CEO's Reports

CEO’s Report September 2013

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AARNet CEO Chris Hancock

This year we’re focused on developing products and solutions that bring optimal benefits to our members and customers as massive change sweeps the sector. Here, I’ve highlighted some of the initiatives we’re working on in relation to network and service delivery:


As many of you know, we’re currently rolling out AARNet4 progressively across the country. This project will see our backbone upgraded to 100 Gigabits per second. The AARNet3 network and routers have served our community well, but their replacement is well overdue and now is the time to move to the next iteration of AARNet.

Network traffic continues to grow exponentially with a 52% increase in traffic for 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, and we’ve experienced growth across all traffic categories.

National Research Network (NRN) projects

AARNet has been involved in six of the eight federal-government funded NRN projects. This is a $22million initiative addressing black spots for the research and education community. Nearly all of these projects are complete, with, in most cases, only final contractual paperwork between the parties and the government outstanding. These projects include, among others fibre rings around Sydney and Perth, fibre tails in Queensland and the 100 gig upgrade of the Adelaide to Perth link..

Services and Solutions

AARNet is ramping up the final preparatory work for rolling out the Net+ programme which provides a framework for the adoption of cloud services and also the delivery of a suite of service offerings in the Unified Communications (UC) area.

New services include (cloud-based personal file storage for staff and students) and a hosted telephony service provided through a partnership with Amcom and Cisco. QUT is first in line for the delivery of and we’ve been working with the University of Melbourne and vendors to develop our hosted telephony service.

The AARNet Unified Communications Exchange (AUCX) aims to efficiently interoperate voice and video between research and education institutions across the nation and the world.Use of the AUCX has continued to grow strongly in 2013 as more institutions connect, including Adelaide University “Adelaide UniCare” telehealth group and Monash University’s Prato Centre in Italy, among others.

There has also been significant work completed in the set-up for the delivery of managed services including Virtual Meeting Rooms, Virtual Streaming and Recording and Managed Unified Communications.

Supporting our Research Community

The uptake of CloudStor by the research community has been amazing. Over 7700 researchers are now using CloudStor to send large files quickly and easily around the world via AARNet. Beta testing for CloudStor+ our file storage service for researchers has been positive with a staged release for general use slated for end September this year.

Enterprise Services

AARNet’s newly formed Enterprise Services consultancy has conducted a number of customer workshops and 1-on-1 meetings that have led to more than sixteen consulting assignments and opportunities.  Customers have reacted positively to this independent service and the opportunity to leverage AARNet expertise from both network and services areas.  Consulting assignments to date range from IPv6 and BGP onsite support and training workshops and independent network reviews to network firewall procurement evaluations, data centre audits and more.

We will continue to hold workshops with customer IT teams around the country –the resulting in-depth discussions and planning sessions are proving to be very successful for generating awareness of AARNet’s network and services and for understanding the issues and challenges our customers face.

As always, we are eager to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact myself or members of the AARNet team to discuss your needs, questions or concerns.

Chris Hancock

Chief Executive Officer


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