Petabits/sec, and the like

Eric Kuhnke eric at
Wed Nov 5 16:41:49 EST 2003

For those interested in long distance optical transmission of research 
data, Bill St. Arnaud of CANARIE/CAnet4 posts many interesting things to 
the CANET-NEWS list:

Quoting from a post to the list:
"Another example is the Canadian Virtual Observatory that will require to
transfer data files and stream instrumentation data of over half a terabyte
a day (!!) from facilities to Hawaii, France and UK

>Consider a metaphor:  Fermilab is a river of data.  People at Duke are
>thirsty, but they can only drink just so much just so fast.  It is very
>likely much cheaper to just ship Duke an occasional truckfull of bottled
>water -- I mean data -- than to build a crosscountry pipeline just to
>put a high capacity spigot in a single room.
>It is also useful to consider how long it takes to FILL a terabyte RAID.
>Even at (say) 100 MB/sec it is still 10,000 seconds, or about three
>hours.  A petabyte would require 3000 hours (admittedly potentially in
>parallel).  That would be a goodly chunk of a year.  By the time
>bottlenecks like this are considered, the time and cost of overnight
>shipping a containerized PB across the country are relatively

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