In a contest sponsored by the Internet2 Community, Microsoft Windows 2000 set a new Internet performance record using off-the-shelf Dell and Compaq workstations, sustaining a data throughput rate of 831 Mbps over a distance of 5626 kilometers. Microsoft says that this is the equivalent of transferring all of the music on a 640 MB music CD from one end of the United States to the other in under 6 seconds. The record was set during the latest Internet2 Speed Awards, which is held twice yearly, measuring overall bandwidth used and the distance traveled, using standard TCP/IP protocols. Microsoft's team transmitted 8.4 GB of data from a desktop computer in Redmond to another desktop machine in Arlington, Virginia in only 82 seconds. The same transmission would take 13 hours on a 1.5 MB DSL connection or 15 days on a 56Kbps modem.
"The limits on today's Internet are no longer determined by raw bandwidth, but rather by how well the different network components work together," said Microsoft senior VP Brian Valentine, widely viewed as the savior of Windows 2000, the product he commandeered in late 1999. "The Internet2 Land Speed Record competition has helped us enable Windows 2000 to work well with the network components of the Internet today and tomorrow to deliver unprecedented speed and performance for customers out of the box."
The Internet2 Community is a consortium comprised of over 170 universities and industry and government leaders, which is working to develop and deploy a next-generation high-speed Internet.
"This is an amazing accomplishment," said University of Washington's Ed Lazowska. "As richer services such as CD-quality sound, video teleconferencing, and HDTV-quality video become more widely used over the Internet, users will need a platform capable of sustaining high network throughput over long distances. Microsoft, through Windows 2000, puts this amazing capability in the hands of hundreds of millions of consumers.