Scientists Set New Record for Data Transfer Rate

Six teams of computer scientists and network engineers smash their previous record for data transfers.

During the recent SC12 supercomputing conference, a team of physicists, computer scientists, and network engineers led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) smashed their previous records for data transfers using the latest generation of wide area network (WAN) circuits.

The Caltech-led team, including researchers from the University of Victoria, the University of Michigan, along with Brookhaven National Lab, Vanderbilt, and other partners, reached a transfer rate of 339Gbps, which, according to the announcement, is the equivalent to moving four million gigabytes per day.

Using three 100Gbps WAN circuits set up by six network teams and servers at each of the sites with 40Gb Ethernet (40GE) interfaces, the team reached a transfer rate of 339Gbps between Caltech, the University of Victoria Computing Center in British Columbia, the University of Michigan, and the Salt Palace Convention Center in Utah. According to the report, this rate nearly doubled last year’s overall record and surpassed the record for a bidirectional transfer on a single link with a data flow of 187Gbps between Victoria and Salt Lake.

Randall Sobie, Professor at University of Victoria and Research Scientist at the Institute of Particle Physics of Canada, said, “At SC12 we showed that it is possible to move data reliably and efficiently between two distant sites at speeds of 100 Gbps. Collectively we were able to move data at speeds in excess of 300 Gbps and within a few years it may be possible to reach 1 Terabit/second. These achievements are critical to projects such as ATLAS on the LHC, which includes physicists from Canada. The network makes it possible to exploit the computational resources in a country that is distant from CERN and enables the researchers to play a leading role in the experiment.”