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Retrospective 2006: a New RNP. Advanced network, innovative applications and quality training

In the end of 2005, the National Education and Research Network (Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa – RNP) opened its Ipê network, a multigigabit infra-structure which interlinks universities and research institutes in the country, and announced its entrance into a new phase called New RNP. The year 2006 was full of demonstrations of this new moment of the organization, confirming its view of the future as previously drawn.

Within the New RNP concept, we have the infrastructure of the advanced academic network, integrating the national, metropolitan and local levels; the innovative services and applications of communication and collaboration for general use and for specific communities; and the qualification of human resources in information and communication technologies (TIC).

The partnerships broadening is also part of this scenario. An example of that was the signature of a collaboration contract with the Ministry of Health. The agreement anticipates the execution of a pilot project which will allow the interconnection in a network of poles of the Family Health Program and places for the rendering of health care services. In the sequence, a summary of the three main acting scenarios of the New RNP.

Interactive New RNP page

Infrastructure – RNP invests for the purpose of offering end-to-end connectivity services. The Ipê network, national academic backbone, has 12 interstate connections from 2.5 to 10 Gbps, using WDM technology, and 17 interstate connections from 4 to 34 Mbps, using SDH technology. It also has international connections: there are 855 Mbps of production international traffic capacity, as well as 1.4 Gbps for world academic Internet access. Currently, 346 institutes in Brazil are connected to the Ipê network. In metropolitan level, the main institutes will be served by Redecomep (Education and Research Communitarian Networks), as an initiative of the Ministry of Sciences and Technology coordinated by RNP in the states and in the Federal District. In a local level, there are campi network projects, with which the RNP supports the modernization of the internal university networks and research centers and the implementation of communication and collaboration services and applications, such as IP telephony and videoconference. Another important infrastructure stream is regarding the experimental networks. An example of that is the network of the Giga Project, created for the purpose of developing optical network technology, applications and telecommunication services, interlinking 17 universities and research institutes in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo with links of 2.5 Gbps.

Applications – Besides the IP telephone services and videoconference, RNP has been developing services and applications for specific communities. That is the case for the University Network of Telemedicine (Rute), which was launched in April 2006 for the purpose of supporting the improvement of infrastructure for telemedicine already existing in the university hospitals in the country, as well as promoting the integration of interinstitute projects. Other examples are the Exchange Network of University TVs (Ritu), launched in December, and other projects expected for the next years, such as the Biodiversity Network. Also seeking the development of innovative applications for compatible cost, the RNP has been developing, since 2002, the Work Groups Program, which allows the creation of cooperative projects showing the feasibility of the use of new protocols, services and applications of computer networks. At GTs pilot projects are developed and further ahead they can be offered as new services to the RNP users. In 2006, seven GTs were selected: Digital TV; Mesh Network; Measurements; Video Management; Infrastructure for Remote Teaching; Virtual Community of Grid and Diagnosis Automation and Faults Recovery.

Qualification– Another great role of RNP is the human resources qualification in information and communication technologies. For that purpose, the organization promotes two events: the Seminar of Qualification and Innovation (SCI) and the RNP Workshop (WRNP). This year, the SCI gathered 170 people in Sao Paulo from November 6 to 10, with a program including courses, lectures and round tables about videoconference, Wi-Max, experiences in telemedicine, digital warehouses, safety and digital certification, among other subjects. The WRNP took place in Curitiba, on May 29-30, with the attendance of 230 people. Here are the highlights: the Ipê network, the innovations in network and the projects developed for specific communities, such as the Redecomep and Rute initiatives. Besides that, there was the approaching of the progresses of the RNP work groups and of the international initiatives of academic networks integration and distributed applications. This year, the RNP and its Security Incident Response Team (CAIS) also organized important events with the intention to diffuse the networks safety culture. In cooperation with the International Forum of Groups of Responses to Safety Incidents (First), the RNP coordinated the 2nd Latin-American Conference of Response to Safety Incidents (Colaris), which took place in Rio de Janeiro from October 7th to 10th. The event gathered about 200 people to discuss Internet safety. Besides that one, two meetings were organized for academic safety groups and activities for the International IT Safety Day (DISI) were promoted, on November 30th.

Also in the qualification stream, the organization opened, in 2006, two other units of RNP's network training institute (Escola Superior de Redes): in João Pessoa (state of Pernambuco) and in Rio de Janeiro (RJ). These RNP's trainning units offer courses in the areas of system management, network administration and projects, safety and support medias for the digital cooperation. Along the year, 290 people were trained in 20 course in these areas.

About this report

From today (22nd) to Friday (26th), we will be carrying out the retrospective of 2006 at RNP in e series of reports. We will detail the achievements in the areas of infrastructure, applications and qualification. We will also speak of partnerships and awards obtained by RNP along the year. Also see the interactive New RNP page (in Portuguese).

[RNP, 01.22.2007]

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