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article imageFedEx still faster than the internet

By Chris V. Thangham     May 20, 2007 in Internet
To send data FedEx is faster than the regular internet.
When you need to transfer very large amounts of data over the internet, sooner or later you will hit a limit where it will actually be faster to send that data on disks over regular mail (often called sneakernet).
What is the fastest way of sending 1 Terabyte (1,000,000,000,000 bytes)? FedEx is faster than the Internet. Current internet transfer rates are ok if one is sending smaller amount of data, but when one tries to send a bigger file with more than 1 Terabyte, then the Internet takes too much time because of slower bandwidth connection speed.
Suppose if one wants to sends one Terabyte of data between two points offering 100 megabit connection, then it will allow a theoretical transfer rate of 45 gigabytes in one hour. It will take about 24 hours to send one Terabyte of data. If the file size is larger than this, then it will consume more hours to send the data, in that case sending via FedEx is a better option via over-night delivery.
Google does the same by sending large sets of data via overnight delivery. They have started an initiative by which they store large amounts of data for scientists, and if someone needs it they will ship them for free. You can read it here.
The Hubble data is one example which Google stores it in their servers and it takes up to 120 Terabytes. If someone needs that information, all they have to do is contact Google, who will send the data disk arrays via regular mail (Google calls FedExNet for fun) and will ship it within 24 hours.
If Google tries to send it via the Internet in 24 hours, it needs to have a transfer rate more than 11 gigabit/seconds, which is impossible right now. On a regular 100 megabit connection, it takes nearly four months to send 120 terabytes of data. So FedEx would be the ideal choice for Google or for anyone who wants to send large sets of data.
Researchers are working to improve the internet connection speed, but are going to take a long time before the Internet transfer speed is faster than FedEx. Till then we have to rely on the reliable FedEx or other mail services for sending this data.
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