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Data transfer to Oracle via research networks optimised by CERN openlab.

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

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.

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 GÉANT 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 GÉANT put dedicated virtual circuits across their 100 Gbps backbone all the way to the CERN’s access router in Geneva. The connection has been put in place to help CERN maintain business continuity for database services, in case of outages.

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. 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 Direct 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

Submitted by Peter Szegedi

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