Clouds In Focus

CERN optimizes data transfer to Oracle via research networks

(left to right): Alberto Di Meglio (CERN), Peter Szegedi (Oracle), Maria Girone (CERN), Vicenzo Capone (GÉANT)

Oracle’s global educational program, which advances computing education around the world to increase knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields , is today leveraged by universities across Europe and beyond. The Oracle for Research program offers researchers, scientists and university-associated innovators access to Oracle Cloud technology and a global community working to address complex problems and drive meaningful change in the world .

Through industry leading technologies and strategic alliances , our objective is to enable research and innovation in the most efficient, secure and trusted manner . Oracle’s recent partnership with GÉANT is doing just this.

Oracle joined the GÉANT Cloud Catalogue in October 2019 with a specific Educational Quotation offer. This enables all GÉANT members and their connected Research and Education (R&E) institutions in Europe to purchase cloud services with approved, validated and uniform terms and conditions across the continent. One of the key technical elements of the offer is a direct network interconnect between the GÉANT backbone and the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) data center network, so that traffic doesn’t have to pass through the public Internet.

Moving data to the cloud

The CERN Openlab team has worked together with Oracle and GÉANT in order to implement a network solution to transfer large data volumes from Geneva,

Switzerland into Oracle Cloud in Frankfurt, Germany via dedicated private connectivity . Oracle and GEANT jointly established a redundant 2 x 10 Gbps cross-connection in our co-location center , Oracle enabled 10 Gbps FastConnect Private Peering service for the CERN tenancy , and GEANT put dedicated virtual circuits across their 100 Gbps backbone all the way to the CERN’s access router in Geneva.

 

The end-to-end connectivity was demonstrated for the first time at the Supercomputing Conference (SC19) in Denver, Colorado (see the cover picture) . The latest network performance test results were presented by Antonio Nappi at the CERN Openlab Technical Workshop on 23 January 2020. Towards Bare Metal dedicated compute instances in OCI, the network throughput was stable at 8 Gbps and above.

Towards Virtual Machines, 6 Gbps network throughput was achieved with some variability across the test runs . These results met the expectations of the research teams at CERN.

Connected universities and research labs

This new collaboration effort will now be a game changer for all institutions connected to GÉANT , either directly or via the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs). Technically, GÉANT became an Oracle FastConnect Partner Network and got listed as a network provider on the OCI Console interface . At the moment, only the selected customers are able to put connectivity requests towards GÉANT that is subject to technical justification and validation of their demand.

The respective technical teams at Oracle and GÉANT are now working towards a network solution for the majority of the higher education customers who may not require dedicated circuits, like CERN and other big science institutions, but could utilize a standard IP Peering option via GÉANT into Oracle Cloud .

For more information about the Oracle FastConnect service please visit: https://www.oracle.com/cloud/networking/fastconnect.html