New network link will boost Alberta’s big data efforts

Cybera's network connection between Calgary and Edmonton is now 7,000 times faster than average internet speeds in Canada, thanks to a new network link installed between the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. The connection capacity between these two organizations is now 250 Gbps, doubling what was previously achieved. This new infrastructure will make it possible to scale up to speeds of terabits-per-second and beyond, a vital achievement for research into the growing fields of big data and the Internet of Things.

The upgraded connection is through CyberaNet, Alberta’s Research and Education Network. It connects to the national high-speed CANARIE network, which in turn links to over 100 research networks around the world. The new link, which was funded by CANARIE and Cybera, will also help staff and students at post-secondary and K-12 institutions across the province to collaborate more effectively using shared services and computing resources.

"This link is the next step in reaching speeds of terabits-per-second, which is what universities will require in the next 10 years to keep up with growing big data demands," says Jean-Francois Amiot, Network and Operations Director at Cybera.

"CANARIE is excited to support joint projects with our regional network partners, such as Cybera, that enable Canadians to participate in data-intensive national and global research and innovation projects," says Mark Wolff, Chief Technology Officer at CANARIE. 

Such projects include the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s biggest telescope which, when completed, will transmit 10 times the globe’s total internet traffic every day. The University of Calgary is creating part of the digital infrastructure needed to address the SKA’s data-intensive needs.

Expanding the research network will also be crucial for other research projects at the Universities, such as those focusing on the Internet of Things. This technological revolution is expected to link 50 billion devices to the internet by 2020, which will require a much more capable network infrastructure.

Amiot also notes that, unlike many commercial network providers, Cybera has rules in place to limit the amount of congestion on its network, giving users a reliably fast connection to move big data.

For more information on CyberaNet, visit the company’s network information page.


Backgrounder

About Cybera

Cybera is a not-for-profit technology-neutral organization responsible for accelerating technology adoption in Alberta. Its core role is to oversee the development and operations of Alberta’s cyberinfrastructure — the advanced system of networks and computers that keeps government, educational institutions, not-for-profits, business incubators and entrepreneurs at the forefront of technological change.