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SCinet – A Really Interesting, Very Short-lived Network

From NOAA’s N-Wave News, Issue 19 (May 2022)

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis – informally known as SC and formerly known as Supercomputing – is held every November in various cities around the U.S. Of interest to those of a [computer] networking persuasion, SCinet is the network built for SC each year. The network is built from scratch by volunteers from around the U.S., and internationally, with the needed hardware and circuits loaned by a variety of vendors, including Ciena, Cisco, Juniper,  Lumen, ESnet, Internet2, etc. If you are interested in helping, there are openings available for volunteers this year and in 2023. SCinet is a state-of-the-art, leading edge network evolving as technology does.

While the design for this year’s event is in the beginning stages, several 400G circuits are expected, plus many 100G circuits. Over 150 volunteer professionals take a year to design it followed by a month to build it. SCinet is then used for a week to support the technical conference and exhibits at SC. And in a day, all is torn down, packed up and shipped back to the vendors who have loaned their equipment.

If you are interested in being part of SCinet, of working with some of the best network professionals and learning about new hardware and techniques, then consider volunteering. The SCinet volunteers are broken into 16 teams. You can find a description of each here. If one or more has piqued your interest, then drop a note to SCinet here. For next year’s conference, all teams will have openings. For 2022, some teams have all the volunteers they need but you shouldn’t hesitate to submit your areas of interest. The fiber, edge, and wireless teams are the most likely to need additional volunteers for this year. For more information, please go to https://sc22.supercomputing.org/scinet/participate-scinet/

One note on participating in SCinet: Volunteers will need to provide their travel, lodging and meals. SC/SCinet arranges for a block of hotel rooms very close to the conference’s location with both government and non-government rates for volunteers to book. Participating in SCinet is a real world hands-on experience and can be part of a comprehensive training plan.

In past SC’s, N-Wave staff have joined various teams and held the Chair position for the wireless, architecture and wide area network teams.  SC22 will be held November 13-18, 2022, in Dallas, TX. The preceding three weeks will be when most of the assembly and turn-up takes place – some in Dallas and some remote. There will be planning calls in the months prior to discuss the design and implementation.