11.21.2005 -- For the first time ever in a real-world environment, Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) and its strategic partners have brought together more than one-half terabit per second (i.e., 500 gigabits per second) of bandwidth in deploying SCinet, the very high performance network built to support Supercomputing 2005 (SC|05) in Seattle. The network is 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 utilized 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 SC|05 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 data-retrieval tools, the Internet2 Land Speed Record attempts (IPv4 and IPv6), data grids, multi-point real-time, high-definition video from points around the world, super high-definition video, and 3-D imaging.
Larry Smarr, director of Calit2 and principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded OptIPuter project, offered this observation: "The Terabit Era has arrived! This unprecedented achievement of PNWGP and SC|05 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."