account_balance AutoGOLE/SENSE

Latest charter date: January 2021

The Automated GOLE/SENSE Working Group within GNA-G is a worldwide collaboration of open exchange points and R&E networks to deliver network services end-to-end in a fully
automated way, wherein connection requests are handled through the Network Service Interface Connection Service (NSI-CS).

An increasing number of networks across the globe are now using NSI to provision and deprovision international network services. This saves a considerable amount of time of NOC
engineers facilitating international network service requests. Service creation is done within minutes, instead of multiple days or even weeks, removing manual human effort from the


  • Dynamic ANA: delivering automated network (de)provisioning on the trans-Atlantic ANA fiber system;
  • Implementing SENSE: researching and implementation of SENSE within the AutoGOLE networks, exchanges and end points; and
  • Persistent Multi-Resource Infrastructure: building a persistent infrastructure for science on top of dedicated connectivity, NSI and SENSE.

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science Data Intensive Science

The GNA-G Data Intensive Sciences Working Group (DIS-WG) will undertake an in-depth consideration of the so-called Computing Models that encompass the workflow and operations of the programs mentioned, namely how the program processes, distributes and makes data available for analysis, as well as how the data resulting from analyses is propagated and shared.

The WG will work with the science programs’ data and computing management teams, to formulate, design and prototype the new network services and new modes of R&E network operations that coordinate the use of network, computing and storage resources distributed across a global footprint.

Apart from prototyping the pre-production and production systems, this WG will aim to serve the users and partner projects by helping to meet their needs for network resources as part of
their scientific workflows. The “users” can be seen from (at least) two points of view: groups working of behalf of the project to distribute and make the necessary datasets available for
analysis, while developing such mechanisms as data placement and caching, and individuals wanting to get access to and sometime move data as part of their analysis work.


  • Coordinating among the needs, methods and technologies of major data driven science programs;
  • Prototyping systems and technologies supporting workflows and associated network services;
  • Developing a global architecture for coordinated data distribution in science workflows; and
  • Supporting research data discovery.

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usb GREN Map

The GREN Map Working Group is guiding the development of a unified system for visualizing the high-level connectivity of and participation in the community of Research and Education
Networks around the globe, referred to as the GREN: The Global Research and Education Network.

The goal of this Working Group is to achieve a dynamic visualization of the GREN that is perpetually up-to-date without requiring onerous parallel data collection & maintenance activities. This is achieved through the joint development of a reference data model, and standardization of supporting data automation tools. This visualization will serve as a reference for other visualizations created by the community, in order to apply different aesthetics or perspectives on the same source data.

While a number of national and international Research and Education Network maps currently exist, most of them are populated manually, and involve a large effort to gather, translate, and
maintain the source data from regional network operators. Many also show a singular perspective on the network.


  • A dynamic visualization of the GREN

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engineering Network Automation

This working-group will develop a catalogue of common network automation tools for use within a NREN to drive automated configuration, security auditing, change control activities and
intra-domain automation activities.

For example, what CMDB, scripted provisioning tools, business process logic software and security auditing tools are used by each NREN?

The longer-term goal is to facilitate collaboration on common tools and practices, thus enabling NRENs to deploy network automation & orchestration more quickly and effectively.

The group will also work closely with other working groups to ensure interoperability and consistency.


  • Glossary (completed): a standardised glossary of terms related to Network Automation was created in collaboration with the Network eAcademy from the GÉANT project NETDEV Work Package;
  • Catalogue: Create and maintain a catalogue of network automation tools identifyc ommon APIs that NRENs utilise and setup network automation training;
  • Common Activities: Identify a common set of network automation activities each NREN could re-utilise, to reduce duplication of effort; and
  • New Common APIs: Identify and agree on a common API set for communicating between NRENs so that multidomain services such as AutoGOLE/SENSE or the Global Research Platform will work across networks.

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equalizer Routing

Network owners and users need to ensure data is moving over the research and education (R&E) circuits correctly so that data transfers are performing well. Experience has shown that adding or removing capacity can have unexpected routing results that are difficult to detect automatically and impossible to correct without coordination. The anomalous flows can be identified fairly easily with current tools, but it is still challenging to work across the R&E networking community to adjust the erroneous paths, which can be complicated due to the overall number of organizations involved. However, this type of routing problem is prevalent and growing as more capacity along different routes is added, and we expect this issue is one many NRENs will need to address in order to maintain a robust, reliable, high-speed global R&E network.

Some of the problems with R&E data transfers and routes include:

  • Data taking a longer route than necessary e.g. unnecessarily crossing oceans;
  • Traffic taking an unexpected route e.g. hitting two routers in a single exchange point, before and after passing through a third (likely unnecessary) exchange point; and
  • Traffic being routed over commercial capacity instead of remaining on R&E capacity.


  • Promotion and support of advanced tools to identify and resolve routing issues; and
  • Routing policies.

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architecture GREN Engineering Advancement

Established: Q1 2023

Over the years Intercontinental connectivity has been achieved using plain VLANS to operate links in systems like ANA (Advanced North Atlantic collaboration), AER (AsiaPacfic Europe Ring) and others. Using layer-2 VLANs proves to be operationally hard. Quite often the configuration of these services is a highly manual process involving many international parties.

In addition, due to the manual nature of these services’ redundancy, load-balancing and optimisation can be difficult to manage. Across the NREN community the need for automation both of initial configuration and on-going operation of these services is essential.

The question is how can we advance this? For this it is proposed that a new GNA-G workgroup is created to investigate, test, experiment, and learn what could new technologies do and how could it advance our day-to-day operations.


  • To investigate and test new technologies and how those can advance day-to-day operations.

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lock Securing the GREN

Established: Q1 2024

Cybersecurity threats are evolving rapidly, and small and medium National Research and Education Networks are increasingly becoming a target. New GNA-G Security Bootcamps WG is initiated to address this challenge with a specific activity of the Security Bootcamps with the primary goal of increasing the security maturity level of these NRENs. This will enable the start of the Security activities within the GNA-G umbrella while using an innovative approach that focuses on a hands-on and practical training by utilising the GÉANT Security Baseline as a foundational guide for improvement. In parallel, the WG will dive into other more strategic discussions and with the time create a platform for further activities.

The Security Bootcamps are designed as immersive, intensive training sessions mainly focused for CISO’s, Security Managers, Directors, covering key aspects of the GÉANT Security Baseline tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by small and medium NRENs, including the best practices on security and covering GDPR requirements. The curriculum also includes modules on risk assessment, incident response, secure network architecture, and best practices for safeguarding confidential/sensitive data.


The main objective of the Security Bootcamps is to empower small and medium NRENs with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to enhance their cybersecurity posture. By attending a practical and hands-on training, participants will gain real-life experience ensuring they can effectively implement security measures, self-assess their security systems and respond to emerging threats.

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close_fullscreen GREN Connecting offshore students

The GREN Connecting offshore students working group has now completed its work, with the final report to be shared shortly.

Global R&E Network:
Connecting offshore students for international online education

With the onset of COVID-19, international students and staff from universities across the world have been unable to travel to return to campus from their home countries.  Many students remaining at home have experienced performance issues in reaching applications hosted in the cloud or on their home campus of the institution they’re studying at in another country.  A number of institutions around the world have negotiated solutions to this problem individually or as groups, including subscribing to Alibaba connection services or ensuring that cloud service providers such as Zoom have country-specific access.  NRENs have also endeavoured to assure sufficient bandwidth and peering capacity, for example better reach to Chinese internet destinations, however since the student traffic is typically from commodity internet sources in China, the traffic often may not touch the Global R&E Network (GREN).

In addition to the solutions found by individual universities, discussions are underway between CUCCIO/Canarie, UCISA/Jisc and CAUDIT/AARNet regarding possible national deals or services in those respective countries.

Goal of this Working Group:

The aim of this working-group is to investigate whether a collaborative international effort can deliver improvements in performance and/or lower costs for network connectivity to support teaching, learning and research for international users.  The initial case is China, but this requirement is truly international.

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The NomCom (Nominations Committee) is not a Working Group in the pure sense of the word, however the NomCom serves an important role in the governance of the GNA-G.

In October of every odd calendar year, a Nominating Committee, consisting of volunteers from the GNA-G Community, will be formed.

The task of the NomCom is to nominate Candidates to serve on the Leadership Team. Any member of the GNA-G Community may nominate any member of the GNA-G Community for any open position and a self-nomination is permitted. When nominating, two items are considered important:

  • Qualifications, e.g., technical competence or organizational skills or relevant experience,
  • Diversity; the NomCom is tasked to explicitly take this into account.

A nomination is only complete when it is supported by at least one other member from the community, from a different organization, participating in the GNA-G, than the nominee.

Currently, the NomCom is active.

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Joining a working group

If you’re interested in joining a working group, please contact the working group chair.


Spawning a new working group

The process of creating a new working group within the GNA-G is lightweight:

1– a new working group is initiated by writing a draft charter that anyone may start;

2– the draft charter contains a detailed description of the proposed activity, its goal, milestones and proposed initial members;

3– The draft charter will then be discussed with the GNA-G Leadership Team and the Leadership Team decides starting the working group and appoints a ‘shepherd’ (liaison) from the Leadership Team. In case of green light, the new working group chair invites the members and commences work, based on the draft charter document.

While a working group is operational

  • Each working group has its own page on the GNA-G website and a mailinglist.
  • The working group chair reports on activities and milestones directly to the Leadership Team;
  • The working group chair updates the GNA-G members during online events and meetings;
  • Upon completion of work, inactivity or severe issues with obtaining goals, the Leadership Team may decide to stop a working group;