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The MyESnet Portal: Making the Network Visible

  • Author(s): Dugan, Jon
  • Vaswani, Gopal
  • Bell, Gregory
  • Monga, Inder
  • et al.
Abstract

ESnet provides a platform for moving large data sets and accelerating worldwide scientific collaboration. It provides high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at national laboratories, universities and other research institutions, enabling them to collaborate on some of the world's most important scientific challenges including renewable energy sources, climate science, and the origins of the universe. ESnet has embarked on a major project to provide substantial visibility into the inner-workings of the network by aggregating diverse data sources, exposing them via web services, and visualizing them with user-centered interfaces. The portal’s strategy is driven by understanding the needs and requirements of ESnet’s user community and carefully providing interfaces to the data to meet those needs. The 'MyESnet Portal ' allows users to monitor, troubleshoot, and understand the real time operations of the network and its associated services. This paper will describe the MyESnet portal and the process of developing it. The data for the portal comes from a wide variety of sources: homegrown systems, commercial products, and even peer networks. Some visualizations from the portal are presented highlighting some interesting and unusual cases such as power consumption and flow data. Developing effective user interfaces is an iterative process. When a new feature is released, users are both interviewed and observed using the site. From this process valuable insights were found concerning what is important to the users and other features and services they may also want. Open source tools were used to build the portal and the pros and cons of these tools are discussed

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