Adapted from a WestGrid news update
Over the course of a year, WestGrid has transferred more than 4 PB of research data across Cybera and CANARIE's advanced networks in Western Canada. That amounts to nearly 80 million four-drawer filing cabinets of text, travelling between computing clusters and data storage facilities at WestGrid partner institutions across four provinces.
"We're seeing researchers in a variety of disciplines investigating challenges and questions that result in larger, more complex datasets. As they look to WestGrid for support in processing, analyzing and storing that data, we're going to see our network usage continue to grow," said Patrick Mann, WestGrid's Manager of Technical Operations. "This speaks to the important role the network and our network partners play in WestGrid's support of world-class research. The backbone network infrastructure provided by Cybera, CANARIE and our other regional network partners is essential to our services."
Since last June, Cybera has been monitoring WestGrid traffic passing through its Point of Presence (POP) hubs at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. From June 2012 to June 2013, 4.07 PB of WestGrid user data was moved over Cybera's Alberta network.
"WestGrid data represents almost 60% of the traffic travelling across our network," said Jean-Francois Amiot, Network and Operations Director at Cybera. "This is the first time we've been able to monitor, filter and analyze the traffic patterns for WestGrid specifically over the course of a year. Moving forward, this will help us identify traffic patterns and work to improve overall network performance in response to WestGrid's users' needs."
Cybera's network capabilities received an extra performance boost last year when CANARIE completed an extension of its Western Canadian ROADM Network. The network is a 1,500 km multi-wavelength optical network between Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops and Calgary, with a side branch from Kamloops to Kelowna. The new 100Gbps capable segment between Calgary and Edmonton, completed in March 2012, offers a significant bandwidth boost from 1GE connection that was previously in place.
"We are just starting to benefit from this new capacity in Alberta," said Amiot. "Soon WestGrid will have a 10GE connection to Edmonton, enabling bigger and faster data transfers."
Many of WestGrid's users rely on these kinds of high-speed networks to support their project's use of WestGrid computing or data storage resources. For example, the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR) project used the networks to transfer nearly 300 terabytes of astronomical research data from the National Research Council's Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics' (NRC-HIA) Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) in Victoria, BC, to WestGrid / Compute Canada storage facilities at the University of Saskatchewan. The backup was done to reduce the risk of a loss of data due to a possible earthquake or other disaster in British Columbia.
For more information on WestGrid's high-speed network partners, visit its Networks page.