The Rise of Supernetwork Data Intensive Computing
Cloud and Distributed Computing
TimeThursday, 18 November 20219:17am - 10am CST
DescriptionOver the last 35 years, a fundamental architectural transformation in high performance data-intensive computing has occurred, driven by the rise of optical fiber Supernetworks connecting the globe. Ironically, this cyberinfrastructure revolution has been led by supercomputer centers, which then became SuperNodes in this distributed system. I will review key moments, including the birth of the NSF Supercomputer Centers and NSFnet, the gigabit testbeds, the NSF PACI program, the emergence of Internet2 and the Regional Optical Networks, all eventually enabling, through a series of NSF grants, the National and Global Research Platforms. Over this same period, a similar cyberinfrastructure architecture allowed the commercial clouds to develop, which are now interconnected with this academic distributed system. Critical to this transformation has been the continual exponential rise of data and a new generation of distributed applications utilizing this connected digital fabric. Throughout this period, the role of the US Federal Government has been essential, anchored by the 1991 High-Performance Computing Act, which established the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. Particularly important to the initiation of this distributed computing paradigm shift was the continued visionary leadership of Representative, then Senator, then Vice President Al Gore in the 1990s.