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186Gbps wide area network created by physicists at SuperComputing 2011

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Researchers from around the world collaborated on the creation of a 186Gbps connection between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia at this year's SuperComputing conference.

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At the SuperComputing 2011 conference in Seattle, CERN collaborated with a number of universities to develop an internet link at speeds nearing the limit of current technology. Using a pre-existing 100Gbps, 132-mile (212km) long fiber optic circuit between the Washington Convention Center and the University of Victoria, British Columbia, the team transferred data at 186Gbps (98Gbps upstream, 88Gbps down), beating the record of 119Gbps they set back in 2009. This performance was gained through highly tuned servers, with data speeds so fast that the server's SSDs struggled to keep up and experienced overwrite errors. The ultimate goal is to improve access speeds to the data being generated by the Large Hadron Collider, with scientists worldwide using the information gathered on the behavior of atoms as they are destroyed to better understand the universe. We're sure that some gamers see the possibilities for these networks outside of science, too.