computer scientists from Caltech and the University of Victoria have
broken the world record for sustained, computer-to-computer transfer
over a network. Between the SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) convention in
Seattle and the University of Victoria Computer Centre, Canada — a
distance of 134 miles (217km) — a transfer rate of 186 gigabits per
second was achieved over a 100Gbps bidirectional fiber optic link;
98Gbps in one direction, 88Gbps in the other.
At first blush, when you remember that scientists have transferred
terabits per second over fiber optics, you might question the veracity
of this world record. In those cases, though, the transfers were done
over private networks under laboratory/testbed conditions — Caltech
and the University of Victoria set their virtual land speed record
over a standard, commercially-available 100Gbps link. Furthermore, the
scientists didn't simply shoot data down the pipe and into the digital
ether, which is relatively easy — there were computers on either end
of the link!