Is it true that NASA internet speed is 91 Gbps?

NASA internet speed

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Do you believe NASA internet speed is 91 Gbps? The conventional internet is not powerful and fast enough, or at least it is not advisable to run the risk-based business. Hence institutions like NASA have their own super-internet.

It is a specific and close network for researchers worldwide, although founded by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

An exclusive network that is not the first one that exists for this purpose.

But that reached the record transmission speed of 91 gigabits per second (in its date).

More than 20,000 kilometers of fiber optic for research

The network in question is called ESnet.

An acronym for Energy Sciences Network, and managed by the staff of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

As described on its website, ESnet serves more than 40 research centers.

It includes all supercomputers and scientific instruments throughout the US national laboratory system.

As we said in the introduction, it is a network restricted to this area and is not publicly accessible.

But this does not mean that its scope is within US borders within.

The network is made up of more than 20,000 kilometers of fiber optics and connects with 140 other commercial and research networks around the world.

ESnet servers and traffic map NASA internet
ESnet servers and traffic map. It is a real-time map that you can see on the web of the network.

And as we also commented, scientific matters have a weight in the broadest sense of expression.

Works of great value such as the Human Genome Project or the research carried out in the Large Hadron Collider-CERN generate a colossal volume of data.

Information flows from one laboratory to another is necessary at high speed.

That’s the main purpose of NASA internet speed to be higher.

Sending equivalent volumes to those of a hard disk like who sends a standard mail with its 25 MB limit.

ESnet traffic has increased an average of 10 times every four years

In fact, ESnet traffic has increased an average of 10 times every four years since it exists (in 1986).

It is an indicator that the network has to get update with such to adapt to the needs.

The current one is the fifth generation of ESnet, active since November 2012.

Developed from an Alcatel-Lucent 7750 router and exceeding 44 times the previous capacity, according to the DOE.

What happens with NASA internet speed?

The US space agency is part of the organizations that use this network.

In November 2013 they managed to transfer at 91 gigabits per second between the Goddard Center and the SC13 supercomputer in Denver.

This breaks speed records (later surpassed by Alcatel-Lucent and BT, with 1.4 terabits/second).

It is not the 91 gigabytes per second that got to be misunderstood.

Due to the confusion between byte and bit, being 1 gigabyte equivalent to 8 gigabits.

NASA internet speed is 91 Gbps (Gigabits per second) not 91  GB/s.

In addition, the theory is that ESnet supports transfers at 100 gigabits/second.

But in practice, the transfers are lower due to distance.

But still, the network is currently in operation.

Which consulted in real-time, with speeds around 70 gigabits / second and higher intensity peaks.

Practically that’ the NASA internet speed!

Total traffic graph
Total traffic graph during the last 24 hours. It is a real-time chart that you can check on the web of the network.

What we see active are the OSCARS ( On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System ) and LHCONE (CERN) circuits.

They are systems designed for a low number of large transfers.

Almost the opposite of what happens with commercial networks.

All roads lead to increase petabytes for NASA internet speed

The great-great-grandmother of ESnet was ARPAnet.

The network of the United States Department of Defense, whose projects we have spoken here on occasion when there is a part of technological innovation.

Subsequently, another specific network, the Magnetic Fusion Energy Network (in 1976), developed to connect the current Energy Scientific Research Computing Center with other laboratories.

Later (in 1980) the High Energy Physics Network added to connect researchers in particle physics in the country.

But over time they saw that there was no point in creating and maintaining several networks for the same purpose.

Finally led them to join the ESnet.

ESnet traffic history graph. Internet speed (Source ESnet ) NASA
ESnet traffic history graph. (Source ESnet)

It is interesting to see how the network traffic has been increasing since it exists (although the graph shows it from approximately 1990).

The DOE estimated that by 2016, the network would have to load with 100 petabytes of data per month supporting the NASA internet speed.

According to this graph they have not yet exceeded 70.

But at the rate, it will not be surprising that the figure exceeded in less than two years.

So we will see if they again beat another speed record.

Meanwhile, it is comforting to know that at least part of the researchers do not see their work alibis by the networks.

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