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GLORIAD: USA-Russia Lightpath Enables Fast Data Transfer of Terabyte-sized Scientific Datasets

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  • From: Laura Wolf <>
  • To:
  • Subject: GLORIAD: USA-Russia Lightpath Enables Fast Data Transfer of Terabyte-sized Scientific Datasets
  • Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2007 13:54:22 -0700

June 4, 2007


Knoxville/Oak Ridge, Tenn. -- Scientists from the National Center for Data
Mining (NCDM) at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Geophysical
Center at the Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow,
demonstrated a new method for distributing extremely large volumes of
scientific information across the world. They successfully moved 1.4
TeraBytes (TB) of data in about 4.5 hours over a 1 Gbps lightpath between
Chicago and Moscow as part of the Teraflow Network initiative. This event,
which represents the highest performance information transfer ever recorded
between these two countries, was made possible by a unique international
organizational partnership.

Although the amount of science information is growing rapidly, the ability to
move it on the regular Internet is still very limited. NCDM partnered with
Russia’s Geophysical Center to demonstrate a new capability for moving
science data by transferring the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) dataset
between their two sites, using a specialized international communications

This new capability uses two integrated innovations. One requires placing
information directly on lightwaves while avoiding the slower services that
are used by the traditional Internet. The other uses specialized
communications technologies (new network protocols) for high performance
streaming to avoid the limitations of standard Internet communications.

Using NCDM’s open-source, high-performance network transport protocol UDT
(UDP-based Data Transfer) on the Teraflow Network, researchers were able to
quickly transfer the SDSS astronomy catalog data, between Chicago and Moscow.
The 2.5 TB catalog is compressed to 1.4 TB, split into 60 files and, is
distributed to astronomers around the world from the NCDM in Chicago. Using
UDT, the 1.4 TB was transferred over a 1 Gbps lightpath and then decompressed
in Moscow to its original size. It now resides on a local server
<> in Moscow.

This data transfer had a sustained rate of 711 Mbps and a peak rate of 844
Mbps, and took about 4.5 hours to complete. This is about the speed that
the data could be moved across the city of Chicago over a 1Gbps network,
which graphically illustrates how barriers of distance are being eliminated
by the new communications infrastructures and technologies. These techniques
are required for research and experimentation for many science disciplines,
and in the future it may also be used for many types of data intensive
commercial applications.

This accomplishment was made possible through a unique partnership among
organizations in eleven countries that have created international advanced
communication facilities at locations literally around the world. GLORIAD,
the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development, is a
consortium of several countries, notably the USA, Russia, China, Korea,
Canada, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway,
Finland and Iceland), that are contributing networking capabilities to build
a global 10 Gbps optical network around the northern hemisphere of the globe
in support of advanced science and engineering. In the USA, GLORIAD is
supported by the National Science Foundation’s International Research Network
Connections (IRNC) program, which also funds a 10 Gbps path between Chicago
and Amsterdam called TransLight/StarLight. GLORIAD has been provided with a 3
Gbps path on TransLight/StarLight to allow a direct high-performance
connection between the USA and Europe.

GLORIAD’s Russian partners recently installed a 10 Gbps path from Amsterdam
to Moscow, provided by the Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute.”
This allowed a 1 Gbps lightpath to be dedicated to the Teraflow Network, from
Chicago (the StarLight facility), to Amsterdam (the NetherLight facility) and
then on to Moscow (the MoscowLight facility). GLORIAD participants are part
of a global initiative called the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF),
which promotes the paradigm of lightpaths, or lambda networks, for
data-intensive scientific research and applications.

This science demonstration was also supported by NCDM’s Teraflow Network, an
international facility designed to develop innovative technologies to stream
massive distributed datasets over high-performance networks, at 1 Gbps, 10
Gbps and multiple 10 Gbps. The TeraFlow Network is being used as a
next-generation platform, capable of supporting data-intensive applications,
including many requiring information transfers that cannot be supported by
traditional networks. The TeraFlow Network is developing techniques that will
be required by future global applications.

“This is the latest in a string of demonstrations that proves that it is now
practical for the working scientist to efficiently access terabyte size
datasets from anywhere in the world. All it takes are today’s
high-performance networks and new network protocols, such as UDT,” said
Robert Grossman, NCDM director at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“With the technology now available, there is no reason for scientists not to
have access to the latest data available in order to advance their research.”

“We look forward to using these new technologies to share and mine very large
databases in global change, space weather and remote sensing studies,” said
Mikhail Zhizhin, head of the Telematics Lab at the Geophysical Center in
Moscow, “and to applying the technologies from the Teraflow Network to the
larger GLORIAD infrastructure. In particular, the Research Group is working
with the USA National Geophysical Data Center (NOAA) on the Space Physics
Interactive Data Resource (SPIDR), and is working with Microsoft Research
Cambridge on the Environmental Scenario Search Engine (ESSE). Additionally,
there is strong demand to transmit real-time data streams and high-resolution
images, which has not previously been possible. ”

”This is a significant achievement between USA and Russian scientists,”
stated Alexey Soldatov, co-director of GLORIAD/Russia and director of the
Institute of Information Systems, Russian Research Center “Kurchatov
Institute” (RRC “KI”), - "GLORIAD/Russia, based at RRC “KI”, provides support
and development of the networking infrastructure for scientist and educators.
In addition, our Research Center is one of the leaders of the nationwide
Russian Data Intensive Grid program, that will use GLORIAD's advanced
networking infrastructure to support data-intensive projects and frontier
experiments in high-energy physics, nanotechnology, gravitational wave
research, digital astronomy and molecular genomics."

“The ability to move multi-terabyte datasets internationally in a matter of
hours, and ultimately minutes, has been based on the cooperation and efforts
among many international teams and it builds a solid foundation for future
international science projects,” said Natalia Bulashova, GLORIAD/USA
co-principal investigator.

“Lessons learned on the Teraflow Network can be expanded to the entire
GLORIAD community, and ultimately other GLIF international partners, said
Greg Cole, GLORIAD/USA principal investigator. “No matter how fast we
increase capacity and services on the GLORIAD network, the various science
groups out there are moving faster. It’s a real challenge for us, but it’s a
good challenge.”

The GLORIAD/USA team worked with teams from Russia (GLORIAD member - the
Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”; MoscowLight/RBNET/Russian
Institute for Public Network (RIPN); Institute of Space Research at the
Russian Academy of Sciences; the Geophysical Center at the Russian Academy of
Sciences; and, the Visualization Laboratory at Moscow State University); the
USA (National Center for Data Mining at the University of Illinois at
Chicago; the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at
Northwestern University; TransLight/StarLight; StarLight; Johns Hopkins
University; and the GLORIAD UT-ORNL JICS); and, the Netherlands team (GLORIAD
member - NetherLight/SURFnet; SARA; and the University of Amsterdam).

# # #


Natalia Bulashova
Co-Principal Investigator, GLORIAD


About GLORIAD <>
The GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development)
advanced science internet network was launched in January 2004 by the USA,
Russia and China, expanded its reach in 2005 – to Korea, Canada and The
Netherlands – and in 2006 to the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden,
Finland, Norway and Iceland. GLORIAD provides an optical network ring
encircling the northern hemisphere of the globe with individual network
circuits providing up to 10 Gbps – promoting new opportunities for
cooperation for scientists, educators and students. The GLORIAD project is
supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of Russian Federation, the
National Science Foundation of USA, the USA Research & Education (R&E)
network National LambdaRail, the Chinese Academy of Science, the Ministry of
Science and Technology of Korea, Canadian non-profit association CANARIE, the
national R&E network of Netherlands SURFnet, the national R&E network of the
Nordic Countries NORDUnet, as well as a number of other organizations
representing countries which participate in the project. GLORIAD/USA is based
at the University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Joint
Institute for Computation Science. GLORIAD/Russia is based at the Russian
Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”. GLORIAD/Netherlands is based in
Amsterdam and managed by SURFnet.

About the Teraflow Network <>
The Teraflow Network (TFN), under the leadership of the National Center for
Data Mining (NCDM) at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the
International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern
University, is both: 1) a unique infrastructure enabling scientists to share
large scientific datasets with their collaborators around the world; and, 2)
an international experimental facility designed to create and test advanced
networking technologies, new protocols and services, and integrated
middleware to support distributed, high-performance data-intensive
applications. The TFN supports 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps and multiple 10 Gbps data
streams and connects computer clusters distributed over three continents. The
TFN allows scientists to contribute terabyte datasets to repositories as
shared resources - enabling colleagues around the world to use them as the
basis for new discoveries. With the TFN, it is easy to explore, integrate and
analyze datasets contributed by colleagues. The TFN is sponsored in part by
the National Science Foundation of the USA.

About The Geophysical Center, Russian Academy of Sciences
The Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1958
by a special Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers with the mandate to
archive and exchange data resulting since the first International Geophysical
Year. Its primary goal is to conduct basic and applied research in the fields
of geophysics and geoinformatics.

About The Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” <>
The Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Russia’s leading research
and development institution in the field of nuclear energy, was founded in
1943. The Kurchatov Institute is funded through the Ministry of Education and
Science of the Russian Federation and through international cooperation and
commercial projects. It is divided into 15 institutes and six scientific and
technological divisions. The Institute conducts research on controlled
thermonuclear fusion, plasma physics, solid state physics, superconductivity,
molecular physics, physical and inorganic chemistry, chemical physics,
chemistry, safety of new technologies, ecology and health, biology, genomics
and bioinformatics, biotechnology, element basis of microelectronics,
material science, nanotechnology, networking and information science. The RRC
“KI” is the founder of Russia’s Internet and the Russian Research and
Education network, and the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN).
GLORIAD/Russia is based at the RRC “KI” and the Russian Institute for Public
Networks (RIPN).

About The Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN) <>
Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN) was founded in 1992 by the
Science and Higher School Committee of Russia, Russian Research Center
"Kurchatov Institute" and the Computer Center of the Kurchatov Institute.
RIPN operates the Russian Backbone Network and MoscowLight facility, supports
Technical Center of national domain TLD .RU and develops public Internet
Exchanges in the largest cities of Russia. RIPN is GLORIAD/Russia’s network

About The Russian Backbone Network (RBNet) (since 1996) <>
Russian Backbone Network (since 1996) is a backbone that serves regional,
specialized and corporate networks for Research and Education. At present, it
is a high-speed IP network with Points-of-Presence (POPs) in all Federal
Regions of Russia, and is migrating to a Hybrid Network Infrastructure.
2006-January: Open the GLIF Open Lambda Exchange (GOLE) Facility,
MoscowLight, to support the Hybrid Network Infrastructure
2007-January: Establish 10 Gbps link from Moscow (MoscowLight) to Amsterdam
2007-April: Establish lightpath between Moscow, Amsterdam and Chicago
2007-2008: Plan to establish 2.5Gbps - Moscow - Khabarovsk link, with a
connection to Hong Kong (HKOEP-HKLight) and Korea (KRLight).

About The Institute of Space Research, Russian Academy of Sciences
Institute of Space Research, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), is the
leading RAS organization in scientific research areas such as: Outer Space,
Solar System planets and other objects of the Universe. The Space Research
Institute (IKI) is primarily in charge of long-range planning and elaboration
of space research programs, of which a considerable part is performed within
the framework of international space research cooperation.

About The National Center for Data Mining at the University of Illinois at
Chicago <>
The National Center for Data Mining (NCDM) at the University of Illinois at
Chicago (UIC) was founded in 1998 as a national resource for high-performance
and distributed data mining. The Center performs research, coordinates
standards, operates testbeds, and engages in outreach. The Center coordinates
the development of the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML), a standard
for statistical and data mining models, and operates the Teraflow Network, a
network for distributing large e-science datasets.

About TransLight/StarLight <>
In cooperation with USA and European National Research & Education Networks,
TransLight/StarLight is implementing a strategy to best serve established USA
and European production science, including usage by those scientists,
engineers and educators who have persistent large-flow, real-time, and/or
other advanced application requirements. TransLight/StarLight currently
provides two connections between the USA and Europe for production science: a
routed connection that connects the pan-European GÉANT2 to the USA Internet2,
National LambdaRail and ESnet networks, and a switched connection that is
part of the LambdaGrid fabric being created by participants of the Global
Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF) and used by the GLORIAD community and the
Teraflow Network project. Major funding is provided by the USA National
Science Foundation International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program,
award OCI-0441094 to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), for the
period February 2005 - January 2010.

About StarLight <>
StarLight is an advanced optical infrastructure and proving ground for
network services optimized for high-performance applications. StarLight is
the GLIF Open Lightpath Exchange (GOLE) in Chicago. Operational since summer
2001, StarLight has 1GE and 10GE switch/router facilities and true optical
switching for wavelengths. StarLight is being developed by the Electronic
Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago
(UIC), the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at
Northwestern University, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at
Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with Canada's CANARIE and the
Netherlands' SURFnet. StarLight (sm) is a service mark of the Board of
Trustees of the University of Illinois.

About UT-ORNL JICS <> and
The University of Tennessee (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
established the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) to advance
scientific discovery and state-of-the-art engineering and to further
knowledge of computational modeling and simulation by taking full advantage
of the terascale and beyond computers in the National Center for
Computational Sciences housed at ORNL, and by educating a new generation of
scientists and engineers well-versed in the application of computational
modeling and simulation for solving for the most challenging scientific and
engineering problems. GLORIAD/USA based at UT-ORNL JICS.

About NetherLight/SURFnet <>
and <>
NetherLight is the GLIF Open Lightpath Exchange (GOLE) in Amsterdam, The
Netherlands and has been operational since January 2002. It is an advanced
open optical infrastructure and proving ground for network services optimized
for high-performance applications, especially those that require Grid
infrastructure. NetherLight provides multiple specialized international
high-performance communication services in partnership with other advanced
research networks. NetherLight has supported multiple landmark data-intensive
science experiments and demonstrations and is pioneering new concepts for
architecture that may find their way into other GOLEs worldwide and the
traditional telecommunications world as they move to next-generation
architectures. SURFnet enables breakthrough education and research. SURFnet
develops and operates the national SURFnet6 network and provides innovative
services in the areas of security, authentication and authorization, group
communication and video. SURFnet is a subsidiary of the SURF organization in
which research universities, universities of applied sciences and research
institutions collaborate nationally and internationally on innovative ICT
facilities. SURF provides the foundation for the excellence of higher
education and research in the Netherlands. GLORIAD/Netherlands is based in
Amsterdam and managed by SURFnet.

Joe Mambretti<
Robert Grossman
Yunhong Gu
Thomas DeFanti
Maxine Brown
Alan Verlo
Linda Winkler
Alex Szalay
Greg Cole
Natalia Bulashova
Evgeny P.Velikhov
Alexey Soldatov
Alexey Platonov
Mikhail Zhizhin
Ravil Nazirov <
Anton Korotin
Alexander Ilin
Michael Boyarsky
Veniamin Konoplev <
Olga Starostina
Kees Neggers
Cees de Laat
Erik-Jan Bos
Paola Grosso
Bram Peeters
J.P. Velders
Wounter Huisman
John Lankford
Peter de Boer
Thomas Tam
Bill St.Arnaud
Rene Hatem
NetherLight NOC
StarLight NOC

  • GLORIAD: USA-Russia Lightpath Enables Fast Data Transfer of Terabyte-sized Scientific Datasets, Laura Wolf, 06/04/2007

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