University of Oregon

UO lands grant for high-speed research network


The University of Oregon will build a high speed data network called BONSAI to connect researchers in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Physics. The new network, funded by a $480,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, will also augment the university's connection to Internet2, the high-speed international research and education network.

The grant award coincides with the opening of the new Lewis Integrative Science Building, which houses researchers from multiple disciplines in one building.

Currently, UO researchers use UOnet, the university's main network, to transfer research data between offices, servers, and data centers. The volume of data transferred is the issue. For example, UO physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS experiment routinely move data sets that are 10 to 20 terabytes in size. That's 40 to 80 times more data than the average laptop's hard drive.

In addition to creating the BONSAI network, the grant will provide for forward-looking technologies, including

  • developing and implementing software-defined networking,
  • promoting development of IPv6 capable applications, and
  • expanding the use of InCommon federated logins to ease collaboration amongst researchers at multiple institutions.

These enhancements should advance research in areas such as experimental astrophysics, high energy physics, climate simulation, modeling oceanic plates, and cancer biology.

The grant was a collaborative effort between Computer and Information Science, Information Services, Physics, and the Office of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education.