When the Large Hadron Collider went online in 2009, most scientists saw it as an unprecedented opportunity to conduct experiments involving the building blocks of the physical world. But to Stanislav Shalunov, a networking engineer, it looked like a whole new kind of Big Data problem.
A few years before the LHC went live, Shalunov worked on Internet 2, an experimental network that connects universities and research organizations. Given the amount of data the Collider would be spitting out — about 10 Gigabits per second, to 70 academic institutions — he knew that the LHC it was likely to clog up the Internet 2 network. So Shalunov developed a networking protocol designed to relieve the congestion that was sure to come. “This was an amount of traffic that neither the networks nor the transport protocols at the time were really prepared to cope with,” Shalunov remembers.
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