100 Gbps Speed Coming to U.S. Research Network
The world's fastest science network is set to go live in the U.S. in October.
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A 100-gigabit-per-second network for scientists in the U.S. is going live in October. It will be the world's fastest continent-wide science network, but other research networks around the world will soon follow, IEEE Spectrum reported.
For comparison, the average U.S. household Internet speed is 6.7 megabits per second, or about 10,000 times slower than the coming upgrade. Google's Fiber project in Kansas City will transmit data at 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).
The research network, called the Energy Sciences Network or ESnet, now works at 10 Gbps and serves national laboratories, national supercomputer centers, universities and other research groups. Run by the U.S. Department of Energy, ESnet hosts big-data experiments about energy, climate change and the origins of the universe. Its traffic has grown exponentially since its inception, to the tune of a 10-fold increase every four years, so the upgrade is much needed, ESnet director Greg Bell told Spectrum.
"[Data] flows generated by the largest science networks and collaborations in the world are seriously stretching the abilities of today's 10-gigabit networks," he said.
To provide for the new speed, ESnet will share unused optical fibers with Internet2, another high-bandwidth network run by U.S. universities. The shared network has the capacity to support 8.8 terabits per second speeds in the future, which would be 10,000 times faster than 100 Gbps.
ESnet and Internet2 built infrastructure on top of their shared fiber to receive, transmit and amplify signals and route data at the new speed.
Soon after ESnet users move to the upgraded network, they will get some peers in speed. Research networks in China and Europe are moving to 100 Gbps, Spectrum reported, while Internet2 plans to get 100 Gbps by summer 2013.