Looking to see what the next generation of the internet’s backbone might look like?  Try checking out the Large Hadron Collider, which “requires large data flows between specific sites – 2-hour periods with 8 gig flow across the network”.  Academic and institutional networks have always been at the forefront of speed and the average enthusiast may start to see the benefits of the work they have pioneered.  Read what Ars Technica thinks we could be seeing soon, and just how the universities manage such high speeds on the existing internet infrastructure.

“As we recently reported, the Internet’s backbone should be able to scale to handle the sheer volume of traffic that it’s expected to face in the foreseeable future. But a number of factors complicate any analysis based on the simple volume figures. Many services, such as VoIP and streaming video, create expectations of guaranteed bandwidth that may be tough to maintain in the face of vast volumes of spam and P2P traffic; everything may get there, but not necessarily when we’d like it to. Meanwhile, problems with the “last mile” networks can obscure the capacity of the network backbone.

The academic world has faced similar issues for a while, and will soon be facing a flood of data from the biggest news in physics, the activation of the Large Hadron Collider. The data gathered at the LHC, located at CERN outside of Geneva, will be distributed to a worldwide grid of computer clusters for analysis, which will require sustained transfers well in excess of 10 Gigabits per second. To get a sense of how the academic world is solving its networking needs and what that might mean for the future of general networking, we spoke with executives at Internet2 and the European network provider DANTE.”

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