Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Openflow Testbed Taking Shape

I started my morning with a nice walk across campus to Lindley Hall for a meeting with Rob Henderson. I have to interject that it was a great morning to walk across campus - 60 degrees and sunny !  It sure beats 10th and the Bypass !!   Anyway the primary topic of the meeting was our Openflow testbed, but we wondered off on a number of different topics.  We need to get people to help us test Openflow and Informatics & Computer Sciences seemed like a logical place to start.  Rob is onboard and we're ready to start rolling !

Our first step will be to deploy a wireless SSID for Openflow.  The SSID will function exactly like our 802.1x SSID (IU Secure) except the user traffic will be plumbed through a couple of Openflow enabled switches before it hits the first router.  The key advantages are (1) we can easily deploy an Openflow SSID to thousands of APs to get a lot of users and (2) users can opt-in and out easily simply be switching SSIDs (which will be helpful if something breaks).  

In parallel with the wireless deployment, we'll be deploying Openflow on production switches for wired users, first in the UITS complex at WCC and then at Informatics and CS.  If all goes well, we could have Openflow enabled on 15-20 switches by the end of July along with the wireless deployment.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

NSF Campus Bridging Workshop

I spent yesterday at the IUPUI Conference Center attending an NSF "Campus Bridging" workshop.  Your first response will likely be the same as everyone I've spoken to - "What the heck is that ?".

Well, this was the first one I attended, but I believe this is one track in a series of workshops to help the NSF decide how to structure it's future Cyberinfrastructure (CI) funding programs.  The focus was on how to get campuses ramped up to support the data deluge generated by scientific instruments from gene sequencers to the LHC.  Obviously networking is a big part of that equation, but certainly not the only part.  There was a lot of discussion about data storage and indexing, meta data, federated identity and so on.

Here are a couple of good presentations that I think hit the nail on the head in terms of how we should be building campus networks to handle big data science applications...

Network Architecture for High Performance (Joe Metzger - ESNET)
The Data Intensive Network (Guy Almes - TAMU)

Incidentally, IU started building our campus networks this way in about 2003-04 and I think this is one of the reasons we've been so successful with projects like the Data Capacitor.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Visit to Ball State

I spent yesterday afternoon at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. For those non-Hoosiers out there, Ball State is named after te Ball Family as in the jars you can tomatoes in ! I met with Steve Jones who is the director of their CICS program. Hopefully I don't butcher the acronym, but IIRC it stands for Center for Information and Communications Sciences. It's a very cool program and as someone who grew up right down the road from the university, I had no idea it existed. They have some very bright and motivated students and hopefully some of them will eventually come join the team at the GlobalNOC !

-- Post From My iPhone