Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Truckin' Down the Information Superhighway

Last week, I was talking with a friend from Sun who is involved with Sun's containerized data centers. He mentioned that since they helped the Internet Archive put 3.2 petabytes of storage in a shipping container, they figured they could put the container on a truck, take 7 days to ship the container across country, and still average >40 Gbps over that 7 day period!

Coincidentally, two days later Amazon introduced Amazon Web Services Import/Export with a blog that starts off with the following colorful quote attributed to Andy Tanenbaum:
Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

Amazon Web Services Import/Export allows people to send USB or eSATA hard drives/media to Amazon for data sets that are impractical to send over available communications links.

It turns out that the bulk version of sneakernet may be the most expeditious way to move data. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Note: Revised title on 5/29/09.

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