FasterData Site Offers Tips for Making Data Transfer Easy

December 11, 2007

 ESnet has launched a new web site aimed at providing users tips and tools on ensuring a trouble-free transfer of large amounts of data over scientific networks.

The site, at, is a handy, step-by-step guide on how to configure computers to optimize file transfer speed, select the proper software and monitor the data movement. Brian Tierney of ESnet developed the site in response to feedback from researchers looking for instructions on setting up their systems before sending the data that often travel across domains and networks managed by different operators before reaching their destinations.

“After talking to several researchers, we learned that most scientists have no idea how fast data transfers across ESnet can be,” Tierney said. “But it’s important to use the right tools and to do some tuning of the end hosts. This new web site is part of an education campaign to make users aware of these tools and techniques.”

Thanks to more powerful computers and sophisticated software, scientists are generating a growing amount of data to accelerate their research. ESnet, in collaborating with operators of other science networks around the world, has continuously upgraded its network with more bandwidths and new services.

In fact, ESnet has just deployed a national ring of 10 Gbps circuits for their IP and Science Data  networks, part of a long-term project called ESnet4 that will boost ESnet’s backbone capability to more than 200 Gbps in five years.

ESnet also hosts workshops for researchers from science programs within the DOE Office of Science in order to get feedback about the scientists’ networking needs. It held two such workshops for researchers in the Basic Energy Sciences and Biological and Environmental Research program offices this summer.

In the workshops, participants talked about how they use the science network, problems they encounter and the resources they need. Results from the discussions will be part of the final reports submitted to DOE program managers and form the basis for planning network upgrades in the future.

            The idea to develop a user-friendly web site came from the workshops. The web site outlines the common problems that can cripple efforts to move a large amount of data across the network. The site illustrates what steps scientists can take to properly set up their computers, use the right software and accurately gauge the network’s performance.

The web site also offers additional information on trouble-shooting tools and getting help from ESnet staff.

Tierney intends to add more materials to the site and welcomes feedback. Check out the new site at