Skip to main content

IT News

WVU researchers can now get high-speed Internet service through REX

West Virginia University researchers now have access to high-speed, high-volume Internet connections that offer faster, easier and more reliable transfer of data. To request access to the new WVU Research Exchange (REX), researchers should open a new ticket at https://helpdesk.hpc.wvu.edu, select “Request Science DMZ Access” in the Help Topic box, complete the required fields, then click on Create Ticket.

REX is a Science DMZ, or demilitarized zone, which is a dedicated “express lane” network for research data traffic within the University’s larger network. It is funded through a nearly $487,000 cyber infrastructure grant that WVU Research Corp. won last year from the National Science Foundation.

REX gives Information Technology Services the ability to separate research traffic from other Internet traffic, guarantee high-speed Internet2 access for WVU researchers, and facilitate data exchanges with off-campus collaborators. The upgrades also provide WVU researchers with greater access to off-campus resources such as national scientific supercomputing centers. The grant funded the development and deployment of two Data Transfer Nodes, high-performance data transfer “depots” that will improve the ability to move large science data sets. These Data Transfer Nodes have 640TB of raw disk storage, giving researchers a high-speed storage location when transferring large data sets.

As part of the grant, REX currently enables high-performance science data flows to and from: the Neuroscience lab in the Health Sciences Center; the High Performance Computing (HPC) center in the Chemistry Research Lab annex of Clark Hall; the Astrophysics HPC at White Hall; the Life Sciences Genomics Lab, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Lab at Allen Hall; the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank; and WVU’s off-campus Internet2 connection.

REX was built with the ability to expand to other locations. Please direct requests for access to Data Transfer nodes, High Performance Computing and the Science DMZ to Nathan Gregg at Nathan.Gregg@mail.wvu.edu.

It’s not unusual for researchers at WVU to work with data sets that are multiple Terabytes in size. The larger the file, the longer it takes to transfer. Recent testing shows a 30 percent increase in data-transfer speed.

The creation of the DMZ and the underlying core network upgrades lay the foundation for improved data research flows for other WVU lab and scientific facilities in the future.