|dc.description.abstract||Research and Education (R&E) Networks have been the uplink for researchers, scientists, educators, and students around the world, sometimes just starting and in some case already for well over 25 years. The R&E Networks connect the users with each other, and with online resources, ranging from websites and FTP-servers to scientific instruments, cloud stores, supercomputers and other Research Infrastructures. And in this context, access to MOOCs from all over the world, is an important aspect as well.
Over the years, the R&E Networks have built and are continuing to build powerful network infrastructures within their services areas (e.g. SUNET in Sweden and AARNet in Australia), and jointly they have created powerful regional interconnects (e.g. GÉANT in Europe, the UbuntuNet Alliance in Southern and Eastern Africa, and NORDUnet in the Nordics). The interconnection between continents has lagged behind one generation of network architecture, until recently.
The intercontinental research networking infrastructure is now changing, as a global concerted effort is underway to bring sustainable intercontinental R&E networking on par with speeds and facilities of the national and regional R&E Networks. This will help users in R&E to perform their work better regardless of location or distance, on a global scale.
The Global Network Architecture (GNA) program is an international collaboration between national and regional R&E Networks, creating a blueprint to interconnect regions of the world with each other.
While the horizon of the GNA work, to move from blueprint to reality, is five to ten years, first implementations of what are known as a pathfinders for GNA went live in 2015: The Advanced North Atlantic (ANA) collaboration, that created a resilient ring around the North Atlantic Ocean consisting of three100 Gbit/s lambdas. This ring is now in full production, and has marked an important milestone: R&E Network users in North America and in Europe, for the first time in history, have been able to transport data at speeds that are also available to them within their own continent. Expanding the implementation of the architecture of the GNA, while bringing the lessons learned across the North Atlantic Ocean to the table, to other world regions such as Africa, South America, and the Far East, is now under way, with efforts as diverse as the creation of an Open Exchange Point in Cape Town, South Africa, the planning of an Open Exchange Points in Guam (South Pacific) and new and projected projects to add bandwidth to the global interconnect for R&E.
This talk will elaborate on the intercontinental R&E network infrastructures that are currently available, and will take a deep dive on the vision and ambition of the GNA effort, including the lessons learned in pathfinding, with a special focus on Africa and how the African R&E Network Community can participate and contribute to this effort||en_US