Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Grid . . .

CERN is working on faster internet – The Grid. It has been on the news a lot lately so I'm not breaking any news here but I do want to cover a few thoughts I have about it.

It is supposedly 10,000 times faster than the "typical broadband connection". Wow. Imagine being able to download a full HD movie in just 8 seconds.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the real world - from what I understand it has to be a fiber connection from end-point to end-point. We live in a copper infrastructure world at the end-points. The only fiber on the network I manage is what we use to connect our campus buildings together. My T1 connections (we have 4) arrive on copper and our cable modem (for the IT team to use for testing) also arrives on copper. I can't see wide scale deployment until they can figure out how to maintain those speeds through media convertors to copper. Maybe it will always just be a backbone product - but what fun will that be for an end-user?

I'm not even going to address that the current trend is towards wireless . . . how in the world are they going to convince the huddled masses to return to a wired (read fiber) world where they are once again connected.

Another thing they'll have to solve is storage - there isn't a hard drive made that is capable of writing that much data to itself at those speeds. Maybe the
solid state hard drives will be mainstream by then and suitable hard drive replacements.

At least they came up with a cooler sounding name for it this time.

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