Asi@Connect Training Workshop: Introduction to Data Transfer Nodes and Research Platform Technology

Asi@Connect Training Workshop: Introduction to Data Transfer Nodes and Research Platform Technology

Highly-engaged participants at the “Introduction to Data Transfer Nodes and Research Platform Technology” training workshop

12 Aug 2020 – An introductory training workshop on Data Transfer Nodes (DTNs) and Research Platform Technology was conducted for APAN50 Meeting by Simon Green, SingAREN, together with Jordan Tan and Alex Neo, students from Nanyang Technological University. Due to the COVID-19 situation, this training session which was meant to be held onsite at APAN50 Meeting, was conducted as a virtual meeting on 5th August 2020.

Funded by EU and managed by TEIN*CC, this knowledge-sharing workshop was sponsored by the “Large Data Transfer Infrastructure and Training for Asi@Connect” project grant. This project addresses the key challenges to data intensive research in Asia-Pacific of inadequate computing resources and network infrastructure. Asia-Pacific Research Platform facilitates the pursuit of data intensive research in Asia-Pacific through deploying a distributed DTN infrastructure and developing the technical capabilities of Research and Education Network (REN) collaborators.

Availability of distributed DTN-enabled platforms will facilitate research collaborations among domain expert researchers and practitioners in the Asia-Pacific and Europe. The DTN servers will facilitate more efficient transfer of large datasets over long distances, which has been a persistent challenge for inter-continental data transfers. Such datasets may range from multiple GBs to multiple TBs. This is particularly so in areas that involve large datasets, e.g. climatology, bioinformatics, particle physics, earth sciences, etc. The distributed DTN-enabled platform will be a significant component in the evolving regional research platform.

Through helping DTN system specialists to gain a basic understanding of Data Transfer Nodes (DTNs), Kubernetes (K8s) and their integration to form the building blocks of a research platform, this well-received workshop helped to kick-start the implementation of DTNs amongst RENs. By empowering DTN system specialists to be conversant on the use of suitable software tools implemented on the DTN servers, RENs can test and deploy such technologies to address the need for high speed data transfers of large datasets over both short and long distances.

The SingAREN team started this informative workshop by sharing insights on their journey to developing the Research Platform, which consist of DTNs, perfSONAR and running distributed applications on K8s. Besides providing an introduction to the Research Platform, they covered a primer on DTNs in building the infrastructure and a comprehensive overview of Kubernetes in using the infrastructure. The K8s portion of the workshop included a hands-on tutorial with the use of Cloud resources, through AWS, thus enabling the participants to put what they have learnt into application.

Beneficiaries of the training include research and education institutional partners from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines. All 28 participants who attended this virtual training session found that the topics covered during the workshop were relevant to setting up DTNs and Asia-Pacific Research Platform.

Growing DTN-enabled deployment sites within the region can help to build a rich regional and global DTN-enabled infrastructure as part of the future national research platforms in serving the REN communities for efficient transfer of large datasets over long distances.

For more information on Asi@Connect, please refer to

Written by Linda Lim

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