Friday, February 28, 2020
MAX, Ciena Partner to Expand Opportunities for Collaborative Research

MAX, Ciena Partner to Expand Opportunities for Collaborative Research


Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), a center at the University of Maryland (UMD) that operates a regional advanced cyberinfrastructure platform, and Ciena, a network strategy and technology company, has announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the resources of both organizations to enable and expand sophisticated research activities in the science and higher education communities.

A newly created 200 Gbps network connection will join together MAX and Ciena’s robust research infrastructures to facilitate technology development and testing in the areas of multi-domain, multi-layer software-defined networking (SDN), along with distributed systems integration.

As a result, this interconnection will allow both organizations to expand the reach of their testbed facilities as well as their research activities, thus opening up new opportunities for scientific collaboration and innovation.

“MAX is delighted to partner with Ciena for such a unique technological opportunity,” said Tripti Sinha, Assistant Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of UMD/MAX. “By joining forces, two organizations with such notable research infrastructures will be able to create a very powerful resource that will better the scientific community and advance critical discoveries.”

The connection, which was made in Baltimore, MD, expands access to Ciena’s SDN research testbed which unites all of the key packet, optical, and software building blocks required to demonstrate the benefits of software-defined, multi-layer wide area networks (WANs).

This testbed provides a high-scale, programmable infrastructure that can be controlled and adapted by network-level applications, and it provides open interfaces to coordinate computing, storage, and network resources in a unified, virtualized environment. In collaboration with Ciena, community partners CANARIE, ESnet, Internet, and StarLight, were also instrumental in the development of this unique resource.

Ciena is delighted with the addition of MAX to our research network environment. In 2013 when Ciena unveiled the OPn Research on Demand Testbed, it was clear scientific applications and large-scale data sharing were rapidly consuming more network bandwidth and needed much greater network agility to maximize use of these valuable resources.

The University of Maryland’s research network, MAX, joins our collaborative environment of network innovation, with CANARIE, Internet2, ESnet, STARlight and other collaborators,” stated Rod Wilson, Ciena’s Chief Technologist for Research Networks. “This new agreement will enable sustained long-term investigation and experimentation in high-performance networking. MAX brings new perspectives and capabilities that will contribute to leap-frog advancements in networking innovations.”

Through this strategic partnership, the national and global research communities will also benefit from greater access to MAX’s dynamic research infrastructure, which includes SDN as a mechanism for the integration of network services with compute, storage, instruments, and application systems and workflows.

The MAX research infrastructure also includes facilities for dynamic network control, as well as connections to flexible programmable edge systems, high-performance computational facilities, data repositories, and cloud infrastructures.

 “University of Maryland researchers are always at the forefront of new ideas in networking and data science, and as a result, the technology to enable those innovations must always stay one step ahead,” said Jeff Hollingsworth, Interim Chief Information Officer and Professor of Computer Science at UMD. “As one of the nation’s and one of the world’s premier research institutions, the University of Maryland will benefit greatly from access to this new resource created from the MAX-Ciena partnership.”

MAX and Ciena’s new partnership will soon be on full display at the 2017 Supercomputing conference in Denver, CO. MAX staff and connector organizations will utilize the new infrastructure to show a variety of demonstrations in the areas of multi-domain SDN, mutli-100 Gbps end-system to end-system performance across the wide area, and high-performance distributed file system access.

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