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Geant Network

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European international data network service

Communication between all European Research and Education networks is on the road to being firmly established through the GEANT project, which began in November 2000.

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The aim of GEANT is to provide a European multi-gigabit computer interconnection between National Research and Education Networks, NRENS. Developed as an extension of TEN-155, when completed, it will connect over 30 NRENs in total. GEANT link speeds range from 155Mbit/s on the slowest spur links to 10Gbit/s in the core optical fibre network. Through the project, an operational premium IP data service and quality of service (QoS) was defined, validated, and implemented. Subsequently, a flexible automated provisioning system was designed and developed using innovative web-based technologies. The service was tested by the Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe, DANTE, and has already been made available to all primary users. The system was implemented in production in March 2004, allowing a 2Mbps Premium IP reservation to be made between DFN and GRNet, respectively, the German and Greek National Research and Education Networks. This opens the door for other reservations. Users of Specific NRENs would supply technical and administrative details of the required Premium IP reservation on a web interface. The system then checks the path, resource availability, and gives instant confirmation to the user. GEANT has been developed to use IPv6, the new generation Internet Protocols. IPv6 increases the address space from 32 to 128bits, providing for a virtually unlimited number of networks and systems. It also supports quality of service (QoS) parameters for real-time audio and video. IPv6 is designed to fix the shortcomings of IPv4, such as data security and maximum number of user addresses. The full implementation of IPv6 on the GEANT backbone was completed in July 2003. Other networks such as 6NET and CERN also connect via IPv6. Two commercial IPv6 peerings with telecommunication service providers Telia and Global Crossing were also established. This pan European Network will enable rapid, efficient communication between research networks. With further expansion and development, this will result in unhindered information exchange, aiding professionals in all fields to continue their vital research.

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