SCinet

Attention SC2004 Exhibitors!
For more information,
to request a SCinet network connection,
or to manage your SCinet account
please visit: http://scinet.supercomp.org/.

SCinet is the collection of high-performance networks built to support the annual International Conference for High Performance Computing and Communications (SC). The SC Conference Series is co-sponsored by ACM SIGARCH and the IEEE Computer Society. SCinet features both a high-performance production-quality network and an extremely high performance experimental network, Xnet.

Volunteers from educational institutions, high performance computing centers, network equipment vendors, research networks, and telecommunication carriers work together to design and deliver the SCinet networks. Industry vendors and carriers donate much of the equipment and services needed to build the LAN and WAN infrastructure. Planning begins more than a year in advance of each SC Conference and culminates with a high-intensity installation just 7 days before the Conference begins.

In partnership with Qwest Communications, Level(3) Communications and MCI, SCinet is providing direct wide area connectivity to Abilene, DREN, ESnet, TeraGrid, and to many national and worldwide networks through peering relationships with these principle networks. In addition, SCinet is working with the National Lambda Rail to provide very high bandwidth transit for several national optical network testbeds into Pittsburgh. Aggregate WAN transport delivered to the Industry and Research Exhibitors is expected to exceed 150 billion bits/second (Gbps). Duquesne Communications is providing invaluable access to dark fiber in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area.

Network Performance Monitoring

The SCinet architecture incorporates a number of features that support network monitoring. Monitoring will be used both to watch the internal network for operational purposes and to characterize the high-performance network applications that traverse SCinet, in particular for the Bandwidth Challenge. SCinet is deploying the GlimmerGlass System 300 to provide optical fiber management.

Utilization and errors for all external links, and all major SCinet internal links will be monitored for operational purposes. Active techniques will be used to monitor reachability over the external links and latency to key sites. Internet2® in conjunction with SCinet will provide a "weather map" showing current utilization on all SCinet external links, based on the technology used for the Abilene NOC weather map, developed by the Abilene NOC at Indiana University. Spirent Communications will provide Adtech AX/4000s to passively monitor each wide area connection and collect statistics. These statistics will include total aggregate traffic counts on each of the connections and total instantaneous traffic counts for use in judging the Bandwidth Challenge. Flow data (e.g, NetFlow, cflow) will be collected from routers and visualized using FlowScan, a tool developed by Dave Plonka at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Network Security

The design characteristics that define the SCinet production networks include high bandwidth, low latency, resiliency, and scalability. SCinet peers with the Internet, Agency, and National wide area networks through a series of very high-speed connections. To maximize performance across these interfaces, there are no firewalls. In this regard, the SCinet network is a logical, albeit temporary, extension of the open Internet. Exhibitors and Attendees are reminded that, in this potentially hostile environment, network security is a collective responsibility.

Exhibitors who use insecure communications methods are exposing their networks and systems to compromise. The use of insecure applications including TELNET and FTP is strongly discouraged. These applications are subject to compromise because they send passwords to remote hosts in human readable, clear text format. Attendees are strongly encouraged to protect their sessions through a mechanism such as Secure Shell (SSH), where all communication is encrypted. SSH implementations are available for little or no cost and are straightforward to install and use. Each Attendee is responsible for ensuring that their communications sessions are protected in accordance with their security requirements

All IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless networks, including those provided by SCinet, are vulnerable by their very nature. The ease of use that makes them attractive is the same feature that is most easily exploited. Wireless networks are open to unauthorized monitoring or snooping by anyone within range of an access point.

SCinet will monitor traffic on most external network connections as part of routine network performance monitoring activities. In addition, SCinet has a restricted capability to monitor Exhibit floor, wireless network and external network traffic for evidence of security-related activity including compromise or abuse. However, by no means should this coverage be considered a substitute for safe security practices. Please do your part by being cognizant of network security risks and protecting your systems and sessions.

Wireless Network Services

In collaboration with Trapeze Networks, SCinet will deploy IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g wireless networks within the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. These wireless networks are part of the production SCinet network, providing access to the Internet, and many other National and Agency networks. The wireless network will be provided on the Exhibit Floor, in the Education Program areas, the Ballroom and meeting rooms, and in many common areas within the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

SCinet provides the wireless networks for use by all Exhibitors and Attendees at no charge. Please refer to the wireless coverage diagram available at the SCinet NOC for specific coverage information for both networks. Known wireless network limitations, such as areas of reduced signal strength, limited client capacity, or other coverage difficulties will be described with additional signage at appropriate locations throughout the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

IP settings including IP and DNS addresses for wireless clients are automatically provided by SCinet via DHCP. Laptops and other wireless devices configured to request network configuration information via DHCP receive this information automatically upon entering the SCinet wireless coverage area. Wireless devices must conform to the IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b or 802.11g standards. Please refer to http://www.weca.net/ for more information.

SCinet will monitor the health of the wireless networks and maintain this information for Exhibitors and Attendees. The wireless networks are governed by the SCinet Service Level Policy posted on the SCinet public web site at http://scinet.supercomp.org. In summary, while every practical effort shall be made to provide stable reliable network services, there is no explicit service level agreement for any SCinet network, including the wireless networks, nor are there any remedies available in the event that network services are lost.

In order to provide as robust a wireless service as possible, SCinet must control the entire 2.4GHz and 5.2GHz frequency radio spectrum (2.412GHz-2.462GHz) and (5.15GHz to 5.35GHz) within the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This has important implications for both Exhibitors and Attendees:

Exhibitors and Attendees may not operate their own IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g wireless Ethernet access points anywhere within the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, including within their own booth. Wireless clients may not operate in ad-hoc or peer-to-peer mode due to the potential for interference with other wireless clients. Exhibitors and Attendees may not operate 2.4GHz or 5.2GHz cordless phones. Exhibitors and Attendees may not operate 2.4GHz wireless video or security cameras, or any other equipment transmitting in the 2.4GHz or 5.2GHz spectrum.

SCinet wants you to have a successful, pleasant experience at SC2004. This should include the ability to sit down with your wireless-equipped laptop or PDA and check e-mail or surf the Web from anywhere in the wireless coverage areas. Please help us achieve this goal by not operating equipment that will interfere with other users. SCinet will actively police both the 2.4GHz and 5.2GHz frequency spectrums and reserves the right to disconnect any equipment that interferes with the SCinet wireless networks.

Xnet

Xnet (eXtreme Net) provides a venue to showcase bleeding-edge, developmental networking technologies and experimental networking applications.

The SCinet Exhibit floor network has evolved into a robust, high-performance, production-quality network that Exhibitors and Attendees depend on for reliable local area, wide area, and commodity network service. Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult for SCinet to showcase bleeding edge, potentially fragile technology. Simultaneously, OEMs have at times been reticent about showcasing bleeding-edge hardware in SCinet, as it became a mission critical, production network.

Xnet provides the solution to this dichotomy by providing a venue which is by definition bleeding-edge, pre-standard, and in which fragility is understood. Xnet thus provides vendors and researcher exhibitors an opportunity to showcase emerging network gear or capabilities, prior to their general commercial availability.

Xnet debuted in Portland, OR at SC’99, where Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology was used in the implementation of OC-48 SONET rings on the conference show floor. At SC2000, Xnet demonstrated pre-production and early delivery 10-Gigabit Ethernet equipment connecting several exhibit floor booths. The SC2001 Xnet expanded the deployment of 10 Gigabit Ethernet using equipment from several vendors and using 10 Gigabit Ethernet in several Bandwidth Challenge Applications. In Baltimore at SC2002, with 10-Gigabit Ethernet a commodity and the telecom industry focused on survival, Xnet took a sabbatical. 2003 provided opportunities to explore early next generation optical switching technologies and consider special purpose optical network testbeds. In 2004, Xnet returns with a focus on advanced optical switching and new transport technologies. Please refer to materials available at the time of the conference for additional information.

Service Level Policy

The Network Committee, SCinet, provides commodity Internet, research, and experimental networks for use by the Exhibitors and Attendees. While every practical effort shall be made to provide stable and reliable network service on each network, there is no explicit service level agreement for any SCinet network, nor are there any remedies available in the event that network services are lost.

SCinet provides a series of networks each year for use by the Exhibitors and Attendees. Each network can be broadly categorized as Commodity Internet, Research, or Xnet infrastructure. In addition, there are significant peering relationships among these networks that allow them to communicate.

Commodity Internet networks include the high bandwidth connection from the convention center to one or more Internet Service Providers, and both wired and wireless networks that connect the exhibit halls, meeting rooms, ballrooms, mail rooms, and other common areas to the Internet.

Research networks include very high bandwidth connections to National and Agency networks including Internet2, ESnet, DREN, and TeraGrid. Coupled with the extensive peering relationships that these networks have with other research networks worldwide, SCinet can engineer connectivity to virtually any public IP address in the world. Access to these networks is limited to Exhibitors with network connections to the SCinet core.

Xnet networks are typically experimental and often fragile. These networks connect small numbers of devices at extremely high bandwidth using equipment that is pre-production, pre-standard, or research oriented. In most cases, Xnet networks do not peer with other networks to reduce potential network volatility.

Supporting Organizations

The success of SCinet depends on a great number of people. We would like to recognize the following companies, organizations, and institutions for their support for SCinet in 2004: Aaronsen Group, Aeronautical Systems Center MSRC, Argonne National Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Cisco Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Duquesne Communications, East Carolina University, ESnet, Florida State University, Force10 Networks, Foundry Networks, GlimmerGlass Networks, Indiana University, Abilene/Internet2, Juniper Networks, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Level(3), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Marconi, Mid-Atlantic Crossroads - MAX GigaPOP, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, National Lambda Rail, Nortel, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Purdue University, Qwest, San Diego Supercomputer Center, Sandia National Laboratories, SARA, Spirent, Trapeze Networks, University of Florida, University of Mannheim, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command Simulation Center

Questions? Please send email to: scinet04@sc-conference.org.


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