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GN4-2 Research and Education Networking - GÉANT

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - GN4-2 (GN4-2 Research and Education Networking - GÉANT)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-01-31

GÉANT, the pan-European communications infrastructure serving Europe’s research and education (R&E) community, delivers advanced multi-domain services and facilitates joint-research activity that drives innovation. Together with Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), the GÉANT network reaches over 50 million users in 10,000 institutions. The GN4 Phase 2 (GN4-2) project maintains, operates and enhances a set of high-performance production networking services while still achieving economies on the costs of the backbone network. The reliable, secure and state-of-the-art network services offered to researchers and other network users across Europe are exceptional due to the efforts made to ensure their relevance.
The GÉANT project is a core, fundamental element of the European e-infrastructure. Through its connectivity, collaboration and identity services, GÉANT, together with its NREN partners, provides users with highly reliable, unconstrained access to communication, computing, analysis, storage, applications and other resources, whenever and wherever needed. GN4-2:

• Maintained operational excellence and continued sustainable delivery of innovative services
• Increased flexibility and delivered cost efficiencies
− Resources redeployed to meet user needs
• Delivered innovation in network, services, tools and procurement to enable and enhance the capability of research and education (x2.5 data growth over duration of GN4-2)
− Network services and other service take-up greatly exceeded expectations
• Developed and improved services and tools to enable and enhance the capability of research and education
− eduGAIN and eduroam (21% and 16% year-on-year authentication increase)
− 34 NRENs supported with their cloud efforts; 294 institutions in 18 countries are using the IaaS offerings
• Increased collaboration with its key stakeholders
− Stronger relationships and engagement across EOSC and EuroHPC
• Increased external engagements and partnerships with other e-infras, industry (network evolution), and users
− Project participants attended over 130 conferences, with GÉANT leading 5 major conferences, 42 workshops and over 300 other events
− Global impact and leadership (50% growth in global traffic)
• Leadership as the hub of R&E networking; ensuring future investment and sustainability of network infrastructure
1/NA1 Management provided a coherent management framework, enabling GN4-2 to deliver results efficiently and effectively, applying quality control, and optimising costs, time and effort. 1/NA1 also covered the project’s planning, organisation and staffing, and directed its execution.
2/NA2 provided a professional, integrated marketing communications and events service to the project for outreach and promotion at European, international and national level. It also supported other Activities and project partners in their own communications with project stakeholders and partners.
3/NA3 provided the interface between GÉANT and the communities the GN4-2 project serves. It provided account management to ensure NRENs and users get the most from GÉANT services, and interfaces with global NRENs to enable international collaborations. NA3 managed the relationship with international user groups and parallel e-infrastructure projects, and aligned GÉANT’s service portfolio with NREN offerings and other initiatives to provide a more unified user experience.
4/SA1 operated the GÉANT backbone network and provided its optimisation in terms of cost and complementarity with the requirements of each NREN. SA1 worked with JRA1 and industry to investigate future networking technologies and different potential network architectures. Five regional connectivity studies were completed and fed into a high-level plan for connectivity procurement across Europe.
5/SA2 provided the operation and delivery of Trust and Identity (T&I) and multi-domain services and products. It defined the processes and stages to be followed for the transition into production of services and any subsequent enhancements, ensuring that services in production are of acceptable quality that they are operated efficiently with correct procedures and processes in place, and that all relevant documentation is available.
6/SA3 provided core underlying support services such as the GÉANT Operations Centre (GOC), Procurement and Service Assurance. It also provided support for servers and systems in the backbone, and the performance management and verification work of eduPERT. SA3 delivered a central point of first-level support to GÉANT services, managed GÉANT procurement and suppliers, ensured GÉANT services were fit for purpose and secured GÉANT infrastructure and services.
7/JRA1 evolved the capabilities of the network infrastructure and delivered production-level solutions to drive the next-generation service and operational capabilities. This included the evolution of the shared optical infrastructure, as well as the delivery of advanced functionalities based on software-defined networking (SDN), while improving cost-effectiveness.
8/JRA2 Network Services Development delivered enterprise quality services and tools for use within the GÉANT project and community.
9/JRA3 developed, enhanced and expanded the GÉANT Trust and Identity service portfolio. JRA3 designed, piloted and matured platform-driven innovation and enhancements for trust and identity services including eduGAIN, Federation as a Service (FaaS), and eduroam and federated identity services.
10/JRA4 supported NRENs’ delivery of application services to their communities to help R&E users with their computation and communication needs and allow them to collaborate across different organisations and countries, through services that are safe, easy to use, accessible, affordable and interoperable.
The GÉANT infrastructure is at the forefront of state-of-the-art research networking, and provides access to its infrastructure to the NRENs and through them to reach more than 50 million research and education users. The engineering principles are based on the highest capacity in optical fibres and on advanced multi-domain services, including authentication and authorisation. The infrastructure is capable of providing high-quality services, and at the same time hosting innovative research. The core backbone is capable of multiple 100Gbps over each fibre link, and Terabit connectivity can be achieved by a single node. The technical achievements are complemented by advanced service development, constant effort for reducing the digital divide and worldwide collaboration and coordination activities. The GÉANT network peers with similar infrastructure at the continent level, such as Internet2 and ESnet in the USA, providing a seamless service to users, worldwide.