Force10 Networks has announced that it recently provided the networking infrastructure, including an E-Series core switch/router, C-Series resilient switch/router and an S-Series switch as well as engineering expertise, to the recent 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) in Berlin, Germany. The annual four-day conference, organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), offered lectures, workshops, project presentations and other activities to more than 3,000 attendees and some 9,000 remote participants.
“Since 1984, the Chaos Communication Congress has served as the pre-eminent destination for hackers in Europe to exchange ideas and work on projects that help them better understand issues related to computer technologies, security, society and networking,” said Elisa Jasinska, CCC. “We are glad Force10 provided us with high performance network equipment and valuable technical support so we were able to keep the activities operating smoothly throughout the conference.”
In addition to the lectures and workshops, the 26C3 conference featured a hack center, which is considered a huge laboratory for technological research in a wide range of fields, including operating and testing network hardware and software. Drawing from a long-term successful cooperation between the CCC and Force10, the CCC selected the Force10 E600 as a single core switch and the C300 and S50 solutions in the distribution layer and implemented them to anchor the network infrastructure for the conference and the hack center activities.
“As a technology-driven organization, Force10 strongly supports the primary mission of the 26C3 conference, which is to cultivate and share knowledge with concern to computer and network technologies and security,” said Marc Bruyere, Senior Customer Support Engineer, Force10 Networks. “Because we take this effort very seriously, we were excited to provide resources in equipment and expertise to best support the CCC and the work being done during the conference.”
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have announced that work on the national backbone network of the South African National Research Network (SANReN) has been completed ahead of schedule.
SANReN forms a crucial part of the national cyber infrastructure initiative funded by the DST. As part of this national cyber infrastructure, SANReN’s powerful network capabilities support projects of national importance.
The CSIR’s Meraka Institute is responsible for the implementation of the DST’s cyber infrastructure initiative which, in addition to SANReN, comprises the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and the proposed very large datasets data storage initiative.
The CSIR contracted Telkom for the installation of the national backbone network in July 2009.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor says, “The completion of the national backbone network is an important milestone. The network will greatly reduce the cost of bandwidth for all research and higher education institutions in the country. For the first time, South African researchers will have world class networking enabling them to collaborate nationally and with their international peers. This positions South Africa internationally as a player in global science efforts. It also makes it possible to harness South Africa’s full research and development capacity to address national priority issues, including health, food security and understanding and mitigating the effect of climate change.”
“Bandwidth abundance resulting from SANReN’s networking of universities will shape the growth and development of a new generation of students whose knowledge and skills will contribute to the goal of creating an inclusive information society, enabling socio-economic benefits through information and communications technology and broadband specifically. In turn these advances on the scientific front will contribute to the competitiveness of local industry through the scientific breakthroughs achieved and through the establishment of a world-class national cyber infrastructure.”
The Director-General of the DST, Dr Phil Mjwara, says, “The broadband connectivity provided by SANReN will allow reciprocal participation between South Africa and international research institutions. It will give the global research community access to facilities such as the Southern African Large Telescope and the Karoo Array Telescope (also known as MeerKAT), and allow South Africa to participate in international projects with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, among others. This milestone will further demonstrate South Africa’s readiness to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, for which the country is currently bidding.”
“We have entered a new era in research networking made possible by the vision and funding of the DST. Unlocking its potential will undoubtedly benefit South Africa’s research community as our researchers are now able to engage in meaningful online collaboration with peers locally and abroad,” says CSIR President and CEO, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi.
“We would like to commend Telkom for the work done on the SANReN national backbone and for delivering well within the agreed deadline.”
Says Godfrey Ntoele, Telkom's Managing Executive for Medium and Large Business Services, “Telkom, the CSIR and the Meraka Institute are satisfied with the pace at which we are jointly proceeding with the SANReN project. We are happy that all elements are on track and Telkom remains committed to delivering on all aspects of this initiative so that the national agenda of attaining high technology connectivity at our academic institutions is realised in order to promote skills development in our country.”
The national backbone now interconnects the metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and eThekwini on a ten gigabites per second fibre optic ring network.
The tertiary education network has acquired international bandwidth from Seacom which can now be distributed via the SANReN national backbone network. Seacom is a 1,28 terabytes per second, 17 000km long submarine fibre optic cable system linking southern and East Africa to global networks via India and Europe. This development bodes well for South Africa’s ability to tackle bandwidth hungry projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
The first phase of SANReN will connect 50 higher education and research institutions to the network and in the longer term SANReN aims to connect all research and higher education institutions in the country.