• Scott Millar

The Wonderful World of Research Networks

A network for researchers and educators to move massive amounts of data quickly, securely and affordably. I was pleasantly fascinated talking to the team from aarnet.

Did you know that there is a seperate, secure network just for universities and researchers to exchange research? Neither did I!

I had the pleasure of running into some gentlemen from aarnet this evening as they are a sponsor of the festival and their story was one that really surprised me.

What is aarnet?

aarnet is a network that provides high speed connections between universities and researchers that is up to 1,000 times faster than the average internet connection. 

They are Australia’s only dedicated national and international network for research, education and training with their network spanning from Perth to Hobart, Cairns and Darwin with dedicated links to North America and Asia. 

Why is this needed?

Researchers are moving so much data that standard internet connections are too slow, not secure and also would be incredibly expensive. Aarnet is able to offer solutions for researchers that would otherwise have to pay companies like Telstra millions for a slower solution.

Cool points and additions:

Have you every heard of a Petabyte? Well I sure hadn’t before tonight. 

Apparently a Petabyte is pretty common in the research field as people are just having to move that much data. 

Essentially a Petabyte is equal to 1,024 Terabytes of data (which is a lot!) and would be equal to 745 million floppy disks or 1.5 million CD-ROM discs! 

This much data is huge and takes days, if not weeks to transfer and it is not uncommon for researchers to get on a plane with a suitcase full of hard drives and physically transport the data rather than transferring it.

You can find out more about aarnet here: www.aarnet.edu.au