The ultralight network testbed: Motivation, architecture, and experiences

Harvey NewmanJulian BunnRichard CavanaughIosif LegrandSteven LowShawn McKeeDan NaeSylvain RavotConrad SteenbergXun SuMichael ThomasFrank van LingenYang Xia

In this paper we describe progress in the NSF-funded UltraLight project, and a recent demonstration of UltraLight technologies at SuperComputing 2005 (SC|05). The goal of the of particle physics experiments with a comprehensive, network-focused approach. UltraLight adopts a new approach to networking: instead of treating it traditionally, as a static, unchanging and unmanaged set of inter-computer links, we are developing and using it as a dynamic, configurable, and closely monitored resource that is managed from end-to-end. Thus we are constructing a next-generation global system that is able to meet the data processing, distribution, access and analysis needs of the particle physics community. In this paper we present the motivation for, and an overview of, the UltraLight project. We then cover early results in the various working areas of the project. The remainder of the paper describes our experiences of the UltraLight network architecture, kernel setup, application tuning and configuration used during the bandwidth challenge event at SC|05. During this Challenge, we achieved a record-breaking aggregate data rate in excess of 150 Gbps while moving physics datasets between many sites in the WAN. The exercise highlighted the benefits of UltraLight's research and development efforts that are enabling new and advanced methods of distributed scientific data analysis.

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