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Vol. 2 No. 10 December 2003

Is there a need for more speed?

Navy wants 40Gb/s--soon Don't try to tell Hank Dardy that 4Gb/s and 10Gb/s Fibre Channel (FC) constitute overkill. The U.S. Navy's chief scientist for advanced computing says current-generation 2Gb/s FC isn't fast enough to support the advanced visualization applications he's building today. He needs 10Gb/s bandwidth now, and he can see a need for 40Gb/s in the not-too-distant future. He believes the best bet for delivering the low-cost interconnect bandwidth he needs may turn out to be InfiniBand, not FC. Dardy is heading up a Navy effort, known internally as .Geo, that involves prototyping and building a large visualization infrastructure and applications for the Department of Defense and scientific researchers. Rather than replicating the large image files that feed the visualization application, Dardy's team is building a system that can access them remotely via a distributed file system, then stream them directly over a high-bandwidth WAN. "We don't have a copy of everything here, but we have active agents out on the ...

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