Computer resources were once difficult to set up, but now, thanks to virtualization, containerization, and other cloud technologies, it's very simple to get all the resources needed. For a domain scientist to establish a dedicated network path between two or more research institutes, on the other hand, it can takes weeks, a dozen emails and phone calls, and working with a variety of IT organizations to establish connectivity. This is difficult enough that mailing hard drives is often the easiest way of transporting data between sites. For realtime work, this is untenable.
The AtlanticWave/SDX controller project aims to simplify using network resources for domain scientists. We want to make it as easy for a domain scientist to create network paths as it is to reserve compute resources, with the end goal of making dedicated path allocation seamless and invisible to those users. To do this, we are creating a network controller that uses SDN technologies to establish paths as easily as spinning up a virtual machine. We are providing APIs for compute/storage/network orchestration frameworks to automate creation of network paths.