SCinet: Meet the teams operating behind-the-scenes
SC is a must-attend event in the high performance computing community. SC16 attendees, like those who have gathered before, can expect six days of inspiration- and innovation-packed sessions highlighting the many ways high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis lead to advances in scientific discovery, research, education and commerce.
Operating as the backbone of SC is the highly sophisticated, high performance network—SCinet— and the more than 150 volunteers who collaborate to build the network from the ground up each year.
Volunteers from educational institutions, high performance computing centers, network equipment vendors, U.S. national laboratories, research institutions, and research networks and telecommunication carriers work together to design and deliver the SCinet infrastructure. Industry vendors and carriers donate much of the equipment and services needed to build the local and wide area networks. Planning begins more than a year in advance of each SC Conference, and preparation activities culminate with a staging event in late October and a setup event just seven days before the conference begins.
To better understand the complexity of bringing SCinet to life for SC16, exhibitors, attendees and volunteers can get to know the diverse teams operating behind-the-scenes.
The SC16 Architecture Team identifies and evaluates leading-edge technologies to be included in the network design. They work closely with other teams to implement best in class network topology and orchestration to deliver the best performance and advanced services to the end users.
The SCinet Communications Team provides marketing communications support in advance of and during the show, including developing online content, writing and editing the monthly SCinet Newsletter, drafting SCinet content for the conference program guide, writing press releases and editing SCinet vendor communications.
The DevOps Team runs the internal software infrastructure for SCinet and works to automate the flow of information to the various entities that need it. The team administers the main database that stores team member information and manages access, mail servers, customer connection requests and configurations for tools operated by other teams. The DevOps Team also maintains the infrastructure to monitor and measure network flows to ensure services and provide alerts when there are issues.
The Edge Team provides networking services to the attendees at the conference. This includes wireless access on the show floor, in meeting rooms and hallways, and wired access for tutorials, technical talks and other rooms such as the committee offices.
The Fiber Team is responsible for building the physical layer of SCinet, installing miles of aerial and floor fiber to connect exhibitor booth equipment to the SCinet network.
The SCinet Help Desk Team serves as the first point of contact for exhibitors regarding all SCinet services. The team provides tier-one support to exhibitors and escalates requests to other teams as necessary for resolution.
INDIS (Innovating the Network for Data Intensive Science), together with the Network Research Exhibition Team, fosters innovations in networking and computing that bring forward the capability of exascale data processing for the big science. The INDIS workshop is an annual event that facilitates the discussion of network intensive demonstrations and advancements related to high performance computing.
SCinet utilizes a detailed database for coordinating all connections to booths, the network operation center, distributed network operation centers and the wide-area network. The Interconnect Team works with the conference center and other SCinet teams to document and ensure correct assignment and operation of all network resources.
The Logistics Team is tasked with ensuring the delivery and logistical support for donated SCinet equipment. They work closely with the conference to ensure that SCinet equipment is delivered in a timely fashion for staging, setup and show.
Network Research Exhibition
The Network Research Exhibition Team empowers researchers, computer scientists and network engineers to experiment using the state-of-the-art SCinet network. The team helps display new or innovative demonstrations in network testbeds, emerging network hardware, protocols and advanced network intensive scientific applications.
The Network Security Team is charged with protecting SCinet, vendor, exhibitor and attendee resources during the conference. Activities of the team include filtering harmful network traffic, detecting and preventing compromised systems, and mitigating the effects of compromised systems.
The Power Team provides the basic power infrastructure for all the SCinet gear in the NOC and DNOCs.
The Routing Team is responsible for installing, configuring and supporting the high performance conference network. The Routing Team also coordinates external connectivity with commodity Internet and R&E WAN service providers.
The Student Coordination Team supports the integration of SCinet students with their assigned teams and connects them with information, resources and activities that contribute to their incredible experience as part of the SCinet team.
The WAN Transport Team is responsible for delivering multiple wide area network circuits to the convention center. Typically this requires utilizing dark fiber resources in the facility, acquiring wave-division multiplexing transport equipment, and engineering, building and supporting a metropolitan area transport system.