC as well as for the campus network JuNet, but also conducts research and development in communications networks. Essential parts of this work is performed in the context of third party funded projects and cooperations, which enables the JSC to play a driving role in Europe also in this area of supercomputing.

Activities include

  • Planning, operation and evolution of the communication networks in the supercomputer centre and the campus network JuNet. Here, different networking technologies are deployed, tailored towards the respective requirements. For their selection, results from national and international cooperations and research projects are leveraged.
  • Participation in national and international test-beds for future networking technologies
  • Research and development in IT-security. Currently, secure high-speed data transfers between different security zones, monitoring security and intrusion detection are areas of activity. This work provides important input to the IT-security of the supercomputer centre and – inseparably related to that – for the research centre at large.

Thanks to the know-how gained in these activities, JSC is e.g. responsible for the following tasks:

  • Planning and coordination of a dedicated pan-European 10 Gbit/s network between the partners of the supercomputer network DEISA. It is relies on the GEANT backbone and the national research networks.
  • The continuation of this activity in the European HPC Research Infrastructure PRACE.
  • Planning and operation of the German network- and data-node of the European radio telescope LOFAR.

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