Networks and IT Security
Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

2009 Significant Efforts

Outstanding technical engineering exhibited in developing and maintaining GSFC's multi-10-gigabit-per-second Science and Engineering Network

Members of Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) High End Computing Network (HECN) team have demonstrated outstanding computer network engineering, teamwork, and dedication to design, implement and maintain the multi-10-gigabit-per-second(Gbps)-capable Science and Engineering Network (SEN). The speed of this network places GSFC at the leading edge of deployed network infrastructures. The SEN supports several hundred GSFC users, with specific focus on support for NASA's High-End Computing (HEC) Program. The SEN also sustains multiple 10-Gbps links with major interfacing network partners including the NASA Integrated Services Network (NISN), the NASA Research and Engineering Network, the regional Mid-Atlantic Crossroads network, and the national-scale Internet2 and National LambdaRail networks.

The HECN team promotes improved HEC-driven science research and collaboration by enabling improved transfers and access to large-volume datasets particularly between the Ames Research Center (ARC)-based HEC Columbia and the GSFC-based NASA Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) supercomputer facilities, utilizing advanced dense wave division multiplexing technologies. The HECN team focuses on researching, testing and proactively implementing cutting-edge cost-effective computer networking technologies. Within the HECN team, GSFC's Bill Fink deserves special recognition for his contributions in architecting the SEN and troubleshooting low level network communication device issues.

The HECN team recently worked in concert with the ARC and Marshall Space Flight Center to validate and accept NISN's first 10-Gbps link. At GSFC the team installed three new 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GE) connections between the NISN and the SEN which in turn supported multiple 10-GE connections with the NCCS and network-test workstations. The HECN team strategically enlists the assistance of science users to validate that data transferred across new connections result in no corruption of the data and that the desired transfer speeds are indeed achieved. As a result, the science users are able to reduce time for data transfers, plan mission efforts that can confidently rely on these data transfer rates, and improve science research results through high-performance collaborative data exchanges across NASA centers and with university-based partners.