AAC Digest

CEO’s Report September 2015

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Chris Hancock CEO AARNetChris Hancock, CEO AARNet

It’s hard to believe the year is nearly over. Our focus continues to be on evolving the network to meet the future needs of the research and education sector. SDN Testbeds and Science DMZ sandboxes are examples of AARNet initiatives underway to inform future network planning. At the same time, we’re expanding our service offerings and developing partnerships to support research and education that is increasingly collaborative, multi-institutional and global. With the new Access Agreement process complete, we’re now taking the opportunity to conduct a review of our charging model. In today’s rapidly changing technology environment, these are exciting times.

Traffic Growth and Network Performance

Traffic Stats Jan-Aug 2015














Future Network Planning

AARNet is creating a Software Defined Networking (SDN) Testbed to provide researchers with the ability to test and develop new SDN capabilities. AARNet engineers are implementing a pair of “sandbox” Science DMZ deployments, simulating the connections deployed at Research Data Services Nodes to enable test and development work. A set of performance measurement appliances is also being developed and tested, based on the open-source “PerfSonar” software toolkit. This will provide institutions with the ability to identify and localise any performance issues relating to big data transfers.

Product Solutions

In the previous quarter we reported the successful migration of more than 13,000 extensions from the University of Melbourne to the Amcom Cloud Collaboration Solution and AARNet is now trialing some of the advanced features of the platform. August 2015 set records for our Zoom service with more than 4,500 meetings and 17,000 participants totaling more than 700,000 meeting minutes. CloudStor received an interface refresh and an upgrade that saw the addition of a number of new features, which are being trailed by several customers, including groups and group quotas.

Following on from the establishment of the Eduroam advisory committee, we called for expressions of interest from universities for participation in a pilot project, which will explore rolling out Eduroam in schools. Expressions of interest have also been sought for a TEIN project to expand Eduroam in Asia.

We are continuing to expand our service offerings, with several new services in the pipeline, including Ezuce Viewme service (formerly known as SeeVogh), which is currently in the test phase and should be generally available to the AARNet community during Q4.

Infrastructure Development Projects

National Research Network projects currently in progress include upgrading the Sunshine Backbone to 100Gbps and building tails into the Royal Brisbane Hospital to provide services to the universities, institutes and CSIRO with a presence at the Hospital campus. The Sydney Basin Network Project is nearing completion. In addition, work is underway on over 200 other projects delivering some 650 individual services to customers.

Enterprise Services

The Enterprise Services consulting team has delivered value to the sector by completing numerous assignments this year, from business requirements and market reviews for research storage solutions to the design and project management of off-site data centre solutions, NeCTAR node security reviews, technical advice for the implementation of new networks and unified communications platforms and other projects.


AARNet is a founding member of the Australia eResearch Organisations (AeRO), a body that seeks to promote the use of digital tools and techniques to improve the impact of Australian research. Our goal in the coming 18 months is to expand AeRO’s membership to include institutions and any other organisations involved in digitally enabled research. AARNet, CAUDIT and Intersect hosted a successful AeRO Annual Forum at the University of Canberra on 22 July, with keynote addresses from Professor Susan Pond (Clarke Review of Research Infrastructure panel), Dr Tom Cochrane (author of the NCRIS eResearch review) and Dr Rhys Francis (engaged to develop the future eResearch framework). The output from this event will inform future policy in this area.

In August, AARNet announced a partnership with the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a project led by Professor Larry Smarr from the University of California, San Diego that secured National Science Foundation funding for unique data-sharing infrastructure to support data-centric science on the US West Coast. The partnership will see AARNet facilitating the interconnection of Australian researchers and research programs with their peers in PRP-connected institutions.

Engagements continue with institutions and NCRIS capabilities to maximise the value they are deriving from their AARNet connections.

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