Superfast internet may replace world wide web

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Mon Apr 7 17:00:28 UTC 2008

> Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 20:21:26 +0530
> From: "Glen Kent" <glen.kent at>
> Sender: owner-nanog at
> says the solemn headline of Telegraph.
> Also related to this one, here:
> "Web could collapse as video demand soars"
> .. and we in Nanog are still discussing IPv6! ;-)

Sigh. Never let a clueless writer put up a story as technically complex
as this. He clearly does not know the difference between the web (which
WAS invented at CERN) and the Internet (which was not). His confusion on
this and other details leads to a story which has little or nothing to

1. The grid was NOT invented at CERN, although CERN/LHC people were

2. Aside from being the a huge physics experiment, it is also a huge
network experiment. We will be carrying many gigabits of data from CERN
to FermiLab and Brookhaven as well as from those facilities to physics
researcher all over the world. By 2011 we may be seeing close to 100
Gbps 24/7 for months at a time. And that is just data from CERN to the
US. They will be sending data to many other countries. (OK, there are
some short pauses for calibration.)

3. This will all be over the Internet, though much will utilize
dedicated lines purchased/leased just for this. But it's still TCP/IP
and UDP (mostly the former) and mostly using traditional P2P techniques
to get adequate performance over links with RTTs in excess of 200 ms.

It is true that the problems faced by CERN are similar to those faced by
CDNs streaming video, but it is different in that this data is NOT
streamed. You can't take the chance that the packet with the Higgs Boson
waving "hello" is dropped.

Since almost of the traffic is passing over dedicated links, congestion
due to aggregation, the big issue with streaming video, is simply not an
issue. We want to move as much data in a single "stream" as you can
convince TCP to allow.

So the things learned from the LHC network experiment may well help
improve the Internet and help with things like video distribution, the
grid is NOT going to replace the web, let alone the Internet.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751
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