SI-MORe-OFFN Award Connects Additional Institutions to Oklahoma’s Science DMZ
A new grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will expand research computing at five more Oklahoma colleges and universities. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) and OneNet received $232,275 in funding for the Small Institution Multiple Organization Regional OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (SI-MORe-OFFN) through NSF’s Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) grant program.
Administered by NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, the CC* grant program invests in campus-level cyberinfrastructure improvements for science applications and research projects.
The two-year grant award will connect Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC), Redlands Community College (RCC), Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) to Oklahoma’s Science DMZ known as the OneOklahoma Friction Free Network.
A Science DMZ engineers a portion of a campus network for science applications. According to ESnet, who developed the model, the configuration and security policies of a Science DMZ create an environment tailored to meet high-performance scientific computing needs, including high-volume data transfer, remote experiment control and data visualization.
As Oklahoma’s Science DMZ, OFFN is a 10 Gbps network ring that provides higher education institutions with a dedicated internet route that allows researchers to bypass slower traditional networks and transmit data at higher speeds. Three previous NSF grant awards to Oklahoma connected 12 research and regional universities to OFFN. This new award specifically targeted smaller institutions to expand their research and education initiatives.
“The State Regents are pleased to see more Oklahoma institutions added to the OFFN network,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These connections will enable new and diverse research collaborations for faculty at these institutions. The grant also has a significant educational impact for college students by expanding STEM and cyberinfrastructure educational opportunities.”
The grant award will be managed by OneNet, and Vonley Royal, OneNet executive director and State Regents’ chief information officer, will serve as principal investigator. Dr. Dany Doughan of USAO will lead research and education application adoption, and Jon Fields of RCC will lead campus technology. Brian Burkhart and Sky Pettett of OneNet will manage network technology implementation and training.
The project will make advanced cyberinfrastructure tools and services available to the five participating campuses and support a wide range of scientific disciplines. Research and education initiatives that will benefit from the grant include:
- Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
- Cybersecurity for Institutional Resources and Education
- Data Science and Virtualization
- Programming with Software Defined Networking
- Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City
- Data Liberation and STEM Collaboration Infrastructure Project
- Resilience Academy for Nurse Science Program
- Overwatch Fire Protection Program
- Information Technology and Community Engagement
- Redlands Community College
- STEM Tutoring
- Aquaponics Greenhouse Research
- Hemp Research
- Science and Nursing Lab Network
- Oklahoma Christian University
- Adaptive Cyber Defense
- University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
- Thermodynamic Favorability
- Environmental Characteristics of Urban Areas
OneNet makes SI-MORe-OFFN possible by providing the network that connects the colleges and universities. OneNet also provides access to Internet2, a nationwide network for education and research. Internet2 is a 100Gbps network that supports big data movement and collaboration among educators across the nation. As a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, OneNet is the only organization in Oklahoma that provides access to Internet2.
“OneNet is higher education’s partner in research and education and ensures campuses have access to the networking and technology required to support scientific discovery and innovation,” said Royal. “Expanding access to networks like OFFN is vital to providing resources that enhance these initiatives for Oklahoma colleges and universities.”
Several important partners are providing support and collaboration for the SI-MORe-OFFN project. Internet2 provided support for the grant application, in addition to other OneNet partners including University of Oklahoma, The Quilt, Great Plains Network, Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC) and the Great Plains Regional Cyber Team.
The State Regents and OneNet will continue to partner with higher education institutions to grow the OFFN network. Plans for another NSF grant application to connect additional regional universities to the network is underway.