FedEx still way faster than Internet
In this day and age, we all thought that the best and fastest way to send digital information/data is thru the Internet. Snail mail is a thing of the past since we have emails. Print photos have been replaced by Flickr/Picasa. Newspapers have been substituted by blogs and news sites.
Still the internet has its speed limits and FedEx is still way faster with bulk transfers — say moving 120 Terabytes (TB).
Google’s initiative to transfer all the Hubble space telescope data is a good case study. The Hubble data takes up 120 terabyte (120,000,000,000,000 byte). How does Google transfer it? Not over the internet. Instead they send actual physical disk arrays via regular mail, something they have dubbed, for fun, FedExNet. This allows them to get the data within 24 hours.
To transfer the same amount over the internet in 24 hours, Google would have to be able to achieve transfer rates of more than 11 gigabit/s running constantly maxed out. On a regular 100 megabit connection, transferring 120 terabyte of data would take almost four months (111 days).
Sneakernet is a term used to describe the transfer of electronic information, especially computer files, by physically carrying removable media such as magnetic tape, floppy disks, compact discs, USB flash drives or external drives from one computer to another. Sneaker refers to the shoes of the person carrying the media. This is usually in lieu of transferring the information over a computer network.
Now that makes FedEx more than a hundred times faster than the Internet. :D