FABRIC: Adaptive Programmable Research Infrastructure for Computer Science and Science Applications

Grants and Contracts Details


Few research investments have had as dramatic an impact on science, technology, and our daily lives as the Internet. However, the Internet's original programming abstractions and foundational building blocks have become dated and are severely hampering innovation, constraining researchers and application designers to a narrowly focused region of an otherwise vast design space. Over the years, the economics and technologies have drastically changed such that it is now both possible and highly desirable to deploy network equipment with massive amounts of compute and storage, enabling a completely new programming model in which applications can execute code or store data in the network and at the edge, providing unprecedented control over the way data is handled, processed and stored in the network, and freeing users from the entrenched belief that control can only happen at the edge or in the cloud. We propose to build an 'everywhere programmable' nationwide infrastructure called FABRIC, com- prised of custom network elements equipped with large amounts of compute and storage capabilities located throughout the network, interconnected by 100Gbps+ dedicated optical links. FABRIC will provide a com- mon abstraction and interfaces for accessing programmable resources from the core all the way to the edge out to researchers' desktops, enabling experimentation with completely new non-IP network architectures and application designs that perform complex application-specific processing anywhere in the network. Applica- tions inspired by FABRIC capabilities will integrate and support massive data sets, real time machine/deep learning, smart and connected IoT sensors, various forms of streaming data, ultra-precise measurement and monitoring information. FABRIC's design provides extremely high, predictable, consistent performance combined with fine- grained programmable measurement capabilities to support reproducibility, turning the network into a scientific instrument. FABRIC will interconnect major national research facilities, enabling researchers to re-envision the way they design domain science applications. FABRIC will be extensible, incorporating emerging new scientic cyber-infrastructures, allowing users to attach research-specific instruments or con- tribute hardware resources at desired network locations, thereby allowing the infrastructure to grow and adapt to changing research needs over time. 1
Effective start/end date10/1/199/30/24


  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: $2,331,734.00


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