Dr. Greg Wickham presents Part 1 of "Supporting Large Scale Scientific and Collaborative Technologies with Data Networking Technologies" at KAUST 2011 Winter Enrichment Program

Abstract: The transmission of information across data networks is often overlooked in many disciplines, however without a solid foundation on this technology all collaborative and network intensive applications can be handicapped. This short course will provide a summary and application of different layers of the traditional network model with particular focus on the Internet as it is today, and how it will be tomorrow. At the lowest layer the physical medium is is pivotal in that this contributes significantly to data rates, latency, jitter, overall cost, and distance limitations. Moving up the layers the most common network protocol today is IP (Internet Protocol) which is used to deliver packets of data between two endpoints. The imminent exhaustion of IPv4 address is causing an acceleration of IPv6 deployment. The next high layer commonly consists of a reliable delivery protocol (TCP) and an unreliable protocol (UDP). TCP was originally documented in 1981 yet 29 years later, with some tuning, it's the most commonly used reliable data delivery mechanism on the Internet. However TCP was conceived of when network speeds were in the kilobits per second and distances quite short. This contrasts starkly to todays Internet where intercontinental 10Gbps is common place. On top of data delivery the services and applications provide users with their "experience". For many users web browsing and email is all that they've used, but as technology has improved a natural progression has been into Internet Telephony, Telepresence and video deliver systems. For the scientist data networking can be more complex with problems being more insidious. For tightly coupled scientific modeling the computing systems need to be interconnected using a very low latency network. Conversely getting the results on and off these computer systems requires a more generic network. This short course will cover these areas and in doing so provides a solid foundation, an awareness of which assists end users of collaborative and computational systems increase their research output.

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