Grant will build ScienceDMZ for UAB researchers
- August 30, 2015
Researchers at UAB need a robust computer network to support their world-class work.
A new grant awarded to Puri Bangalore, associate professor and director of the Collaborative Computing Laboratory, will strengthen that network and increase its speed — tenfold.
Bangalore, who also serves as assistant director of the UAB Center for Cyber Security, received a $498,443 grant from the National Science Foundation to create a ScienceDMZ, a network to be operated by UAB IT that will allow UAB researchers to more easily and quickly connect with each other and with other institutions.
With UAB researchers working on projects that generate vast amounts of data, they need to be able to upload and download files and images quickly and securely, Bangalore said.
The goal in building the ScienceDMZ is to provide UAB researchers with 10-gigabit connections and key research labs with 40-gigabit connections, allowing researchers to communicate with each other and with researchers at other institutions at far greater speeds.
“Internally we can move faster, plus we can go outside, whether to upload or download data,” Bangalore said. “This promotes collaboration. Instead of waiting for data to transfer, researchers can be working.”
Bangalore said the network is essential to UAB’s success in research.
“If we don’t do this, we’ll be left behind,” Bangalore said. “Networking is the foundation. We now live in a digital world. Everything is digitally driven.” This grant provides the foundation for UAB to build the 100 Gbps network — giving researchers a network they can depend on as they would electricity or water service at home. “In an ideal world you would want (researchers) to take this for granted,” he said. “We just expect things to work. But obviously, someone needs to make sure they work.”