A large and complex project, GÉANT involves operational, research and development and marketing elements. It brings together over 400 participants from some 32 NRENs, TERENA, DANTE, and over 20 subcontractors and third parties, in a coherent framework of eleven project Activities. The clear and well-developed structure and management bodies introduced into the project are a significant factor in its ability to encourage and facilitate successful collaboration. The increased involvement of different NREN partners across the Activities has been a real boost to productivity.
An impressive Launch Event in Stockholm, Sweden in December 2009, inaugurated the third generation of the GÉANT network and project (officially known as GN3). Significant achievements were made across all Activities during the first year.
- 40 Gbps wavelength upgrades to parts of the backbone network and significant capacity upgrades and new interconnections peerings with Twaren (Taiwan), NASA and BSI, providing connectivity to GÉANT for AzRENA (Azerbaijan), GRENA (Georgia) and NAS RA (Armenia).
- A clear and sustained upward trend in GÉANT traffic also shows continued growth in the amount of traffic to/from the rest of the world.
- The GÉANT network has further extended its global reach to a total of 57 national networks and 47 countries beyond Europe.
- Re-procurement of existing connectivity in Europe was carried out in Malta, Israel, Montenegro and FYROM (Macedonia), with the tender currently ongoing for connectivity to Cyprus.
- A tender for a framework agreement for transatlantic circuits was also completed, ensuring that connectivity to the North American Research and Education community will be kept at competitive prices and can be achieved relatively swiftly.
- The NOC (Network Operations Centre) was moved in-house at the start of the project. This has resulted in significant cost savings, an increase in efficiency and a more responsive customer service especially in terms of flexibility with the newly developed services.
- One of the most significant achievements, expected to have a major impact in the development of services, has been the start of a proposed solution for a common GN3 network management architecture (NMA). It is an information model for the coordinated management of network infrastructure across domains as mapped from relevant standards in ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union – Telecom) and TMF (Telecom Management Forum). It defines a workable framework upon which services operated concurrently by several domains can be built, in order to operate seamlessly and reliably.
- Intensive research into the “future network” has focused on investigating carrier class transport network technologies, optical networking technologies, federated network architectures, and virtualisation technologies and frameworks.
- The GEANT “Green Team” have completed five GHG (green house gas) audits on GEANT and partner networks (NORDUnet, HEAnet, PSNC and NIIF) as part of the initiative’s goal of seeking to minimise the environmental impact of operating GEANT and the national networks.
- The addition of standardisation, security and best practise for software development, have all contributed to ensuring the integrity and robustness of the services developed.
- A much more user-oriented approach has been adopted in service development, with surveys and research into user requirements taking high priority to ensure users’ needs are met through the service design.
- A general architecture framework for multi-domain connectivity services was developed which will serve as a structure within which to develop future connectivity services which will span the GÉANT Service Area. In particular services like multi-domain provisioning of wavelengths and bandwidth on demand will benefit from the generic architecture framework by having a consolidated and systematic approach for service delivery and service level specification defined.
Support for Users
- Regular dialogue with new and existing user communities to understand their networking requirements and to help them use the network to their best advantage. Projects assisted include ESFRI projects covering research in disciplines such as health, arts and culture, the environment and bio-technology.
- Specific attention to the North American community through the DICE collaboration which has progressed into an operational relationship with service implementation as its goal, with a key focus currently on trans-Atlantic bandwidth-on-demand.
- ‘Campus Best Practice’ workshops on network monitoring and IP telephony have been held and several best practise documents produced on a range of topics such as mobility, LANs, security.