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ESnet Bids Farewell to Greg Bell

February 26, 2016

Linda Vu, lvu@lbl.gov, 510.495.2402

Yesterday, the Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences staff held a farewell party for Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) Director Greg Bell. At the end of this month, Bell will be leaving ESnet and Berkeley Lab to be the full-time CEO of Broala, a company that deploys the Bro network monitoring software first developed at the lab.

Greg Bell and Kathy Yelick at a farewell reception held in Berkeley Lab's Shyh Wang Hall. Photo Credit: Margie Wylie, Berkeley Lab.

Leaving the lab to work with a network security organization closes the loop for Bell, who started at the lab 15 years ago with LBLnet. On Jan. 24, 2003, he was spending the evening studying for a certification test when he decided to check his email around 9:50 p.m. just minutes after the SQL Slammer worm began its attack across the Internet. When he couldn’t connect over his DSL line, he became concerned and then dialed into the remote access server. That connection worked, so Bell decided to investigate the problem with the Internet link. He saw a massive attack was underway, diagnosed the problem and blocked the appropriate port. Thanks to Bell’s fast action, only 10 lab systems were infected and he isolated them so they wouldn’t spread the worm. Elsewhere, the worm slammed an estimated 247,000 systems, including banks, ATMs and financial firms.

Bell joined ESnet as chief information strategist in April 2010 and was named ESnet director in June 2013.

Tale of Two Oscars. Right image is the Oscar's tribute in Berkeley Lab's Shyh Wang Hall. (Photo by Linda Vu, Berkeley Lab) Left image is the iconic Oscar's restaurant on the corner of Shattuck and Hearst in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Peter Alfred Hess)

As a parting gift to ESnet, Bell and Brooklin Gore, Lead for ESnet's Infrastructure, Identity & Collaboration Group, created an "OSCARS" tribute at ESnet's headquarters in  Berkeley Lab's Shyh Wang Hall. One OSCARS refers to ESnet's On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System, a software service that creates dedicated bandwidth channels for scientists who need to move massive, time-critical data sets around the world. Developed by ESnet engineers at Berkeley Lab, the software won an R&D100 award in 2013. The other Oscar's refers to the iconic Shattuck Avenue restaurant that has primarily been a burgers and fries destination for UC Berkeley students for 65 years. When the restaurant closed last year, Bell and Gore purchased the sign for the ESnet offices.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.