Researchers Use Xserves to Build a 'HugeTube'

Researchers at Purdue University have used six Apple Xserve RAIDs to build what they call a "HugeTube," an uncompressed video stream that hit a peak transfer rate of 8.4Gps, or the equivalent of 12 DVD movies sent at the same time, according to InformationWeek. The video was a 10GB, two-minute scientific animation of a bacteriumis cell structure rendered at 4096 x 3072 pixels.

The team at Purdueis Envision Center spent less than US$100,000 on its setup, which connected the six Xserve RAIDs to six dual Opteron servers via Apple FibreChannel cards. The video requires a 12-tile display, each run by a Windows computer with an Nvidia Quadro FX 4500G video card. The video was streamed during the High Performance Computing Bandwidth Challenge held during the recent SC06 Conference, as part of the exploration for a 10-gigabit network.

Envision Center associate director Laura Arns commented: "At the moment, that amount of bandwidth is more than what you could get for your home. But in the future, it could be a possibility [for consumers]."