Upgrade of the HARNET-CERNET Connection and Development of the HARNET-Internet2 Connection

Upgrade of the HARNET-CERNET Connection

We are pleased to announced that the dedicated network link for connecting HARNET (Hong Kong Academic and Research Network) and CERNET (China Education and Research Network) has been upgraded to an E1 (2.048 Mbps) IPLC (International Private Leased Circuit) since December 1, 2000. Before the upgrade, the link between HARNET and CERNET was only supported by a 64Kbps connection. The upgraded link is now connected directly to the HARNET router which provides a shorter route for Internet communications between all local universities and the institutions in China. Since the upgrade, the response of accessing network sites of  CERNET has been noticeably improved although we can notice that the utilization of the upgraded links has already become very full.

Development of the HARNET-Internet2 Connection

In Issue No. 86 of the Computer News, we reported that Computer Centre has embarked on a development together with the JUCC (Joint Universities Computer Centre) to provide  Internet2 connectivity for HARNET so that this forefront network facility could be available to our users.

The aim of Internet2 is to develop advanced Internet technology and applications for the research needs of higher education.  Over 180 U.S. universities, in cooperation with industry and government, are leading the project. Internet2 will provide better and more powerful network capabilities to support the research and educational activities of universities and research institutions. Internet2 is capable of three things: higher bandwidth; multicasting; and guaranteed delivery and performance. However, Internet2 is not just a faster network, it is also a testing ground for participating members to experiment with Internet applications of the future using various new and emerging Internet technologies.

In September, 2000, the JUCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) in U.S.A. to be an International MOU Partner of Internet2, together with a Joint Agreement for Interconnection of HARNET to the Abilene Network of Internet2.

The Abilene Network is the major backbone network connecting Internet2 sites and universities in the North America. There are many data exchange points along the Abilene Network. The most common access point for Asian network connections is the Science, Technology and Research Transit Access Point (STAR TAP) where many Asian networks (e.g. CERNET, SingAREN, TANET) connect to. The STAR TAP is essentially a large ATM switch in Chicago with enough capacity to provide stable configurations of emerging network technology, plus the network engineering to provide new services to an ever-expanding international community. For further details on Abilene Network, interested readers may consult the following links:

The Abilene Project: http://www.ucaid.edu/abilene/home.html
About Abilene: http://www.ucaid.edu/abilene/html/about.html

It is the plan of JUCC to connect HARNET to the Internet2/Abilene Network through a direct network connection of 10 Mbps or higher to STAR TAP in year 2001.  At present, the JUCC is also in the process of soliciting industrial and commercial sponsorship to facilitate the set up of the HARNET-Internet2 connection. Users who are interested in knowing more about the HARNET-Internet2 development can contact the undersigned for more information.

Ronald Leung
Tel: 28578593
E-mail: lhy@cc.hku.hk

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