New resources for network upgrades are now available for U-M researchers, including in the Medical School, for whom data transfer speeds have become a bottleneck to scientific progress. Network connections from individual laboratories and offices to the University network backbone can be upgraded to up to 40 gigabits per second (Gbps).

The U-M network backbone and Internet operate at 100 Gbps, and most academic research buildings are connected at 10 Gbps. But networks within some campus buildings are only capable of significantly slower data transfer speeds. This new investment in network connections to research labs and offices in such buildings promises to help accelerate data-intensive investigation, an indispensable part of research across an increasing number of disciplines.

U-M’s Information Technology Council approved a $1 million budget request for the program. The goal is to convert network performance for as many as 200 researchers on campus to either 10Gbps or 40Gbps connections.

Such upgrades could significantly reduce the amount of time needed to transfer data to Flux, U-M’s shared high performance computing cluster, or to colleagues at other institutions. For example, transferring a 1 terabyte (TB) data set to Flux would take about 8 hours over a 1Gpbs network, but only 1 hour using a 10 Gpbs connection.

Network upgrades could also improve researchers’ ability to remotely back up important data sets, to transfer data to internal and external collaborators, and to manage and analyze sensitive data.

To request assistance under the program, please fill out this questionnaire as completely as possible (U-M login required).