Scientific Research, and the so-call “Big Science” in particular has always been a key stakeholder for Research and Education network. Beingits more demanding and regular user community, it it often drives with its requirements the future evolution in ICTs and directly contributs to define and implement the services which will then be adopted by the wider scientific community and the society at large.
In fact, the “Big Science” is a heterogeneous collection of communities belonging to different disciplines, united by the common need of tackling complex scientific problems ndthrough the collection and the analysis of vast amounts of data.
High performances and access to vast computing and storage resources to manage Big Data
This community includes major research organizations such as INFN, ENEA, CNR, INGV, ASI and INAF, with about 100 sites, laboratories and facilities located in the four regions of Convergence which will benefit of the new infrastructure implemented by GARR-X Progress.
The “Big Data” paradigm, which consists in the collection, processing and preservation of vaster and vaster datasets and their sharing in widespread research groups (i.e. the so-called “virtual research communities”) on a global scale, to tackle scientific questions of unprecedented complexity, is quickly spreading across the community. This makes their network and ICT requirements especially demanding, as the cohesion of VRCs largely relies on the availability and dependability of an appropriate ICT environment:
- Bandwidth capacity in the order of 10 Gbps and multiples: due to the steadily increasing amounts of managed data, the average network traffic growth for this community is in the order of 30% in the last 5 years;
- Advanced network services, including end-to-end very-high bandwidth connectivity, guaranteed bandwidth, tailored support to specific scientific applications such as LHC and eVLBI;
- Quicker and flexible delivery of network services to ensure the Italian researchers’ competitiveness, especially in the framework of international collaboration;
- High-capacity connectivity for strategic Research Infrastructures and facilities capable of collecting large amounts of data in real-time, including laboratories, observatories, national nodes of distributed European infrastructures (e.g. some ESFRI projects), Grid and Cloud Farms recently implemented on the territory (e.g. ReCaS, PI2S2, CRESCO, SCOPE and S-paci);
- The need of archiving and duplicating large datasets to ensure their longer-term preservation, with strong requirements in terms of robustness, data confidentiality and integrity. Data duplication at independent sites and redundant access are crucial to ensure disaster recovery, a key point especially for some kinds of data (e.g. those used both in research and civil protection, such as meteorological, volcanological, and geological data).