November 1, 2000
DALLAS, Texas -- Many people who attend conferences say they go
for the networking. But the 5,000 computing and networking experts
expected to attend the SC2000 conference on Nov. 4-10 really mean
it -- and will have access to one of largest, most complex communications
networks in the nation, -- offering a combined capacity of more
than 167,000 times faster than a typical residential Internet connection
and 200 times as fast as the connections used by many universities.
And, the high-performance computing and networking demonstrations
scheduled for the week-long conference are expected to use every
bit of the networking capability as they showcase the latest achievements
in supercomputing and computational science.
This year, SC2000, the conference of high performance networking
and computing, will convene in the Dallas Convention Center for
seven days of technical programs, technological demonstrations and
exhibits, educational outreach and mind-boggling visualizations
of computational data.
But such high speed capability isn't just for show -- many of the
participants at the SC conference are suppliers or users of the
world's most powerful computers, and the ability to quickly and
reliably move large amounts of data across networks is essential
to advancing scientific research in the United States and around
Already, networking experts from around the country are working
in Dallas to assemble the huge data "pipeline" consisting of three
OC-48 lines, and three OC-12 lines and other network connections
for the conference. The massive, albeit temporary, conference network
is known as SCinet.
"Because the SC conference is centered around the latest achievements
in high-performance computing, it's only fitting that we build one
of the world's biggest network connections to support it," said
Bill Kramer, who is heading up SCinet this year. "At last year's
conference in Portland, SCinet provided more connectivity than all
the combined networking resource in the states of Oregon and Washington
-- and this year's version of SCinet will be even bigger, and faster
and more technically complex."
Providing the main networking connections will be Qwest Communications
International, Inc., which has a significant fiber optic infrastructure
network in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Qwest also installed permanent
fiber for the Dallas Convention Center, enabling future events to
leverage the advanced broadband capabilities of Qwest backbone.
"Qwest is pleased to provide high-speed direct local fiber-based
broadband access to from our our worldwide Internetnationwide, next
generation internet network to the SC2000 conference, enabling the
demonstration of advanced bandwidth-intensive applications such
as HDTV," said Joe Nacchio, chief executive officer of Augie Cruciotti,
president of Qwest Local Broadband ServicesDenver-based Qwest Communications
International. "This is a great opportunity to showcase the industry-
leading broadband infrastructure that we provide on a daily basis
to such technologically demanding customers as the Department of
Energy, the U.S. Mint and the Defense Advanced Research Projects
In addition to Qwest, the roster of vendors contributing to SCinet
reads like a high-tech Who's Who. Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems,
Juniper Networks, Marconi Corp., Mitre Corp., Spirent Communications,
Foundry Networks, Sun Microsystems, MCI and GST Telecom. SCinet
will provide connectivity to the nation's leading networks, including
the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network, Internet2/Abilene,
HSCC, the National Science Foundation's vBNS, and others.
For the first time in the history of the SC conference, SCinet
will also be providing wireless networking capability throughout
the Dallas Convention Center. This will allow conference attendees
to connect with SCinet from anywhere on the show floor or in any
of the technical program areas. (For details, go to http://www.scinet.sc2000.org/wireless.php3.)
To ensure that the 100 teachers participating in SC2000 Education
Program also have wireless connectivity, Cisco Systems and SBC Communications
have donated wireless cards for computers and NCSA and Internet2
have loaned the necessary base stations. (To learn more about the
SC2000 education program, go to http://www.sc2000.org/media/releases.htm#13.)
To get an idea of the connectivity provided by SCinet, here's a
comparison of with typical Internet connections. A person who uses
a dialup ISP at home typically connects at best at 56 kilobits-
per- second (Kbps), that's or 56,000 bps. A DSL line will usually
speed things up to 256 Kbps (or perhaps 640 Kbps in some areas).
A DS-3 connection, such as those serving many universities, offer
speeds up to 45 megabits (45 million bits) per second. SCinet's
three OC-48 (for Optical Carrier) lines will each have a capacity
of 2.5 gigabits (2.5 billion) per second. Combined with three OC-12
lines (each at 622 million bits per second), SCinet will offer a
combined peak speed of 9.4 gigabits per second.
This year's conference is also sponsoring a competition for high-bandwidth
applications, each of which is expected to completely saturate the
network's capability as data from high-performance computing applications
is accessed, manipulated and visualized at the conference.
And if that isn't enough, SCinet also supports an experimental
Xnet, a bleeding-edge network which showcases early access equipment
that may not yet be formally supported by vendors. This year, SCinet
is hoping to be able to showcasinge technologies such as 10-G Ethernet
as part of Xneton that network.
SC2000 is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery's
Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture.
For more information about SCinet, go to http://www.sc2000.org/scinet.
For more information about SC2000, go to http://www.sc2000.org.