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Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS)

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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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