Design Engineering

Canadian network sets world record for data transfer

By Design Engineering Staff   


CANARIE 186 Gbps sustained data rate, long range network transmits one petabyte in 24 hours.

Canadian researchers at the University of Victoria — in conjunction with Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE), Caltech, European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), and other partners — set a new world record for data transfer at the SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) conference in Seattle.

Using a 100-Gbps circuit set up by CANARIE and BCNET — a Vancouver-based not-for-profit, shared IT services organization — the team was able to reach transfer rates of 98 Gigabits per second (Gps) between the University of Victoria Computing Centre in British Columbia, and the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle.

With a simultaneous data rate of 88 Gbps in the opposite direction, the team reached a sustained two-way data rate of 186 Gbps between two data centers, breaking the team’s previous peak-rate record of 119 Gbps set in 2009. Over a 24 hour period, the network transferred approximately 1 petabyte (1,048,576 Gigabytes) of particle physics data.

“Demand for bandwidth continues to grow as scientists embark on research that is increasingly data intensive and collaborative,“ said Jim Roche, CANARIE’s president and CEO, “CANARIE has documented a 284 per cent increase in the amount of data transmitted on our network since 2007, and this trend is expected to accelerate as scientists share data from scientific facilities like the Large Hadron Collider in CERN to participating global research sites like the University of Victoria.”


A team of network engineers along with Institute of Particle Physics Research Scientist and University of Victoria Adjunct Professor, Randall Sobie, worked together with a number of industry partners to construct the 100-gigabit per second demonstration network for the duration of the SC11 Conference.

According to the researchers, the achievement will help establish new ways to transport the increasingly large quantities of data that traverse continents and oceans via global networks of optical fibers. These new methods are needed for the next generation of network technology—which allows transfer rates of 40 and 100 Gbps—that will be built in the next couple of years.


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