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StarLight is hosted within a larger secure facility that is managed by Northwestern University. Facility manager Tim Ward and resident engineer Jake Sallee, both employees of Northwestern University, grant permission for physical access to the StarLight switch room. StarLight network engineers Linda Winkler (Argonne National Laboratory) and Alan Verlo (University of Illinois at Chicago) control access to StarLight switches and other equipment, and also make VLAN assignments. (For more information about access, see Network Operations Center).

Software on an Argonne NOC server periodically and automatically polls the switches and routers for configuration and VLAN changes. As is the standard procedure for many NOCs, these changes are archived for future reference and recovery in case of disaster.

Peerings are agreed upon by the two organizations that wish to peer. Both organizations’ network engineers determine peering configurations. For StarLight, the ANL NOC engineers currently configure most of the peerings. Peering information exchange between the switches and routers can also be protected with an encrypted password, such that the switches and routers authenticate themselves to their peer devices. These passwords are implemented on StarLight equipment at the request of peering partners.

In the case of StarLight downtime, StarLight international partners have a process that implements redundancy links based on partners’ bandwidth requirements. The StarLight facility interconnects partners to create such redundancy as needed when a new network is first connected.