The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) is the primary provider of network connectivity for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC), the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. In support of SC programs, ESnet regularly updates and refreshes its understanding of the networking requirements needed by instruments, facilities, scientists, and science programs that it serves. This focus has helped ESnet to be a highly successful enabler of scientific discovery for over 25 years.
In August 2013, ESnet and the DOE SC Offices of High Energy Physics (HEP) and Nuclear Physics (NP) organized a review to characterize the networking requirements of the programs funded by the HEP and NP program offices.
Several key findings resulted from the review. Among them:
1. The Large Hadron Collider?s ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiments are adopting remote input/output (I/O) as a core component of their data analysis infrastructure. This will significantly increase their demands on the network from both a reliability perspective and a performance perspective.
2. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments (particularly ATLAS and CMS) are working to integrate network awareness into the workflow systems that manage the large number of daily analysis jobs (1 million analysis jobs per day for ATLAS), which are an integral part of the experiments. Collaboration with networking organizations such as ESnet, and the consumption of performance data (e.g., from perfSONAR [PERformance Service Oriented Network monitoring Architecture]) are critical to the success of these efforts.
3. The international aspects of HEP and NP collaborations continue to expand. This includes the LHC experiments, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) experiments, the Belle II Collaboration, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and others. The international nature of these collaborations makes them heavily reliant on transoceanic connectivity, which is subject to longer term service disruptions than terrestrial connectivity. The network engineering aspects of undersea connectivity will continue to be a significant part of the planning, deployment, and operation of the data analysis infrastructure for HEP and NP experiments for the foreseeable future. Given their critical dependency on networking services, the experiments have expressed the need for tight integration (both technically and operationally) of the domestic and the transoceanic parts of the network infrastructure that supports the experiments.
4. The datasets associated with simulations continue to increase in size, and the need to move these datasets between analysis centers is placing ever-increasing demands on networks and on data management systems at the supercomputing centers. In addition, there is a need to harmonize cybersecurity practice with the data transfer performance requirements of the science.
This report expands on these points, and addresses others as well. The report contains a findings section in addition to the text of the case studies discussed during the review.