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With speeds of 100 GIGAbits/sec that’s up to ‘10,000 times as fast as typical household Internet’ UAB will have the fastest internet among universities in Alabama. The new $2.5 M investment in internet connectivity will be available for faculty, staff, students and guests.
David Crossman, Ph.D., director of Bioinformatics in the UAB Heflin Center for Genomic Science Core Laboratories, says this upgrade is significant for researchers, clinicians and patients. Recently, it took UAB faculty more than a month to process and analyze a genomics package. With UAB’s new capabilities, those same results are possible in a matter of days.
“For a patient waiting to find out if he or she has a genetic disorder, three to four weeks is an eternity,” Crossman said. “Access to this kind of bandwidth and computing power will accelerate patient care as well as research that leads to new treatments and cures.”
Crossman compares former speeds used to transfer genomic packages to a drinking straw.
“The 100 meg speeds we used to have were like a straw,” Crossman said. “Then we upgraded to 1 gig, which seemed more like a garden hose. Going to 10 gigs felt like we upgraded to a firehose. Now, with 100 gigs, we have a water main. We can deliver results exponentially faster.”
UAB is also now the only Alabama university with an Akamai switch. Akamai is the standard for internet caching all over the world, with 135,000 servers deployed in 2,200 locations. The Akamai switch brings internet content locally to the UAB campus for much faster access by users all while preserving valuable internet capacity. To put the significance of UAB’s having an Akamai switch in perspective, there are only two Akamai switches in the state of Alabama.