University of Michigan Science DMZ

The university employs a Science DMZ (demilitarized zone) designed to optimize network performance for research applications by removing obstacles that traditional networks place on data transfer and other functions.

It is integrated into the campus network, and is designed to work in similar ways to the Science DMZ designed by the United States Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). ESnet is dedicated to scientific research and development using:

  • Architecture explicitly designed for high-performance applications.
  • Use of dedicated systems for data transfer with minimal hindrance for firewalls.
  • Capabilities to do performance measurement and network testing. This is done through the use of perfSONAR devices located across campus.
  • Tailored security policies and enforcement mechanisms.

The university Science DMZ differs from ESNet model by:

  • Locating firewalls and network protection at data centers and in front of network firewalls vs. a border firewall. (See the ITS Network Diagram for specifics.)
  • Firewalls are located closer to data sources, therefore not in the path of research data flow.
  • Research shares the same network with university academic and business systems.

The university Science DMZ was funded through an NSF CCNIE grant and has been operational since 2014.