CEO's Reports

CEO’s Report December 2014

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Chris Hancock CEO AARNetIt’s hard to believe we’re on the home stretch for 2014 – time certainly flies. It’s been a busy and productive year for AARNet, with the expansion of our ‘above the network’ services, the rollout of AARNet4 and the completion of multiple National Research Network component projects extending the network among the highlights.

We’re focused on delivering great service to our shareholder customers and, in parallel, continuing AARNet’s ability to serve the broader research and education sector.

Traffic Growth and Network Performance

Traffic growth for the year up to and including October 2014 (compared to the same period 2013) has been 47%, with varying growth in all traffic categories. Domestic Off-net traffic continues to decrease  as a result of continuing strong growth in domestic peering and content distribution. Unmetered traffic has grown and  71% was On-Net and 87% was Unmetered of all traffic.

Overall network availability for the year, up to and including October 2014 has been 99.983%, higher than the target of 99.95%.

Network Developments

AARNet has developed a new Science DMZ product. This entails the deployment of network and server hardware at the border of an institution’s network, dedicated to the high-speed transfer of big data. The primary benefit is to enable researchers in data-intensive fields to collaborate and share their data at bandwidths often orders of magnitude faster.

We have successfully implemented the Science DMZ architecture at each of the eight RDSI Nodes, and a number of universities have expressed strong interest in this product.

AARNet is deploying a testbed network for SDN, Software Defined Networking. SDN-capable switches have been purchased and deployment has begun in AARNet sites in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Once in place, this testbed will enable researchers working in this burgeoning area to develop new protocols to be used across the Internet.

AARNet4 Rollout

The AARNet4 project consists of the upgrade of the national optical transmission network to support 100Gbps wavelengths, and the rollout of 100Gbps-capable backbone routers supporting private connectivity services in addition to the AARNet routed access service.

The process for migrating existing AARNet3 services and provisioning new AARNet4 customer services is now well underway. All new customer services are now being provisioned on AARNet4, and several existing services have been migrated from AARNet3 to AARNet4. The migration of customers is envisaged to continue through the remainder of 2014 and into 2015.

RDSI Update

In parallel to this, AARNet is close to completing the deployment of the connectivity services to the eight RDSI Storage Nodes around Australia under the NRN-funded RDSI (Research Data Storage Infrastructure) project. These services include high-speed routed access and software tools enabling the Nodes to ingest and make data available, as well as private inter-Node connectivity for data replication.

Product Solutions

As universities increasingly outsource functions from their campus environments, AARNet can play a key role to provide products and services that serve multiple institutions and leverage AARNet’s core network. Many institutions are seeing value in avoiding 38 universities duplicating overhead when AARNet can provide a central solution.

The uptake of AARNet+ products is on the rise. The University of Melbourne was the first to sign up for the Amcom Hosted Telephony service, and Edith Cowan, the first to sign with our Box Cloud Content Collaboration service. The Zoom service has proved very popular with a number of significant sign-ups and a further collection of organisations piloting the service with smaller deployments.

Further developments include the expansion of eduroam to public Wi-Fi networks and organisations who are not AARNet subscription customers. Cloudstor+ is currently being developed to allow for group based quotas and attachment of external storage platforms.

Enterprise Services

The Enterprise Services team has assisted many customers with a range of consultancy projects, helping them make the most of the network, and continues to develop strategic partnerships to seed new service offerings into 2015.

Strategic Plan

This year we also completed a refresh of the AARNet five-year Strategic Plan. Though there are significant shifts in the environment – notably the continuing explosion of data, the increasingly distributed, connected and mobile communities that AARNet must reach, and the deregulation of, and reduction in government support for the R&E sector – AARNet’s strategic framework remains a robust platform for the organisation’s contribution to the R&E sector.

Finally, I would like to wish you our customers a very healthy and relaxing Christmas and New year and we look forward to helping you further in 2015!

Chris Hancock



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