Global Lambda Integrated Facility

ESLEA: Exploitation of Switched Lightpaths for eScience Applications




United Kingdom: Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), UK Office of Science and Technology; Lancaster University; National e-Science Centre, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh; University of Manchester; University of Oxford; University College London
United States: Tufts University; National Center for Supercomputing Applications/TeraGrid; Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center ; Argonne National Laboratory; StarLight


The UK e-Science ESLEA (Exploitation of Switched Lightpaths for eScience Applications) project is a two-year EPSRC-funded project and collaboration among six leading UK research centers and two industrial partners (Cisco Systems and Boston Ltd).

The project has a remit to demonstrate the potential of circuit-switched optical networking to the UK e-Science community by running "proof of benefit" pilot applications in several data-intensive fields of academic endeavor, including particle physics, high-performance computing, radio astronomy and e-health.

The pilot applications demonstrated the feasibility and benefits of transferring data across the UKLight circuit-switched network. UKLight is an optical R&D network managed through UKERNA as a complement to the SuperJanet production network. It comprises a 10Gbps backbone to selected points in the UK and connects to global optical networks via 10Gbps links to Chicago (via StarLight) and Amsterdam (NetherLight). Network protocol research and development of control mechanisms and interfaces by ESLEA have helped the pilot applications to exploit the UKLight network effectively.

A closing conference for ESLEA was held on 26-28 March 2007 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom (see

ESLEA's "SPICE: Simulated Pore Interactive Computing Experiment" demonstration at SC|05 won the HPC Analytics Challenge Award. Participants included University College London, University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh, Tufts University, TeraGrid, Nottingham University, NCSA/TeraGrid, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Argonne National Laboratory, and CCLRC Daresbury (see