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Written by Olin Coles   
Saturday, 10 November 2007

Reno Hosts SC07 Convention

Reno, NV - October 18, 2007 -- For seven days, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center will be home to one of the most powerful and connected networks in the world - SCinet.

Benchmark Reviews will be on the scene to experience SC07, which means you can expect many industry trends to be revealed by the end of the conference week.

Built each year for the annual SC07 conference, SCinet brings to life a highly sophisticated and extreme networking infrastructure that can support the revolutionary applications and network experiments that have become the trademark of the annual SC07 conference held in Reno, Nevada, November 12-16, 2007.

Sponsored by ACM and the IEEE Computer Society, SC07 showcases the latest advances high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. SCinet serves as the platform for SC07 exhibitors to demonstrate advanced computing resources from their home institutions and elsewhere by supporting supercomputing and grid computing applications.

Designed and built entirely by volunteers from universities, government and industry, SCinet connects multiple 10-gigabit per second (Gbps) circuits to the showfloor, which links the conference center to research and commercial networks around the world like the Internet2 Network, National LambdaRail, and Level 3 Communications. SCinet is powerful enough to transfer over 200 Gb of data in just one second. And without a doubt, SC exhibitors and attendees will push SCinet's capacity and capabilities to the max.

SC07 - The premier international conference on high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.

"Our team of volunteers is proud to provide SC07 with a robust network infrastructure that can support the most leading-edge applications and imaginations of the conference's exhibitors and attendees, who are known for pushing networking and computing resources to the very limit each year," said Jackie Kern, SCinet committee chair of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
Once the network is fully operational in November, SC07 attendees and exhibitors will connect to push it to its limits, testing new technologies, flooding it with data and then measuring and monitoring every aspect of the network's performance. A few example highlights:

Wide Area Connectivity
The Reno-Sparks Convention Center's existing network could not initially support the high speed circuits required for SC07, so the SCinet team partnered with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) and contracted with American Fiber Systems to install new fiber optic cable and equipment into the center in order to connect to local node sites and the various national and international research and education networks. In addition, the network facilities and fiber optic cable that will be deployed by AFS to support SC07 will remain in place at the convention center.

"The partnership with AFS and the SCinet team has resulted in a long-term benefit that will help us continue to attract conferences and shows that require advanced networking for exhibitors and attendees," said Knud Svendsen, RSCVA vice president of sales and marketing.

This year, the SCinet wide area network (WAN) team is being led by engineers from CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, California's research and education network organization and includes engineers from the Florida LambdaRail, Internet2, National LambdaRail, Nevada System of Higher Education, Texas A&M University, and the University of Wisconsin. Participating companies include Ciena, Cisco Systems, Infinera, Level 3, and Nortel.

The SCinet WAN team is delivering over 200 Gbps of wide area network connectivity to the convention center which includes twelve optical waves from the Internet2 Network in partnership with Infinera and Level 3 and eleven optical waves from National LambdaRail in a partnership with CENIC, the Nevada System of Higher Education, and Cisco Systems.

SCinet Showfloor Infrastructure
In a short period of two weeks, SCinet volunteers came together to build the world's most advanced network to meet the demands of the showfloor high-performance computing environment. Made possible through commitments from Cisco Systems, Force10 Networks, Foundry Networks and Juniper Networks to provide routing and switching equipment and support, SCinet offers more than 330 industrial and research exhibitors network connectivity ranging in speeds from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps to a high performance infrastructure where exhibitors will showcase their latest systems, services, research and scientific achievements.

In addition, the SCinet team will also enable wireless connectivity throughout the convention center for exhibitors and attendees with equipment provided by Trapeze Networks. High speed Internet services will be provided for all SC07 participants through collaboration with Level 3 and CENIC.

The Bandwidth Challenge
At every SC conference since SC2000 in Dallas, teams of scientists and engineers have competed in the Bandwidth Challenge to see who could make the most of the huge bandwidth provided by SCinet. And while no group has achieved the unstated goal of flooding the network to the breaking point, each year has seen creative applications which move record amounts of data across the network.

This year's Bandwidth Challenge theme is "End-to-End Achievement - Serving as a Model." The challenge seeks to highlight the ability for teams to fully utilize one 10 Gbps path, end-to-end, disk-to-disk, from SC07 in Reno, Nevada back to the team's home institution, using the institution's production network. This year, 7 teams have entered, and the results will be announced on Thursday November 15th at the awards ceremony from 1:30 to 3:00pm PDT.

The Bandwidth Challenge is supported by Qwest Communications, Force10 Networks, Spirent Communications and NetOptics.

SCinet Xnetgoldentachaward_lg.png
While SCinet's capabilities may be at the leading edge compared to many networks, SCinet's Xnet (eXperimental networks) pushes the envelope even farther to provide a venue for showcasing emerging, often pre-commercial or pre-competitive developmental networking technologies, protocols, and experimental networking applications. At SC07, Xnet will host several projects including:

  • Demonstrations on dynamic multi-domain optical network control plane provisioning techniques.
  • Global scale HD video via all optical network multicast
  • Encryption techniques for Infiniband networking
  • Wireless network extensions at OC48 rates
  • Advanced, long-haul 40 Gbps transmission techniques

OpenFabrics and RDMA Services
In 2007, SCinet will offer 10 gigabit per second (Gbps), low latency 20Gb/s InfiniBand (IB) and low latency 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) infrastructures. The InfiniBand architecture is a very high performance, low latency interconnect technology based on an industry-standard approach to Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). The onsite infrastructure will include hardware from many of leading vendors in the IB and 10GbE industry together with the OpenFabrics software and supporting services.

SCinet will build an InfiniBand fabric to deliver a variety of services to users and applications and will enable exhibitors to use a low latency network for clustered computing, server-to-server processing, visualization and file system access to native IB and 10 GbE attached storage within the convention center between booths. SCinet will also offer limited longer distance point to point IB and 10 GbE links over the wide area network infrastructure to enable exhibitors to connect to their colleagues and institutions worldwide.

About SC07
SC07, sponsored by ACM and IEEE Computer Society, will showcase how high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis lead to advances in research, education and commerce. This premiere international conference includes technical and education programs, workshops, tutorials, an exhibit area, demonstrations and hands-on learning. For more information, please visit

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