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Force10 Networks Anchors High Density 10 Gigabit Ethernet Networks at iGrid 2005, Enabling Advanced Real-time Applications

San Diego and Amsterdam, September 29, 2005 - Scientists from the Netherlands established a new world record by generating the largest transatlantic real-time data stream to date for ultra-high-resolution visualization. The Dutch e-Science Support Center SARA Computing and Networking Services set the record at iGrid 2005, the biennial international network event Sept. 26-29 in San Diego, California.

This is a unique event with unique facilities and opportunities, said SARA Division Manager for High-Performance Networking Paul Wielinga. Our success could only be realized by making use of the combination of the fastest virtual graphic card, the fastest network, the fastest transatlantic connections, and the largest display.

The 2-D and 3-D data objects of Netherlands' scientists were rendered live on a powerful visualization cluster in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). The rendered images were transported as a pixel stream via optical lambda networks to San Diego, using a network bandwidth of 20 Gigabits per second (Gbps). In San Diego SARA was displaying the output on the EVL LambdaVision Display of 55 screens (11 horizontally x 5 vertically) resulting in a total resolution of 17,600 x 6,000 pixels (in total 105,600,000 pixels). Every frame of an image on the display was created out of 2.5 Gbits transported from Amsterdam to San Diego.

On the last day of demonstrations during iGrid2005, SARA streamed visualizations of various large data objects to the display, reaching peaks in network usage of 19.5 Gbps out of 20, with a sustained rate of 18 Gbps during the visualizations. This is a world record for bandwidth usage by one single application showing actual scientific content.

The infrastructure between Amsterdam and San Diego consisted of a 20 Gbps connection that had been set up in close cooperation with SURFnet, the Netherlands' National Research and Education Network (NREN). The connection between Amsterdam and Chicago was realized from the Amsterdam Lighthouse,- a joint research laboratory of SARA and the University of Amsterdam -, through NetherLight, the optical exchange for research networks, and its sister facility StarLight in Chicago. The University of Illinois at Chicago and the NRENs in the USA provided the connectivity between Chicago and San Diego. This technique is part of the OptIPuter, a U.S. National Science Foundation-funded project led by the University of California, San Diego and University of Illinois at Chicago, in which SARA actively participates.

OptIPuter is a very powerful distributed cyberinfrastructure to support data-intensive scientific research and collaboration. Network-intensive visualization techniques on all kinds of output systems, such as high-definition stereoscopic displays, ultra-high-resolution tiled displays and personal auto-stereoscopic displays, are an important field of interest for SARA. SARA has developed a new advanced system for scalable and distributed visualization of ultra-high-resolution 2-D and 3-D data objects. Within the framework of OptIPuter, SARA has contributed to the development of the Global Lambda Visualization Facility (GLVF) and Technology for Optical Pixel Streaming (TOPS), which are both related to the worldwide visualization facility that is being developed.

About SARA
SARA Computing and Networking Services is an advanced ICT service center that supplies - since more than 30 years - a complete package of high-performance computing, storage, visualization, networking, and infrastructure services. Among SARA's customers are the business community and scientific, educational, and government institutions. SARA is an independent organization with offices in Amsterdam and Almere, and collaborations with many partners.

The most eye-catching activities and facilities of SARA are the national Supercomputers, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), and the Virtual Reality facility, the CAVE(TM). Since the start of the SURFnet network in 1989, SARA is responsible for the operational management of this academic high-bandwidth network for Netherlands universities, research centers and educational institutions. An important addition to the available facilities is SARA's thorough expertise and the resulting consultancy and support activities. More information about SARA can be found at: www.sara.nl

About iGrid 2005
The International Grid ( iGrid) collaborative event showcases ongoing global collaborations in middleware development and applications research that require high-performance multi-gigabit networks. The iGrids are organized every two or three years by institutions, organizations, consortia and National Research & Education Networks who also participate in the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF). Overall planning responsibilities for iGrid 2005 are being handled by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego, in cooperation with the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory, SURFnet, University of Amsterdam, and CANARIE. For more information, see www.igrid2005.org.

For the Media:
For more information on SARA's challenge at iGrid2005, contact Paul Wielinga, wielinga @ sara.nl; or Bram Stolk, bram @ sara.nl of SARA Computing and Networking Services, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Related Links:
SARA www.sara.nl
iGrid2005: www.igrid2005.org
OptIPuter: www.optiputer.net
GLVF: www.evl.uic.edu/cavern/glvf/
TOPS: www.sara.nl/tops/