From Chief Information Officer Liz Sexton-Kennedy: the top five from the OCIO

Liz Sexton-Kennedy

Computing held an all-hands meeting on June 5 to discuss its accomplishments and the role of computing in supporting the laboratory’s mission. Here are the top five messages from the presentation:

Both the Scientific Computing Division and the Core Computing Division play a key role in supporting LBNF/DUNE. We have experience in supporting an international collaboration. DUNE consumes more scientific computing services than any other Fermilab experiment. We are helping to bring the Fermilab way of doing things to SURF, providing an IT management system for Fermilab office activities. In addition, we are beginning the process of applying to ESNET to boost networking for both enterprise computing and science.

Core Computing Division services underpin both scientific and business services and help all lab members get their work accomplished. CCD provides outstanding data center and network availability; it is working, both internally and with other lab groups, to modernize systems and applications used at the lab.  

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and everyone should remain alert for phishing attacks. Phishing emails are becoming more sophisticated and often contain some type of “inside information” to fool you into clicking. Don’t click without stopping to think! Clicking on a suspicious link in an email can have serious consequences, not only for you, but for the laboratory.

Establishing common solutions across research frontiers and consolidating resources — hardware, software and human—is our strategy for meeting the scientific software and computing challenges of the future. All of the scientific production of the lab and its collaborations rests on the services provided by the Scientific Computing Division. SCD supports the Fermilab science program through excellence in operating computing facilities and data centers; providing middleware, workflow and data management services; providing the aforementioned common software tools and frameworks; and conducting scientific research. In addition, SCD improves efficiency, cost-effectiveness and performance of facilities, services and software tools, with R&D conducted through community collaborations and externally funded projects.

Research computing will have to grow to unprecedented scales in the next decade. Fermilab will lead in developing a national scientific cyberinfrastructure alongside our partners at other labs and agencies. DUNE, HL-LHC and CMS are our biggest challenges and our top priorities, and we are making strides to meet these challenges