The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) formally unveiled ESnet6, the newest generation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) high-performance network dedicated to science. The ESnet6 provides over 46 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth and intelligent network services to support the unique data-intensive needs of scientific research.
The original ESnet was established in 1986, and over the past 35 years, the network has served as the “data circulatory system” for the DOE, connecting all of its national laboratories, DOE-funded researchers, and DOE’s premier scientific instruments and supercomputing centers. This interconnected system enables data to move quickly between sites and collaborators, accelerating the time to discovery.
In these years, it had many upgrades to keep pace with the advances in technology. Engineers have developed smart, programmable, and automated services that are uniquely built to support the multi-petabyte dataflows typical of scientific research today and are future-proofed to manage the emerging exabyte data era. In 2021, ESnet carried over 1.1 exabytes of science data. Traffic on ESnet increases by a factor of ten every four years.
The new ESnet6 is made of a dedicated 15,000 miles of fiber optic cable spanning the country. It enables the network backbone links, ranging from 400 Gigabit per second (Gbps) to 1 Terabit per second (Tbps) for record-time data transfers. It comes with high-precision telemetry to improve network performance and improved overall network security.
“ESnet6 represents a transformational change in the way networks are built for research, with improved capacity, resiliency, and flexibility,” said ESnet Executive Director Inder Monga. “Together, these new capabilities make it faster, easier, and more efficient for scientists around the world to conduct and collaborate on ground-breaking research.”
With more than 46 Terabits per second of bandwidth, ESnet6 features a significant increase in bandwidth over prior generations of the network. With this boost in capacity, scientists can more quickly process, analyze, visualize, share, and store the mountains of research data produced by experiments, modeling, and simulations.
“The successful development of ESnet6 from the ground up is also the result of the commitment and dedication of the ESnet staff, who each brought diverse talents to the table,” Monga emphasized. “ESnet exemplifies the ‘team science’ value of Berkeley Lab. Our partnerships with all the DOE national labs, vendors, global research and education networks, and academia were essential to the design and build of this important infrastructure for the Department of Energy while surmounting the challenges of the pandemic and resulting supply chain delays.”