OSCARS 0.6A Bandwidth Reservation Software Now Ready for Download and Testing

April 21, 2011

Media Contact: Jon Bashor,, 510-486-5849510-486-5849

ESnet, the Department of Energy’s high-performance networking facility managed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, announced today that an alpha version 0.6 of its On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System (OSCARS) is now available for download and testing by the user community. OSCARS software allows users to make dynamic, guaranteed bandwidth reservations to create virtual circuits that expediently and reliably move and exchange massive data sets over multiple domains and networks. OSCARS 0.6 is an open-source project hosted at

“Technical users will find enhanced features and increased modularity in OSCARS 0.6,” said Chin Guok, ESnet network engineer and OSCARS developer, “We are soliciting experienced network users to test and help validate OSCARS 0.6 for upcoming production use.” Beta release of OSCARS 0.6 is targeted for mid-summer 2011. OSCARS 0.6 will offer enhancements over the current version of OSCARS 0.5 in two ways:

Flexible software architecture:

• Increased modularity and exposed internal interfaces so that the community can start standardizing IDC components, code development, and collaborations
• Enhanced inter-domain error reporting

A versatile path computation engine (PCE) framework:

• Creation of a flexible path computation engine (PCE) framework, which allows atomic PCEs to be executed in any configurable arbitrary sequence
• Flexibility to streamline the path computation process
• The option to change out specific engines when better path computation engines become available to the PCE framework

The PCE framework has been available for download as a software development kit (SDK), since November 2010, supporting researchers creating complex algorithms for path computation. Multiple DOE-funded research projects have downloaded this SDK and plan to use it with the Advanced Network Initiative (ANI) testbed.

ESnet has also been a strong partner in support of Internet2’s preparation of OSCARS 0.6 for the NSF-supported Dynamic Network System (DYNES) project at universities and regional R&E networks across the nation. Internet2 has also been collaborating with ESnet on the OSCARS open-source project. “Internet2 is greatly appreciative of ESnet’s leadership in this arena and looks forward to continued partnership in support of the DYNES initiative,” said Eric Boyd, Internet2’s Deputy Technology Officer and PI of the DYNES project.

“We are glad to see technical community members developing innovative applications for OSCARS, and we hope this is a harbinger of many more to come,” said Guok. “We seek the ideas and insights of the community to advance OSCARS. Each new OSCARS application advances its versatility and usefulness for the research and education community, and potentially industry as well.”

OSCARS developers are actively participating in the Open Grid Forum’s (OGF) Network Service Interface (NSI) protocol standards development process and are investigating the effort to implement a prototype version of the Connection Services protocol after 0.6 is released. The NSI Connection Services standard is targeted to support multi-domain advance reservations and connection setup. The OSCARS project welcomes wider community participation in developing a reference implementation of the NSI standard.


OSCARS allows user applications to reserve guaranteed network bandwidth in advance and offers reliable end-to-end throughput, and quality of service in managing time-sensitive and large data sets. The OSCARS Web services interface allows users to automate the process of setting up temporary virtual circuits by having their workflow management systems communicate with it directly. Moreover, the OSCARS interface handles complex routing across multiple domains. Workflow management systems at data analysis sites can request OSCARS circuits to facilitate automating the transport of large data sets to their end destination over multiple connecting networks managed by different organizations. OSCARS development was funded by the DOE's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR). OSCARS 0.5 supports multiple vendors and platforms and is the most widely deployed software of its kind in production use. To date, OSCARS-managed and provisioned circuits carry around 5 petabytes of science data traffic a month, comprising more than half of ESnet total network traffic. OSCARS is used daily by R&E networks including Internet2, USLHCnet, Nordic network NORDUnet, and Brazil’s RNP.

Berkeley Lab,
OSCARS open-source repository,