CERN and Caltech join forces to smash Internet speed record

CERN1 and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) will tomorrow receive an award for transferring over a Terabyte of data across 7,000 km of network at 5.44 gigabits per second (Gbps), smashing the old record of 2.38 Gbps achieved in February between CERN in Geneva and Sunnyvale in California by a Caltech, CERN, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center team.

The international CERN-Caltech team set this new Internet2® Land Speed Record on 1 October 2003 by transferring 1.1 Terabytes of data in less than 30 minutes, corresponding to 38,420.54 petabit-metres per second. The average rate of 5.44 Gbps is more than 20,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection and is equivalent to transferring a full CD in 1 second or a full length DVD movie in approximately 7 seconds. The award will be made to Olivier Martin of CERN and Harvey Newman of Caltech on the Lake Geneva Region Stand at the ITU Telecom World event in Geneva live from the Internet2 conference in Indianapolis at 17:30CET on Thursday 16 October.

"This new record marks another major milestone towards our final goal of abolishing distances and, in so doing, to enable more efficient worldwide scientific collaboration," said Martin, Head of External Networking at CERN and Manager of the European Union DataTAG project. "The record further proves that it is no longer a dream to replicate terabytes of data around the globe routinely and in a timely manner."

Newman, head of the Caltech team and chair of the ICFA Standing Committee on Inter-Regional Connectivity said: "This is a major milestone towards our goal of providing on-demand access to high energy physics data from around the world, using servers affordable to physicists from all regions. We have now reached the point where servers side by side have the same TCP performance as servers separated by 10,000 km. We also localized the current bottleneck to the I/O capability of the end-systems, and we expect that systems matching the full speed of a 10 Gbps link will be commonplace in the relatively near future."

"The team from Caltech and CERN have demonstrated an unprecedented level of high-performance networking, focused on supporting the requirements of leading-edge research," said Rich Carlson, Chair of the Internet2 land speed record (I2-LSR) judging panel. "This new I2-LSR mark shows that the capabilities of the underlying network infrastructure is able to accommodate even the most demanding needs of scientists around the world."

The new record was set through the efforts of the DataTAG and FAST projects, with major sponsorship from Cisco Systems, the European Union, HP, Intel, Juniper, Level 3 Communications, T-Systems, the US National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Energy. The extension of the 10Gbps DataTAG testbed to the Telecom World 2003 exhibition hall in Palexpo was made possible thanks to Cisco Systems, OPI (Geneva's Office for the Promotion of Industries & Technologies), SIG (Services Industriels de Genève) and Telehouse Europe.

The rate of progress in long distance networking is such that even while preparing to accept the award, the CERN-Caltech team do not rule out breaking their own record during the course of the ITU Telecom World event.

Notes for Editors

CERN is the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, one of the world's most prestigious centres for fundamental research. The laboratory is currently building the Large Hadron Collider. The most ambitious scientific undertaking the world has yet seen, the LHC will collide tiny fragments of matter head on to unravel the fundamental laws of nature. It is due to switch on in 2007 and will be used to answer some of the most fundamental questions of science by some 7,000 scientists from universities and laboratories all around the world.

The California Institute of Technology is one of the world's major research centres. The Institute also conducts instruction in science and engineering for a student body of approximately 900 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students who maintain a high level of scholarship and intellectual achievement. Caltech's 124-acre campus is situated in Pasadena, California, a city of 135,000 at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, approximately 30 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and 10 miles northeast of the Los Angeles Civic Center. Caltech is an independent, privately supported university, and is not affiliated with either the University of California system or the California State Polytechnic universities.

Internet2® is a consortium being led by 200 universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 is recreating the partnership among academia, industry and government that fostered today's Internet in its infancy. The Internet2 Land Speed Record is an open and ongoing competition. Details of the winning entries, complete rules, submission guidelines and additional details are available on the website.

DataTAG is a European Union funded project to create a large-scale intercontinental test bed for data-intensive Grids. It focuses on high-performance networking issues over a dedicated 10 Gbit/s optical lightpath (lambda) between Geneva (Switzerland) and Chicago (USA), and Grid Interoperability through a collaboration of the European DataGRID and CrossGrid projects with three US Grid projects (iVDGL, GriPhyN and PPDG) in order to define and implement a compatible platform.

FAST is a Caltech led project to develop robust and stable ultrascale networking, at 100 Gbps and higher speeds in the. This will be critical to support the new generation of ultrascale computing and Petabyte to Exabyte datasets that promise to drive discoveries in fundamental and applied sciences of the next decade.

Contacts

CERN : Olivier Martin Tel: +41-22-767-4894
Caltech : Harvey Newman Tel: +1-626-395-6656
Internet2 : Michelle Pollak Tel: +1-202-285-4590

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.

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