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CICnet – The Cyberinfrastructure Core Network

CICNet – The CyberInfrastructure Core Network


NSF and university-funded solution to build a data driven friction-less dedicated research network


Connects all Rutgers campuses, enabling productive research education with next generation network services


Couples each campus at 40+ Gb/s backbone, field upgradeable to 100Gb/s

Federated computing across New Jersey

CICNet is a Rutgers-provided, state-wide, multi-campus, distributed HPC and storage, fast, low-latency network that is part of global Science DMZs. Features of CICNet include:

  • NSF CC* Funded (OAC-1659232) start date 3/1/17
  • SDN Based 100 Gbps Network Core
  • Data Transfer Nodes (FIONA)
  • Advanced Computing and Storage
  • Performance and monitoring support (perfSONAR, XDMoD)
  • Testbed as a service
  • Federated across campuses
  • Policy driven

This National Science Foundation-(NSF) and university-funded project built a data-driven, frictionless research network, connecting all campuses, to enable productive research and education with next-generation network services. Rutgers has enhanced its previous campus cyberinfrastructure by implementing a friction-free, software defined network (SDN) based connection across and between campuses. This next-generation research network not only allows the building distributed-data repositories and advanced computing across the Rutgers campuses, but also improves the speed and quality of service (QoS) when connecting into the national cyberinfrastructure ecosystem, e.g., XSEDE, Open Science Grid (OSG), Pacific Research Platform (PRP), CloudLab, and Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). The network couples each campus with a 40+ Gb/s backbone, field upgradeable to 100 Gb/s, that brings each research group listed in the proposal an increase in bandwidth between 10 and 80 Gb/s.

Through a partnership with regional network providers, MAGPI and NJEDge, we are committed to connect CICNet to the Internet2 Innovation Platform. The Innovation Platform is a combination of technologies and services (SDN, Science DMZs, and 100 Gb/s) that provide a leading-edge, end-to-end architecture with a unique set of unified capabilities at the national, regional and campus level creating an environment for innovation in research and education. The CyberInfrastructure Core Network (CICNet) includes merchant silicon switches, OpenFlow/SDN controllers, and perfSONAR for monitoring. The main focus of this project is building a support and management structure for this environment through a partnership between the research community and the Office of Information Technology (OIT), facilitated by the Office of Advanced Research Computing (OARC). The approach provides a template for other universities and consortiums who are planning similar distributed campus level cloud environments designed for the research community.

Rutgers’ Science DMZ (demilitarized zone – i.e., free from firewall and other “friction” devices) is designed to create secure network enclaves for data-intensive science and high-speed data transport that couple distributed resources positioned close to the research community. This campus-wide research platform interconnects the Rutgers Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses’ dedicated research networks to create a secure, seamless fabric aimed at maximizing end-to-end performance and ease of use. By updating the Science DMZ with SDN switches and adding the necessary support (ACI-REFs, network engineers, and SDN specialists) we offer the research community a programmable environment designed to improve the end-to-end performance on campus, between campuses, and to the outside world. The introduction of a network platform, CICNet, that is focused on data intensive research, applications, and instruments to a broader more diverse group of researchers is a catalyst for future advances in Rutgers research.