Dark fiber has helped hundreds of businesses, health care facilities and research institutions accomplish data transfer goals in a timely fashion unimagined just 20 years ago. Now Arizona State University joins the list of those that have greatly benefited from the use of dark fiber. In the case of this southwestern university and a genetics research institute 10 miles away, it means the difference between 7 days of data transfer using copper wire, and less than one hour using dark fiber.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute is host to a new supercomputer used for DNA simulations, which, on a typical DNA simulation produces about 7 TB worth of data. Using their current interconnect speed over the 10 mile run at approximately 100 Mbps, it takes seven days to transmit run data to the analysis location on campus.
Obsidian Strategics is being tapped to create the massively parallel fiber optics interconnect based on InfiniBand technology. When completed and the dark fiber illuminates, the new communications system will rival any other U.S. university, transmitting data at 17.8 Gbps over the full 10 miles – a speed about 192x faster than today's copper.
Once completed, the same 7 TB of data will be transmitted between TGen and ASU over parallel fiber in only 52.5 minutes. ASU and Obsidian will continue the expansion effort, joining forces with other universities to create a high-speed, multi-state network.
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