Global Networks

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Global networks are the glue that holds together Scientific Research Communities around the world. Networks such as GÉANT (The Pan-European Education and Research Network), TEIN3 (The Trans-Eurasia Information Network) and the NKN (National Knowledge Network of India) are all key to this process.

The Pan-European Education and Research Network:  GÉANT

GÉANT is the third generation of the GÉANT network. Designed and built on behalf of the European consortium of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), with funding support from the European Commission as a part of its 7th Framework Programme, the GÉANT network provides a vital research infrastructure, as well as an advanced platform for information technology and telecommunications development.
GÉANT and the European NRENs exploit leading-edge switched and routed technologies, while constantly studying and testing new technical solutions and advanced services, thus paving the way for next generation, high performance, communication networks.

Work at the frontier of research increasingly depends on large scale databanks and massive processing power to deal with problems such as decoding genetic information, simulating climate change and energy demands, or predicting and managing the spread of epidemics. An extraordinary amount of data is collectively produced every month in a variety of scientific domains, and it is shared between researchers in different countries Europe and worldwide. GÉANT enable them to collaborate and share data in real time.

Serving users in 40 countries, through the European NRENs interconnected to the GÉANT backbone, and providing extensive links to other world, the GÉANT network lies at the heart of Global Research Networking.  Currently, GÉANT interconnects to the Mediterranean countries via EUMEDCONNECT2, the Balkans via SEEREN, Central Asia via CAREN, the Black Sea via BSI, Asia via TEIN3, Latin America via ALICE2, China via ORIENT, the US, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the UbuntuNet Alliance African countries via dedicated high speed links. A feasibility study is also underway for the R&E interconnection of sub-Saharan Africa.

Trans-Eurasia Information Network - TEIN3

The third generation of the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN3) provides a dedicated high-capacity Internet for research and education communities across Asia-Pacific. By linking national research networks, it connects regional researchers with their counterparts in Europe via GÉANT, providing the Asia-Pacific countries with a gateway for global research collaboration. India is at the heart of TEIN3 with a PoP at NKN, Mumbai, forming a vital link between Europe and Asia by connecting the GÉANT PoP in Madrid and the TEIN3 PoP in Singapore.


"TEIN3 provides the pan-Asian network bringing together the world's largest regional research and education community.  India is a natural gateway with Europe, and projects like EU-IndiaGrid are already stimulating new and innovative applications. Via TEIN3 we also see India playing an increasingly major role in Asian co-operative programmes." David West, TEIN3 Project Manager, DANTE

Citizens across Asia have felt the benefit of the improved connectivity as TEIN3 network applications have been developed through a number of scientific and educational projects. These benefits range from faster and more accurate typhoon and tsunami warning systems, post-earthquake relief aid, ground-breaking drug discovery research into killer diseases such as malaria and avian flu; and the development of resilient crops which can improve yields and sustain farmers’ livelihoods in the wake of climate change and expanding population.

“The connectivity provided by TEIN3 to India has opened the floodgate for immense opportunity to Indian scientists and researchers for collaborative research with their counterparts in Europe and other parts of the world. The TEIN3 network supports a wide range of academic and research projects with benefits for society at large. It will allow high-speed data transfer between Tier 2 centres in India from Tier 1 centres of the World Large Hadron Collider Grid (WLCG). In addition, for South Asian countries, it will provide high-speed transfer of data for environmental research programmes and disaster management. TEIN3 provides hospitals and schools in these countries with vital access to remote expertise and services through tele-medicine and e-learning initiatives.” Deepak Singh, Principle Project Coordinator, ERNET India


The National Knowledge Network of India

Background - One of the important recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) is to inter-connect all knowledge institutions through high speed data communication network. This encourages the sharing of knowledge, specialized resources and collaborative research.

Objectives - The objective of the National Knowledge Network is to bring together all the stakeholders in Science, Technology, Higher Education, Research and Development, GRID Computing, e-governance with speeds scalable eventually up to the order of 10s of gigabits per second coupled with extremely low latencies.

NKN will interconnect all the research, higher education and scientific institutions in the country, over a period of three years. The joint proposal for the establishment of NKN was initiated by the PSA’s Office and the National Knowledge Commission and then has been driven forward by the the Department of IT.

Implementation strategy and targets - The architecture of the NKN will be scalable and the network will consist of an ultra-high speed Core (multiples of 10Gbps and upwards). The Core shall be complemented with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. The participating institutions can connect to the NKN at speeds of 1 Gbps or to the distribution layer through a last mile connectivity bandwidth.

The NKN will provide nation-wide ultra high-speed backbone/data-network highway. Various other networks in the country can take advantage of this ultra high-speed backbone, with national and international reach to create independent and closed user groups.

The NKN will have about 25 core Point of Presence (PoPs) and 600 secondary PoPs. It will connect around 1500 Institutions. The physical infrastructure (setting up of core network) is expected to be completed in a span of 24 months.

NKN Features

  • High Capacity, Highly Scalable Backbone
  • Provide Quality of Service (QoS) and Security
  • Wide Geographical Coverage
  • Bandwidth from many NLD’s
  • Highly Reliable & Available by Design
  • Test beds ( for various implementation)
  • Dedicated and Owned.
  • Connectivity for International & other global R&D Networks

Major impact - NKN will enable scientists, researches and students from diverse spheres across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas. NKN will catalyze knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer between stakeholders seamlessly – that too across the nation and globally. NKN is expected to encourage a larger section of research and educational institutions to create intellectual property. NKN would enable use of specialized applications, which allow sharing of high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and very large databases.

Health, Education, Grid Computing, Agriculture and e-Governance are the main applications identified for implementation and delivery on NKN. Applications such as Countrywide Classrooms will address the issue of faculty shortage and ensure quality education delivery across the country. The crux of the success of the Knowledge Network is related to the education related applications, databases and delivery of services to the users on demand.

Current status - In the initial phase of NKN, 15 core locations and about 57 institutes covering leading national R&D labs and educational institutes, have been connected at varying bandwidths of 100 to 1000 Mb/s and 90 institutes are presently connected with a target of 550 to be met by the end of 2010.
In its final phase, around 5,000 leading national academic and research institutes are going to be connected via the NKN.  NKN with its multi-gigabit, low-latency, optical fibre based backbone is acting as national transport for all existing networks. The Indian National Grid Initiative GARUDA (GARUDA, 2010) is based on NKN and the two Indian WLCG sites are interconnected. NKN will provide transport to ERNET (ERNET, 2010) (the Indian National Research and Education Network) replacing its existing backbone. The main design consideration for NKN is to create an infrastructure that can scale and adapt to future requirement.


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