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| Published 3. 11. 2010. 10:46 | RSS

Ten years of GÉANT network

GÉANT is a fast European communication network dedicated to research and education, and this week it celebrates the tenth anniversary of its innovative and successful work. Since it was launched in November 2000, GÉANT transformed European research by offering a dedicated network for fast data transfer and enabling cooperation between researchers on globally beneficial key projects.

Researchers need a possibility of joint international cooperation and safe exchange of huge amounts of data in real time – however, realisation of a reliable and consistent cooperation at this level can best be achieved through the Internet network independent of commercial Internet transport. As one of the most advanced and most capacitive global networks, GÉANT was created so as to provide options and services for fulfilment of this growing need.

Advantages of GÉANT are comprehensive and far-reaching. Just as the researchers who rely on it, GÉANT supports goals of the European Union, helps its citizens, helps communities around the world through various projects, for example by warning them about catastrophes and by using telemedicine, and it encourages innovations within the scope of technological industry. The projects which rely on GÉANT include the Large Hadron Collider, forecasting typhoons on Philippines, cooperation of French and Tunisian doctors in treatment of epilepsy, and ASTRA project which deals with recreating the sounds of ancient musical instruments.

By connecting European national research networks through 50,000 km long data highway, GÉANT currently has 40 millions of users in 40 European countries, with additional 45 millions of users through interfaces with nine other regional networks. It should be mentioned that CARNet network is connected to the Internet through GÉANT, which was built and managed by the international organization DANTE.

Furthermore, DANTE is a non-profit organisation which coordinates major projects co-financed by the European Commission and functions in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in planning and construction of advanced networks intended for research and education, as well as their management.

Being the most advanced research network in the world, GÉANT announced new ambitious plans for the future, publishing a time plan for introduction of 100 Gbps connections in 2012 in order to meet exponentially growing user needs. This capacity expansion to 100 Gbps on key lines will provide users with faster data exchange and more effective cooperation on globally beneficial key projects. At the speed of 100 Gbps, the entire contents of a two-layered Blu-ray disc (usually used for feature-length movies) could be transferred via the network in only four seconds.