GÉANT

GÉANT is both the community of European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), working together to provide world-class network services to the European research and education community, and the name of the pan-European network that interconnects these NRENs.  Through the European NRENs, the GÉANT network connects over 50 million users at 10,000 institutions across Europe. Operating at speeds of up to 100 Gbps, the combined networks offer both high performance and extensive geographical coverage, allowing students and researchers all over Europe opportunities for international collaboration and a chance to connect with peers.  The GÉANT network has links with networks around the world, reaching 65 countries beyond Europe.

NORDUnet has been a partner in the GÉANT collaboration since the inception of pan-European R&E networking.  Through the GÉANT network, NORDUnet offers the Nordic R&E community connectivity to partner institutions and peers in all of Europe, as well as in Asia, South America, and other regions. The GÉANT community and the continuous evoltion of the GÉANT network are essential in meeting the NORDUnet objective of connecting Nordic research and education to global communities with the best infrastructure possible.

The GÉANT Network

The GÉANT network is essentially a backbone transport and IP network, with a point of presence in each of the 40+ European partner countries. The network offers IP services as well as circuit-oriented services based on both MPLS and optical transport, at speeds up to 100 Gbps.  NORDUnet connects to the GÉANT network in Copenhagen, Denmark in such a manner that from a user point of view, the NORDUnet infrastructure is an integrated part of the European GÉANT network, ensuring that the five Nordic NRENs and the entire Nordic R&E community are connected in a resilient way.

GEANT network map

In addition to the European footprint, the GÉANT network offers a range of international connections to Africa, North America, South Amercia, and Asia.

To run the GÉANT network, the partners created the jointly owned DANTE Ltd., a UK company limited by shares and based in Cambridge, UK.  NORDUnet is a founding partner and shareholder in DANTE.

The GÉANT projects

The European partners in the GÉANT community have organized a series of joint projects, with the mission of ensuring constant evolution of the GÉANT network and the services offered.  These project have traditionally been co-funded by the network partners and the European Commission under the EC framework programs for research. These projects have over the years evolved from building the joint network infrastructure to also doing activities in joint service development and delivery, and joint research activities piloting new technologies. These projects are major efforts, with annual budget of 20+ M€. The lastest such project is GN3plus.

NORDUnet has been involved in these projects from the start of the colloaboration, playing a leading role in formulating, governing, and executing the projects.  NORDUnet participates in these projects on behalf on the Nordic NREN community, and all of the Nordic networks and many national partners from the Nordics are strong contributors to many of GÉANT activities, especially in the area of mobility, roaming, trust, identity, cloud services, and advanced network services such as circuit-on-demand and multi-domain VPN services.

Organizing GÉANT for the future

Since 2012, the GÉANT community has been rethinking how to best organize itself to meet future challenges and the ever increasing demands for network resources and new services without increasing cost, while at the same time become even more integrated in the global ecomony. During the fall of 2014 this led to the creation of the GÉANT Association, a single, joint body for the European NRENs to work in partnership and create joint strategy and action.  The GÉANT Association will assume the responsibilities formerly held by DANTE and TERENA, and will be the focal point for future evolution of the GÉANT network and the related projects.

Further Information

Read more about the GÉANT network on the GÉANT project homepage.

Read more about the GÉANT Associaton on the GÉANT Association homepage.

Highlights