SCinet Security Boosted by Utah’s CloudLab Site

November 2, 2016

Nov. 2 — SCinet is the backbone of SC, and the volunteer-driven Network Security Team goes to great lengths to protect that backbone from threats. Planning network security strategies and tactics begins nearly a year before the conference. As threats evolve, the team relies on new partnerships and innovative solutions to overcome emerging challenges. This year, the team is collaborating with CloudLab, a cloud computing testbed funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. CNS-1302688), to analyze terabytes of network traffic data during SC.

In observance of October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we visited with Jeff Boote and Alan Commike, co-leads of the SCinet Network Security Team, and Robert Ricci, PI for CloudLab, about how this collaboration benefits exhibitors, attendees and volunteers at SC16.

Who shares in the responsibility for network security at SC?

Alan Commike and Jeff Boote: Network security touches every layer of SCinet. When you build a powerful network like SCinet from the ground up annually, network security cannot be achieved in isolation and it needs to be built into the network from the very start. Planning for SCinet starts nearly a year prior to the show opening. As the general SCinet architecture takes shape, the Network Security Team works closely with other SCinet teams – including Wide Area Networking, Routing, Fiber, Interconnect, DevOps, Edge Networking and the Help Desk – to ensure vendors, attendees and researchers have a successful SC. We also engage conference-goers in sharing the responsibility for computer security at SC. The SCinet Help Desk provides copies of our security tips handout, with security best practices for SC and beyond. If we find a compromised system, we help remediate the issue and then engage in conversation about how to secure the system going forward.

How has the network security strategy for SCinet changed over time? What, if anything, has remained consistent?

AC and JB: The goal has remained consistent through the years: we protect SCinet and all vendor, exhibitor and attendee resources that connect to it during SC. The challenge is to do so while working within the parameters of a very high-speed, high-traffic, open network. As threats become more sophisticated, the Network Security Team scales up protection efforts. In the past, we concentrated on protecting SCinet’s border, and now we are closely examining what’s happening inside the network, too. We spend as much effort looking for malicious intent on the commodity WiFi network as we do on the border between SCinet and the Internet at large. This year, we are partnering with CloudLab, which has a facility in Salt Lake City that provides the flexibility, autonomy and computational power we need to analyze network traffic and mitigate potential threats. The partnerships and the tools we rely on to secure SCinet continue to evolve, but the goal of finding bad actors on the network early and reliably is the same as it was 10 years ago.

What is CloudLab and how does it help the research community?

Robert Ricci: CloudLab is a facility that empowers researchers and educators to build their own clouds. Those who have used a cloud that is commercially-provided or owned by their home institution may be well aware of the limitations of not having full view or control over all layers, including the network, virtualization and the storage system. This is fine for a lot of work, but if you want to push forward the basic notion of what the cloud is and what it is good for, then you need to be able to work on those layers. That is where CloudLab comes in. CloudLab provides users with a set of resources they can use to build their own clouds, in which they can see everything and are in complete control. There are three main CloudLab sites: the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Clemson University and the University of Utah. CoudLab is funded by the National Science Foundation, so researchers and educators can apply for an account at www.cloudlab.us and use the lab at no cost.

What else makes CloudLab unique?

RR: CloudLab offers a lab facility that allows researchers to push the technology further without fear of breaking something others rely on. Researchers working in a production environment are bound by a tension between wanting to push the infrastructure to its edge – making it go beyond uses intended by designers or operators – and being held back by the fear that doing so will break it. We need testbeds in which researchers can push, prod and poke the technology with more flexibility and without fear. This is the kind of environment that CloudLab offers.

The CloudLab site in Utah has an emphasis on energy-efficient clouds. Our equipment includes both traditional server platforms and lower-power options using ARM architecture. Soon we will add Intel systems-on-chips designs. CloudLab machines have power instrumentation that allows users to evaluate not only the performance and robustness of the technologies, but also how “green” they are. Researchers can test different architectures to examine tradeoffs between power, performance and other metrics.

How will SCinet Network Security use CloudLab at SC16?

AC and JB: The Network Security Team probes and analyzes all of SCinet. We begin the process in late October during staging week to ensure SCinet equipment is not compromised when we bring it into the Salt Palace. Our job starts as soon as the first piece of SCinet equipment is powered on since we often see external probing and attacks soon after the network goes online. This provides us with a baseline, and we expand our analysis as more components of SCinet are brought online. During SC16, terabytes of analysis data, including logs, metadata and possible indicators of compromise, will be sent over a private, encrypted connection from SCinet to CloudLab. This secure connection is made possible by the ability to create private networks on the Utah Education Network and the University of Utah’s Science DMZ, which is managed by University Information Technology and the Center for High Performance Computing.

The data will be used for real-time and historical analysis, which looks at what happened over the past few hours and days during SC. The analysis occurring within the CloudLab computer cluster provides us with actionable intelligence regarding what is happening on SCinet. While lessons learned from that analysis carries over to our planning efforts for the next SC, we discard collected data at the end of the show to protect exhibitor, attendee and volunteer privacy.

RR: CloudLab provides SCinet’s Network Security Team with the resources needed to analyze those terabytes of data. Network data will be securely routed to computer clusters hosted in the University of Utah’s Downtown Data Center, just a few blocks from the Salt Palace. With CloudLab’s flexibility, the team will have complete control over the environment and can set up the processing pipeline to best meet their needs.


Source: SC16

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Debuts Clara AI Toolkit with Pre-Trained Models for Radiology Use

March 19, 2019

AI’s push into healthcare got a boost yesterday with Nvidia’s release of the Clara Deploy AI toolkit which includes 13 pre-trained models for use in radiology. Clara, you may recall, is Nvidia’s biomedical platform Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA, NSF Seek Real-Time ML Processor

March 18, 2019

A new U.S. research initiative seeks to develop a processor capable of real-time learning while operating with the “efficiency of the human brain.” The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Re Read more…

By George Leopold

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First U.S. Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaflops, will be delivered by the end of 2021 to Argonne Nation Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

powercloud_blog.jpgFor decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

The Spark That Ignited A New World of Real-Time Analytics

High Performance Computing has always been about Big Data. It’s not uncommon for research datasets to contain millions of files and many terabytes, even petabytes of data, or more. Read more…

NASA’s Pleiades Simulates Launch Abort Scenarios

March 15, 2019

NASA is using flow simulations running on its Pleiades supercomputer to help design the agency’s next manned spacecraft, Orion. Crew safety is paramount, so NASA engineers are using the HPC cluster to simulate and v Read more…

By George Leopold

Nvidia Debuts Clara AI Toolkit with Pre-Trained Models for Radiology Use

March 19, 2019

AI’s push into healthcare got a boost yesterday with Nvidia’s release of the Clara Deploy AI toolkit which includes 13 pre-trained models for use in radiolo Read more…

By John Russell

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First U.S. Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oil and Gas Supercloud Clears Out Remaining Knights Landing Inventory: All 38,000 Wafers

March 13, 2019

The McCloud HPC service being built by Australia’s DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) outside Houston is set to become the largest oil and gas cloud in the world th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quick Take: Trump’s 2020 Budget Spares DoE-funded HPC but Slams NSF and NIH

March 12, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget request, released yesterday, proposes deep cuts in many science programs but seems to spare HPC funding by the Depar Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Wins Mellanox Stakes for $6.9 Billion

March 11, 2019

The long-rumored acquisition of Mellanox came to fruition this morning with GPU chipmaker Nvidia’s announcement that it has purchased the high-performance net Read more…

By Doug Black

Optalysys Rolls Commercial Optical Processor

March 7, 2019

Optalysys, Ltd., a U.K. company seeking to advance it optical co-processor technology, moved a step closer this week with the unveiling of what it claims is th Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Responds to White House AI Initiative

March 6, 2019

The Trump Administration’s release last month of the “American AI Initiative,” aimed at prioritizing federal R&D investments in machine intelligence, Read more…

By Doug Black

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?

November 26, 2018

Is BeeGFS – the parallel file system with European roots – on a path to compete with Lustre and Spectrum Scale worldwide in HPC environments? Frank Herold Read more…

By John Russell

France to Deploy AI-Focused Supercomputer: Jean Zay

January 22, 2019

HPE announced today that it won the contract to build a supercomputer that will drive France’s AI and HPC efforts. The computer will be part of GENCI, the Fre Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Microsoft to Buy Mellanox?

December 20, 2018

Networking equipment powerhouse Mellanox could be an acquisition target by Microsoft, according to a published report in an Israeli financial publication. Microsoft has reportedly gone so far as to engage Goldman Sachs to handle negotiations with Mellanox. Read more…

By Doug Black

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This