Broadband/Connectivity News

KAUST and Mobily tie to upgrade internet connectivity

While multiple 100 Gbps links for research and education institutions are common in most other parts of the world, the high-speed connections at KAUST are a first in the Middle East.

KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) has launched a new 400 Gbps international connectivity upgrading from the previous 10 Gbps connection speed to help researchers collaborate with their international peers at super-fast speeds. The Saudi telecommunications services company Mobily, has signed a long term contract to supply the institution with four 100 Gbps dedicated circuits and submarine optical fiber network cables, enabling KAUST to build direct connections into the SURF, NORDUnet, and GEANT research and education networks in Europe, and the SingAREN network in Singapore.

The new capacity, comprising 200 Gbps from KAUST to Amsterdam and 200 Gbps to Singapore, connects it to major research and education network hubs in Europe and East Asia. These connections will provide researchers with fast, efficient data transmission and reliable access to scientific resources and cloud service providers anywhere on the planet.

The upgraded links will enable high-performance science applications, including high-volume bulk data transfer, remote experiment control and data visualisation. With this capability, a KAUST researcher will be able to collaborate with peers anywhere on earth without geographical limitations. Leveraging this capacity will allow researchers in realising the full potential of KAUST’s state-of-the-art, data processing resources, such as the supercomputer Shaheen II.

Before the upgrade, it could take more than 24 hours to transfer a 100 Terabyte data set. With the new 400 Gbps bandwidth capacity, this would take only 37 minutes. For example, all nine Blu-ray disks of Star Wars: The Complete Saga could transfer from KAUST to a university in California in approximately 10 seconds.

KAUST CIO Jason Roos said: “This new capability will transform the scientific landscape for KAUST by providing a technological ecosystem that will truly enable researchers to easily collaborate with peers located at any the top tier research institutes across the globe.”