[ECAR 2004] ECAR in San Diego

I’m down in San Diego for the 2004 ECAR symposium. As usual, Richard Katz and his merry band have put together a very stimulating conference. This morning started off with a talk by Larry Smarr from UCSD. Larry’s been involved with many of the developments of modern information and networking technology over the last 20 … Continue reading “[ECAR 2004] ECAR in San Diego”

I’m down in San Diego for the 2004 ECAR symposium. As usual, Richard Katz and his merry band have put together a very stimulating conference.

This morning started off with a talk by Larry Smarr from UCSD. Larry’s been involved with many of the developments of modern information and networking technology over the last 20 or so years, so it’s always wise to listen to his perspective.

This time Larry was talking about the sea change in computing that is coming about due to the evolving ubiquitous availability of high capacity fiber linking researchers around the world. He noted that the development of storage and networking technology is outstripping the development of computing power. The growth of projects like National Lambda Rail point us to a future where it is perfectly possible for researchers to have dedicated fiber links running independently of other network traffic at very high speeds.

He pointed to projects like hurricane forcasting or online microscopy (150 megapixel images) presenting real needs for this kind of bandwidth – in projects like these, the lack of high capacity, low latency bandwidth is limiting the amount of work that can be accomplished.

Larry and his colleagues are working on a project called the Optiputer, which is a “is an envisioned infrastructure that will tightly couple computational resources over parallel optical networks using the IP communication mechanism.”.

Very interesting and powerful stuff.

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