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Responding To The Demands Of Big Data Scientific Instruments Through The Development Of An International Software Defined Exchange Point (Sdx)


Science is being conducted in an era of information abundance. The rate at which science data is generated is increasing, both in volume and variety. This phenomenon is transforming how science is thought of and practiced. This transformation is being shaped by new scientific instruments that are being designed and deployed that will dramatically increase the need for large, real-time data transfers among scientists throughout the world. One such instrument is the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) being built in South Africa that will transmit approximately 160Gbps of data from each radio dish to a central processor. This paper describes a collaborative effort to respond to the demands of big data scientific instruments through the development of an international software defined exchange point (SDX) that will meet the network provisioning needs for science applications. This paper discusses the challenges of end-to-end path provisioning across multiple research and education networks using OpenFlow/SDN technologies. Furthermore, it refers to the AtlanticWave-SDX, a project at Florida International University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), along with support from Brazil’s NREN, Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP), and the Academic Network of Sao Paulo (ANSP). Future work explores the feasibility of establishing an SDX in West Africa, in collaboration with regional African RENs, based on the planned availability of submarine cable spectrum for use by research and education communities.



Software-Defined Networking, Software-Defined Exchange, Science Data Applications, Big Data