Reannz research network expands as demand grows

Usage of KAREN continues to grow, annual report notes

REAANZ (Research and Education Advanced Network of New Zealand) will this month increase the capacity of the KAREN network to 1Gbit/s to both Sydney and California, expanding the range of research collaborations that will be possible.

Announcing this in the annual report tabled in Parliament, REAANZ chief executive Donald Clark says the organisation is being asked to incrementally extend the network to connect new regions, major science facilities and education institutions.

“This results in an increasingly complex supplier and technology base for KAREN. Given this trend is likely to continue, for our first re-procurement of the network since KAREN went live in late 2006, we took the opportunity to split out the circuit, network hardware and service management aspects of the national contract,” he says.

“As a result, we have a new core network supplier, FX Networks, who will continue to provide KAREN with a 10Gbit/s national footprint until at least late 2013. REANNZ has also secured multiple options for dark fibre ownership from FX Networks that provide the opportunity to build a domestic network that can provide future-proof capacity within current cost envelopes.

“Datacraft won the contract to provide service management across the entire network. They will take over the KAREN helpdesk and have the role of ensuring all the logical and physical elements that make up KAREN work together seamlessly.

“On the international network, after investigating many options, we chose to remain with a single integrated supplier. Telstra International / TelstraClear won the contract to provide KAREN’s vital international links. “

Clark says member usage of KAREN continues to grow strongly to the extent where usage of several parts of the network is regularly exceeding 1Gbit/s.

There are now 69 members, excluding schools, on the network.

Clark says revenue for the financial year, to June 30, was on budget ($6.844 million).

But with expenses totaling $13.103 million, the network operated at a net loss of $6.259 million.

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