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NEWS: Network Infrastructure One of the Highlights at SC99

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  • From: "Greg Wood" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: NEWS: Network Infrastructure One of the Highlights at SC99
  • Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 16:37:33 -0400
  • Importance: Normal


Contact: Karen Green, NCSA, 217.265.0748,

Network Infrastructure One of the Highlights at SC99

PORTLAND, OR, August 3, 1999--At SC99 it's not only the hardware and
software on display that wows visitors; it's the network that supports the

SCinet, an integrated network environment constructed specifically for the
annual high performance computing and networking conference, only exists
for the duration of the conference, which this year runs from Nov. 13-19 at
the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Yet during its brief lifespan,
SCinet is one of the hottest nets on the planet, running at blistering
speeds and showcasing technologies still too new to be formally supported
by vendors.

This year SCinet will run an internal fiber optic network using DWDM (for
Dense Wave Division Multiplexing) gear from Nortel Networks. DWDM provides
more capacity in a fiber optic link, carrying multiple channels over a
single fiber by using a different color laser light for each channel.
Current systems can multiplex 16 to 32 wavelengths. This internal network
will provide up to 16 channels operating at either 2.4 Gb/s (OC-48) or
10Gb/s (OC192).

The off-floor network will feature multiple OC-48 (2.48 Gb/s) connections
using the National Transparent Optical Network (NTON), provided by the NTON
Consortium ( The NTON Consortium membership consists
of Nortel Networks, GST Telecom, Sprint Communications and Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory. NTON is a Wave Division Multiplexed
network deployed using existing commercial fiber. NTON links government,
research and private sector labs and provides the ability to interface with
most of the broadband research networks in the U.S. This network will link
the SC99 exhibit floor to the major research and commercial networks,
including (but not limited to) ESnet, the Defense Research Education
Network (DREN), the very high performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS),
and the Abilene network. The connection to Abilene will be provided by Qwest

"The annual SC conference has huge networking needs and very complex
logistics," said William R. Wing, PhD, Network Architect at Oak Ridge
National Laboratory and Chair of SCinet99. "The wide range of networking
options available through SCinet is a way for us to encourage researchers,
exhibitors and conference attendees to experiment with cutting-edge
applications and technologies."

In fact, networking at SC has become so complex that this year's SCinet
will actually be three overlapping networks. All the networks are
interconnected, but each can operate independently if necessary.

At the most basic level, SCinet offers a commodity Internet network, which
is provisioned several days before the show starts and provides
connectivity to the show offices, the education program and the conference
e-mail facilities. A level up from this is a production network, equipped
with state of the art hardware provided by various vendors. That network
will feature gigabit Ethernet, OC-48 ATM and at least one wavelength of
Nortel's DWDM gear. Finally, SCinet99 will feature a bleeding-edge network,
called Xnet, which will showcase equipment and technologies that may not
yet be available in the commercial market. It will be carried on several
DWDM wavelengths (which will provide robust infrastructure), and will
support experimental or beta-release applications and hardware. Equipment
and engineering from Nortel Networks will provision the Xnet DWDM backbone
and switched ATM and POS overlays.

"The conference is an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of
experimental networks--such as 10 gigabit Ethernet--and that's what we hope
to do with Xnet," said Wing.

For more on SCinet, see For more on SC99
including registration information, see


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Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 11:08:34 -0500

From: Karen Green
Subject: NEWS: SC99 State of the Field Talks Highlight Key Issues
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Contact: Karen Green, (217) 265-0748,

***SC99 State of the Field Talks Highlight Key Issues in High-Performance
Computing and Networking***

PORTLAND, OR, August 19, 1999 -- Four leading experts in high-performance
computing and networking will deliver State of the Field talks at SC99,
highlighting issues in data mining, performance optimization, the state of
the Internet and the trend towards networked high-performance computing

SC99, the annual high-performance computing and networking conference, will
be held Nov. 13 - 19 at the Oregon Convention Center. The State of the
Field talks were initiated at the 1997 conference to provide attendees with
a source of in-depth technical insight on a wide range of current issues in
networking, distributed computing, knowledge management , data intensive
applications, and other emerging technologies that push the frontiers of
computing and communications. This year's speakers will be Vinton G. Cerf,
senior vice president for Internet architecture and technology, MCI
WorldCom; Daniel A. Reed, professor and head of the computer science
department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Salvatore J.
Stolfo, professor of computer science, Columbia University; and Greg
Papadopoulos, chief technology officer, Sun Microsystems.

Cerf is widely known as a father of the Internet and as the co-designer of
the TCP/IP protocol, the computer language that gave birth to the Internet
and which is commonly used today. During his tenure with the Department of
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the 1970s and 1980s,
he played a key role in developing what was to become the Internet. He was
founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and currently
serves as its chairman of the board. Cerf is a member of the President's
Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and Ireland's Advisory
Committee for Telecommunications. In 1997 President Clinton awarded Cerf
and his partner, Robert E. Kahn, with the U.S. National Medal of Technology
for their work in founding and developing the Internet. Cerf's State of the
Field talk, called "State of the Art of the Internet," will offer insights
into how the Internet may permeate our social and economic fabric as the
next millenium unfolds. Cerf will also discuss how the Internet is evolving
to support audio, video and real-time interaction, and how it is preparing
to extend its reach off plant Earth as part of the NASA Mars missions and
more general exploration of the Solar System.

Reed will present a State of the Field talk called "Performance: Myth, Hype
and Reality." The talk will present an overview of the continuing
challenge of getting hardware and software to work together to perform
calculations in the shortest time possible. Reed will also address the
reasons why obtaining high performance remains difficult, highlight new
approaches that can improve performance, and look at how performance
optimization methods are likely to change in the next five years. Reed is
the leader of the National Computational Science Alliance's Data and
Collaboration team and is widely known for his contributions to performance
analysis of high-performance parallel systems and his work analyzing and
optimizing parallel I/O systems. His work and that of others in the
national Scalable I/O Initiative led to the book "Scalable Input/Output:
Achieving System Balance." His Pablo project has developed portable
performance data capture and presentation tools that have been one of the
cornerstones of the national HPCC initiative.

Stolfo's State of the Field talk, titled "Distributed Data Mining: Problems
and Opportunities," will look at the progress being made in knowledge
discovery in database (KDD) and data mining (DM) techniques. Specifically,
Stolfo will examine efforts to discover new knowledge in very large and
inherently distributed datasets and new approaches that can increase the
amount of data a knowledge discovery system can handle effectively over
distributed data sources. Stolfo has been a Columbia University faculty
member since 1979 and was co-developer of the first Expert Database System
in the early 1980s. His most recent research on distributed data mining has
produced a system called JAM that has been widely deployed to research and
development organizations.

Papadopoulos will examine a watershed trend in high-performance
architecture: supercomputers created from internetworked high-performance,
yet commercial, computing platforms. His talked, titled "HPC meets .com:
The Convergence of Supercomputing and Super-Internet Architectures," will
look at the driving forces behind these platforms, expectations for the
evolution of interconnection networks, storage and software stacks, and the
similarities and differences between high-performance computing and
large-scale Internet-based application service providers. Papadopoulos, who
joined Sun in 1994, is responsible for assessing the company's
technological investments, as well as directing the activities of Sun
Laboratories and associated advanced development programs. Before joining
Sun, he was senior architect and director of product strategy for Thinking
Machines. Papadopoulos was also an associate professor of electrical
engineering and computer science at MIT and a development engineer at
Hewlett-Packard and Honeywell. He is cofounder of three companies:
PictureTel (video conferencing); Ergo (high-end PCs); and Exa Corporation
(computational fluid dynamics).

"This year's State of the Field speakers represent a wide range of
backgrounds and interests from both the commercial and research sectors,"
said Margaret Simmons, chair of the SC99 Invited Talks committee and
associate director of programs with the National Partnership for Advanced
Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) and the San Diego Supercomputer
Center. "These talks are a great opportunity for people to get updates on
specific issues from the experts and to begin cross disciplinary dialogue
that can lead to solutions to some of our toughest problems."

The State of the Field talks are planned for Wednesday, Nov. 17 and
Thursday, Nov. 18. Cerf will lead off the talks at 8 a.m. Nov. 17, followed
by Stolfo at 9 a.m. Papadopoulos will speak at 8 a.m. Nov. 18, followed by
Reed at 9 a.m.

For more information on SC99, see or call 1-888-778-7299.


Karen Green
Public Information Officer
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
605 E. Springfield Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820

ph: 217-265-0748, fax: 217-244-7396

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  • NEWS: Network Infrastructure One of the Highlights at SC99, Greg Wood, 08/16/1999

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