The SC00 Application Bandwidth Challenge

The SC conference on high-performance networking and computing has long been a place where high-performance computers and high-speed networks meet. At SC'2000 in Dallas, the Scinet team will be creating a particularly exciting network infrastructure that will include multiple multi-gigabit (OC192) links to the show floor and connections to most high-speed national research networks. In addition, the showfloor itself will feature a state-of-the-art wireless network, as part of the Escape event. We hereby challenge the community to show that this unique network can be used to demonstrate exciting applications.

To this end, we are soliciting proposals for innovative (especially bandwidth-intensive) application demonstrations. The general idea is that....

read the text of the complete CFP.

Our Abstract Submission - June 15, 2000

Participants: Wes Bethel, Dan Gunter, Stephen Lau, Jason Lee, Brian Tierney, LBL.

Application Title: Visapult - Using High Speed WANs and Network Data Caches to Enable Remote and Distributed Visualization

Short Description:

Visapult is a prototype application and framework for performing remote and distributed visualization of scientific data. We are taking aim at two high-water marks: remote and interactive visualization of a 1TB data set, and to exceed 1Gb/sec in sustained transfer rates. Visapult combines network-based data caches, such as a DPSS (, high speed networks, domain-decomposed parallel rendering in software and a lightweight viewer to achieve interactive visualization of large scientific data sets.

For SC00, we will use one or more DPSS's, possibly at various locations around the country, as a data source. Data will be moved from the DPSS to MP machines that perform first-stage pre-rendering. Partially rendered images are then transmitted to a viewer located on the show floor. With the Visapult architecture, we have some flexibility in terms of location and choice of resources. A preliminary set of resources and requirements will be submitted with the July 15 application.

Our Application Entry - July 15, 2000

1. Title: Using High-Speed WANs and Network Data Cachees to Enable Remote and Distributed Visualization.

2. Primary Contact: W. Bethel, LBL, ewbethel at lbl dot gov

3. Collaborators:

4. Project Description

5. Detailed technical requirements, including answers to these questions:

Current Issues and Planning

If everything in the following lists of items is taken care of, the app and all supporting infrastructure will be in place and ready for execution in the competition. If any are missing or non-functional, we will not be able to participate in the competition.

Raw Data


Cluster/Computing Resources for Visapult Back End

We need to locate a cluster (32 nodes minimum, 64 nodes on an SMP preferred) for use as the Visapult back end. This machine must be connected via a network path capable of sustaining OC-48 speeds while the application is in use. At this time, the best possibility is the CPlant at SNL. Any additional suggestions would be welcome. (Wes Bethel)

On CPlant, we will need a minimum of 32 nodes, though 64 would be better. (Helen Chen and Jim Brandt)

LBL Networking Issues

In order to use the LBL DPSS, we need impediment-free OC-48 connectivity from LBL to the outside world. (Who is responsible for this?)


If we assume LBL-DPSS and CPlant as the data source and computational resource, we will need access to NTON at OC-48 rates for testing and application execution. (George Pavel)