AAC Digest

CEO’s Report April 2015

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Chris Hancock CEO AARNet

2015 is off to a flying start; following on from a year of growth that saw our network footprint expand as well as the number and range of connected institutions. This year we are realigning our focus to further strengthen our relationships with customers and to support their activities. We see this engagement as critical for ensuring that the institutions we connect gain maximum value from the network and also so we can share more of the stories about exciting initiatives emanating from the sector.

AARNet4 rollout progress

In terms of more operational activities, provisioning and customer support, we have been focusing on our internal processes to smooth the transition from AARNet3 to AARNet4. Work to upgrade our Network Access Points from AARNet 3 to AARNet4 is close to complete, and should be finalised in the coming weeks.

All new customer connections are now to AARNet4, and work to migrate existing institutions to the new network is well underway. Five shareholder institutions have successfully migrated to AARNet4, with another nine scheduled for deployment in the coming weeks and months. Eighteen more are in some stage of design or discussion. It is important to note that this rollout is happening in close consultation with each institution; we are mindful that this is just one of many activities affecting those institutions and are working to minimise the impact of these changes on each institution.

We continue to undertake and complete significant infrastructure projects, with Adelaide to Shepparton now lit and in testing; and links to Whyalla and Mount Gambier in South Australia close to completion.

Traffic growth and network availability

Network Traffic infographic Jan to March 2015

 

Science DMZ and SDN

AARNet has been busy in the world of Big Science, too, with the Science DMZ architecture now rolled out as part of the connection of Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) nodes around the country. Nearly twenty terabytes of storage for data sets of national significance has been provisioned at these nodes, and is being made available to connected institutions over the AARNet network. We continue to explore Software Defined Networking, and in conjunction with the UNSW and 10 other universities we have received a LIEF grant which will allow an SDN testbed to be established. Our network architect, David Wilde, is part of the advisory group on that project.

STEM

Within Australia, we have embarked on an enthusiastic engagement with the national conversation occurring around STEM – the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, to further serve our sector and boost the profile of research and education in the sciences and technology. We are working on a number of initiatives to support the activities of our customers and, in particular, our shareholders, in this area.

An AARNet-sponsored team of high school students won a top spot in the inaugural Australia Regional FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC®) hosted by Macquarie University at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday 14 March, 2015.

The team, the Red Crusade from Barker College, joined forces with Curtin University and Macquarie University teams to form one of the two Alliances (consisting of three robots each) competing in the Final of the weekend’s RECYCLE RUSH recycled-themed game.

As the highest scoring robot in the competition and winner of the Innovation for Control Award for the quality of their robot’s electronics and control system, the Barker/AARNet team was one of three teams to qualify to represent Australia at the FRC World Championships. The Macquarie University and IC Robotics community teams also qualified.  With some assistance from AARNet, all three teams were able to head to St Louis to compete this month.

Chris Hancock

CEO AARNet


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