WATPA: FW: Scientists Set Internet2 Speed Record

From: Norm Jacknis <norm@jacknis.com>
Date: Fri Sep 03 2004 - 21:21:37 EDT

FYI -- a flavor of the next generation Internet.

Enjoy the weekend,

-----Original Message-----
September 2, 2004
Scientists Set Internet2 Speed Record
By Susan Kuchinskas

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) set a new land-speed
record for Internet2, a second-generation network serving universities and
research institutes.

The team, which included folks from AMD (Quote, Chart), Cisco (Quote,
Chart), Microsoft Research, Newisys, and S2io, transferred 859 gigabytes of
data in less than 17 minutes. It did so at a rate of 6.63 gigabits per
second (define) between the CERN facility in Geneva, Switzerland, and
Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., a distance of more than 15,766 kilometers, or
approximately 9,800 miles.

Scientists are racing to move gigantic amounts of data by 2007, when CERN's
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will switch on. This huge underground particle
accelerator will produce some 15 petabytes (define) of data a year, which
will be stored and analyzed on a global grid of computer centers.

High-energy physicists are excited about the LHC because they hope it will
allow them to find the Higgs bosun, a theoretical particle that they
believe creates mass.

"Physicists are trying to fill in the blank spaces in our model of high
energy physics," said Jim Gray a Microsoft Research engineer who helped set
Wednesday's record.

But this $10 billion collider will be of little use if scientists around
the world can't access the data.

Researchers aren't the only ones excited about blazing data speeds. This
record speed of 6.63Gbps is equivalent to transferring a full-length DVD
movie in four seconds. There are uses in astronomy, bioinformatics, global
climate modeling and seismology, as well as commercial applications from
entertainment to oil and gas exploration.

Internet2 is fast -- Abilene, a U.S. cross-country backbone network, blasts
data at 10Gbps. But transoceanic networking is another story. There are
hardware and software issues to overcome, Gray said.

For example, one limiting factor is that the fastest available interface
for PCs is the PCIX64 Bus Isolation Extender, which can only handle 7.5Gbps.

The land-speed test is part of an ongoing R&D program to create high-speed
global networks as the foundation of next-generation, data-intensive grids
with a goal of transferring data at 1Gbps.

The performance also is the first record to break the 100-petabit meter per
second mark. One petabit is 1,000,000,000,000,000 bits (define). That may
seem like an almost inconceivably large number, but Gray said storing
petabits of data is a fact of life for many large corporations. He said
Microsoft has about 5 petabits of data, and he estimates Google and Yahoo
store that much, as well.

"If you have a million customers and they each have a gigabyte of storage,
that's a petabit," he said.

The technology used in setting this record included S2io's Xframe 10 GbE
server adapter, Cisco 7600 Series Routers, Newisys 4300 servers using AMD
Opteron processors, Itanium servers and the 64-bit version of Windows
Server 2003.

Received on Fri Sep 3 21:23:11 2004

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