November 28, 2005
For the first time ever in a real-world environment, Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) and its strategic partners brought together more than one-half terabit per second (500 Gb per second) of bandwidth in deploying SCinet, the high performance network built to support Supercomputing 2005 in Seattle. The network was provisioned through multiple dark fiber strands brought by the University of Washington from the convention center to major telecommunications facilities in the city.
DWDM gear from Ciena, Cisco and Nortel were used to
provision more than 50 10 Gbps circuits and a native 40 Gbps circuit.
These circuits were then interconnected to numerous high-bandwidth
national backbones, including National LambdaRail, CANARIE, Internet2's
Abilene Network and UltraScience Net. International networks worked
with these various North American facilities to reach the Seattle
venue. In particular, Pacific Rim networks in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and
Australia were able to utilize the Pacific Wave distributed peering
exchange facility, a joint project between PNWGP and CENIC.
"As a direct result of many strategic investments by the University of Washington and the Pacific Northwest Gigapop, Seattle is one of the few places in the world where SC05 could benefit from an abundance of first-rate networking resources including metropolitan fiber, carrier-grade telecommunications facilities, a world-class engineering team, and an ever growing concentration of national and international networks," said Steve Corbato, director of network initiatives for Internet2.
"This staggering amount of bandwidth," he continued, "was deployed seamlessly and provides a truly impressive demonstration of the rapidly evolving suite of network capabilities in support of leading-edge computational science."
Among the many events relying on this bandwidth were massive storage and dataretrieval tools, the Internet2 Land Speed Record attempts (IPv4 and IPv6), data Grids, multipoint real-time, high-definition video from points around the world, super highdefinition video and massive 3-D imaging.
Professor Larry Smarr, director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), and principal investigator of the National Science Foundation's OptIPuter project, offered this observation: "The Terabit Era has arrived. This unprecedented achievement of PNWGP and SC05 demonstrates that the United States needs to broaden its strategic technology leadership agenda from a focus on faster individual supercomputers to supernetwork-connected resources on a global scale."
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