The Connecticut Education Network (CEN) in cooperation with the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the State of Connecticut, is now providing a 100 gigabit per second (100G) Layer 2/Layer 3 fiber connection, via the Internet2 Network backbone to UConn researchers. This Internet2 link capability benefits UConn's research community by facilitating high-performance data intensive research collaboration and exchange among peers at both national and international institutions.

The CEN-Internet2 link enables UConn researchers to advance their work in the following ways:

  1. • The Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) Department can perform wide area network performance research.
  2. • The Geography Department can continuously access high-resolution satellite images stored at external servers.
  3. • The Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) Department can transfer huge genome sequence reads produced by next- generation sequencers and the processed outputs within campus and with external sites.
  4. • The Physics Department can participate in the Open Science Grid, a global community of scientists, researchers, and experts in high-throughput computing, and regularly transfer terabytes of jobs to and from the grid within a day.
  5. • The Statistics Department can conduct research on high-dimensional statistical modeling and inference using large data sets produced by health and biomedical studies.
  6. • UConn Health can conduct research on quantitative cell biology and simulations as well as computational genomics that require terabytes of data transfer on a daily basis.

The Connecticut Education NetworkThese projects are part of a wider research agenda at UConn focusing on big data and complex systems. Jeff Seemann, vice president for research at UConn, explains the importance of engaging with cutting edge technology. “The robust CEN-Internet2 network expands the boundaries of science that researchers can explore,” he says. “It forms the foundation for enhanced collaboration among research institutions and advanced utilization of consolidated high-tech resources and services within the state. Especially as high-performance integration of compute and big data become critical to emerging initiatives in the biosciences, improvements to the network enable the scientific breakthroughs that are of strategic importance to the economy of Connecticut.”

The Internet2 Network is built by and for the research and education community, and is designed to offer uninhibited performance to support and propel advanced research forward. The UConn 100G Layer 2/Layer 3 connection spurred the addition of a new Internet2 access point in Hartford with upgraded connections to the UConn Health Center, Storrs, and other CEN campuses. This will serve to not only support the growing needs of UConn researchers, but also increase connectivity and resiliency in a region with an active R&E community.

“UConn approached Internet2 because their data-intensive research needs were growing exponentially each year and, as a result, they needed a superior network to carry out their work,” said Rob Vietzke, vice president of network services at Internet2. “UConn is now directly connected to the most advanced global fabric of research facilities available, which will enable the university to accelerate its cutting-edge research in biological and physical sciences.”

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