ESnet launches next-gen network to improve collaborative science – News Center

Today, the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) officially unveiled ESnet6, the latest generation of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) high-performance science network. The hybrid in-person and virtual event took place at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and streamed live on

“ESnet6 represents a transformational change in the way networks are built for research, with improved capacity, resiliency and flexibility,” said Inder Monga, Executive Director of ESnet. “Together, these new capabilities enable scientists around the world to conduct and collaborate on groundbreaking research faster, easier and more efficiently. »

For more than 35 years, ESnet — headquartered at Berkeley Lab — has served as the “data flow system” for the DOE, connecting all of its national laboratories, tens of thousands of DOE-funded researchers, and major instruments DOE scientists and supercomputing centers. . This interconnected system allows data to move quickly between locations and collaborators, accelerating time to discovery.

ESnet6 takes network capabilities to the next level. With over 46 terabits per second of bandwidth, ESnet6 features a significant increase in bandwidth over previous generations of the network. With this increased capacity, scientists can more quickly process, analyze, visualize, share and store the mountains of research data produced by experiments, modeling and simulations.

The new network does more than increase capacity. ESnet engineers have developed intelligent, programmable, and automated services that are purpose-built to support the multi-petabyte data streams typical of today’s scientific research and are future-proof to handle the emerging era of exabyte data. In 2021, ESnet transported over 1.1 exabytes of scientific data. Traffic on ESnet increases by a factor of ten every four years.

“As scientific instruments grow in complexity and supercomputers simulate scientific phenomena at higher resolutions, the scientific community faces a growing challenge: exponentially increasing data volumes, coupled with the need to move, share and process this data globally and faster than ever before,” said Barbara Helland, associate director of the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program in the DOE’s Office of Science. “With ESnet6, DOE researchers are equipped with the most sophisticated technology to help meet the great challenges we face today in areas such as climate science, clean energy, semiconductor production, microelectronics, the discovery of quantum information science, and more.”

“ESnet6 provides the foundation for the future of DOE mission science as we enter an era where discoveries will rely on the integration of scientific experimental facilities, supercomputers and global science teams working together as if they were collocated: one instrument in one location,” Monga added. “ESnet6 interconnects all of these resources to create a holistic science discovery system.”

High-capacity, high-performance networking

This integration of experimental, networking, and computing facilities gives scientists the ability to take a giant leap forward in gaining insights from massive datasets produced by experiments that use large-scale instruments such as genome sequencers, telescope observatories, X-ray light sources and particle accelerators, among many others. Researchers can also transfer simulation data to collaborators around the world. To that end, ESnet6 is designed to support the DOE’s multi-billion dollar investments in scientific research that lead to breakthroughs that impact our daily lives.

New features and services of ESnet6 include:

  • A dedicated fiber optic cable footprint of 15,000 miles
  • Network backbones ranging from 400 Gigabit per second to 1 Terabit per second for data transfers in record time
  • Customizable network services through a new automation platform
  • High precision telemetry to improve network performance
  • Improved overall network security
  • A future programmable API platform allowing scientists to directly request custom network services

ESnet6 was officially unveiled at a special event attended by DOE and Berkeley Lab leaders, as well as local, state and federal government officials, including U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director of the Office of DOE science. The event also included keynote speeches from Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and ESnet Board Member; and Ian Foster, Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago. Each provided insight into the impact of ESnet6 on the scientific community and the global Internet.

“The internet is all about the flow of information and data,” Cerf said. “With the launch of ESnet6, we are empowering the scientific community with unprecedented new capabilities to help advance the search for discoveries that save lives and save the planet.”

Other speakers included Berkeley Laboratory scientists Ann Almgren, Senior Scientist and Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics, and David McCallen, Senior Scientist in the Energy Geosciences Division and Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno . These researchers shared information about the impact of ESnet on several of their research projects in exascale computing. Their presentations focused on research in the field of wind energy and earthquake simulations.

The event also included a live demonstration of ESnet6’s new automation platform, rapidly configured ESnet6 network paths to support the transfer of large scientific datasets across the country in less than two minutes. . In addition, a live transfer of several terabytes of earthquake simulation data was also completed between the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Center and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center within minutes.

ESnet6 could not have been built without critical industry partnerships. Close collaborations with Lumen Technologies, Ciena, Infinera, Nokia and AMD provided ESnet with the state-of-the-art equipment and expertise needed to help bring the new network into operation. These partners provided key building blocks, including ESnet’s nationwide fiber optic cable footprint, optical switching and routing platforms, and a large-scale packet monitoring system. Representatives from each of the vendors presented at the unveiling event, where they shared details about their contributions and support for ESnet6.

“The successful development of ESnet6 from scratch is also the result of the commitment and dedication of 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 DOE National Laboratories, vendors, global research and education networks, and universities have been critical in designing and building this important infrastructure for the Department of Energy, while overcoming pandemic challenges and resulting supply chain delays.


Founded in 1931 on the belief that the greatest scientific challenges are best met by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been awarded 16 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers are developing sustainable energy and environmental solutions, creating useful new materials, pushing the boundaries of computing, and probing the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists around the world rely on the facilities of the laboratory for their own scientific discovery. Berkeley Lab is a multi-program national laboratory, operated by the University of California for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The DOE’s Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic physical science research in the United States and works to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

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