GU Science DMZ

The GU SCIENCE DMZ is now ready for use by the research community.

WHAT IS IT?   It’s a dedicated network infrastructure that only supports data-intensive networking. The GU Science DMZ is a portion of the  network, built at or near the campus local network perimeter that is designed such that the equipment, configuration, and security policies are optimized for high performance scientific applications rather than for general purpose business systems or “enterprise” Computing. This flexible infrastructure enables faculty and staff to work with colleagues on campus and at off-campus sites as though they were in the same lab. It was developed by the Dept. of Energy. We used the recipe – A Scalable Network Design Model for Optimizing Science Data Transfers – to apply for a National Science Award that was awarded on Sept. 10, 2015. This award titled:  N-WIRED – Network Innovation for Research and Education at Georgetown: Science DMZ and Cloud Services provided  $452,373.00 for this effort.

Principal Investigator Ardoth Hassler (retired); Co-PIs Stephen Moore (retired) and Clay Shields, Professor of Computer Science; and UIS employees Scott Allen, Daniel Tamiru, and Alisa Kang are the subject matter experts on the proposal and implementation.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO USE THE GU SCIENCE DMZ?  Faculty who need to transfer or receive large data files – many gigabytes of data at a time — will find fast transfers using the GU Science DMZ. This is especially true for sharing data with colleagues at other Universities. For example, one of our first succesful data transfers were 1.5 TB brain images between GUMC’s Center for Molecular Imaging and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.  Transferring large data files or streams to National Labs, or remote instrumentation are other examples of how we can use this new resource. Transferring TBs of stored data from hardware to the cloud is now very efficient.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE GU SCIENCE DMZ?   Please contact the Research Technologies division of UIS for help in configuring your computers to access this resource. Research Technologies staff will then help researchers to:

  • Identify researcher’s computer IP address and transfer rates to and from the Science DMZ
  • Activate a Globus account
  • Create a private folder on the Science DMZ Data Transfer Node (DTN) and connect to create a dedicated Endpoint to access the folder
  • Create the proper security provisions for the Endpoint. UIS will ensure that the data is sufficiently protected.

Researchers will then be able to receive and share large data files very efficiently by initiating their file transfers to the DTN Endpoints.

Monitoring Data Fows Is Important

A critical requirement for any Science DMZ is a performance monitoring system to quickly catch and mitigate problems that can slow the data flows.  UIS uses a set of monitoring tools called Performance focused Service Oriented Network monitoring ARchitecture (perfSONAR) which has become the standard used by other Universities and Govt. organizations with Science DMZs. Ref URL:

GU Science DMZ Architecture flow chart



We thank our UIS Chief Information Officer, Judd Nicholson for his support of this initiative. We also are very grateful to the many  Georgetown University scientists and their programs that were included as  important use cases that would benefit from a Science DMZ. These include Susan Martin, Jeffrey Collman, Lisa Singh, and Sidney Berkowitz. Forecasting the Break: Building Community and Capacity for Large-scale, Data-Intensive Research in Forced Migration Studies; Lisa Singh, Micah Sherr, and Grace Yang. Assessing Online Information Exposure: The Aves Terra program, headed by Jay Smart, Dept. of Computer Science, Jeffrey Collman, Dept of Microbiology, and Spiros Dimolitsas, Senior Vice President for Research & Chief Technology Officer; Dr. Shweta Bansal,  a computational faculty member in the Department of Biology; Subha Madhavan, Ph.D. Director of Georgetown’s Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics (ICBI); John Vanmeter, Ph.D, Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging (CFMI); Chandan Vaidya, Ph.D, Adam Green, Ph.D, and Abigail Marsh, Ph.D, Department of Pschology; Maximilian Riesenhuber, Ph.D, Department of Neuroscience; Elissa L. Newport, Ph.D., serves as Director of the new Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery; Jeffrey Urbach, Ph.D, Dan Blair, Ph.D. Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology, and James Freericks, Ph. D, Department of Physics. The Georgetown-Howard Universities’ Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS). Universal Protein Resource (UniProt), and The McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP).

National Science Foundation Award for Network Innovation for Research and Education at Georgetown

Please contact the Research Technologies division of UIS at 202-687-5420 or by e-mail at for help with the GU Science DMZ.  We look forward to assisting you on your next big data project.

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Image containing detail of Award Abstract #1440743