account_balance AutoGOLE/SENSE

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 is 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 process.


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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.
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.


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equalizer GNA-G Routing WG

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 we currently see with R&E data transfers and routes include:

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

The GNA-G, and this WG in particular, provide a natural context for this work, given the inter-regional extent of these issues that affect facilities and sites located in several regions of the world, and the essential need for common cooperation to resolve them.

This working group will engage network owners and NRENs to not only reactively discuss and address ineffective routes, but will work proactively across the community to systematically create policies to prevent them from occurring.

Fun Fact: We don’t use the word optimal in this work because “optimal” is a mathematical concept and not achievable in practice. There are many reasons routes are done certain ways, and because of that, the goal of this group must be to try to have effective routes that follow a known policy, which may or may not be the most efficient or the most mathematically pleasing.

Upcoming Meetings:

Zoom meeting information will be provided to the Routing Working Group mailing list.

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close_fullscreen GREN Connecting offshore students

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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science Data Intensive Science

The GNA-G Data Intensive Science working group (DIS WG) is designed to provide a forum for discussion and a framework for both short term and longer term joint developments with the goal of meeting the needs of major programs in data intensive sciences, coexisting with the needs of individuals and smaller groups, while at the same time advancing the concepts, tools and systems needed to operate and manage the global ensemble of research and education networks while addressing the programs’ needs.


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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.


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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 NC 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. The Call for Nominations is out: Check it out here.

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equalizer GREN Engineering Advancement


Over the years we’ve been using plain VLAN’s to operate links in systems like ANA (Advanced North Atlantic collaboration), AER (AsiaPacfic Europe Ring) and others. Using plain layer-2 VLAN’s proofs operational hard. Quite often we ended in very long e-mail threads, if it doesn’t work configuring IP addresses so we can figure out till where we can reach.

In addition, there are complaints about a lack of redundancy and on the other hand over and under used links. For instance, the ANA links SURF terminates on its open exchange Netherlight in Amsterdam, have in general ample bandwidth available, where for links terminating in GEANT open Paris and London are more heavily used. Or the Sinet trans-Siberian circuit through Russia that will likely disappear in AER context, backups have been provisioned via Kaust and are still being worked on after months. We should have sufficient tools today to remove this manual work and pass redundancy questions to automated systems.

Goal of the workgroup

The question is how can we advance this? For this we want to establish a new GNA-G workgroup to investigate, test, probe, experiment, learn what could a new technology do and how could it advance our day-to-day operations. Things that come to mind are multi domain MPLS, combined with Segment Routing or PCE (Path Computation element), or maybe an overall GNA-G orchestrator that talks to all other NREN orchestrators, or even something else. We need to answer as a community what is viable, this could be anything. The suggestions earlier are just what comes to my mind. We need to investigate, experiment, try, learn and gather knowledge what can work. The knowledge we gain should be disseminated to the relevant systems like ANA, AER and others, so they can decide if interested what is the best way forward.


Start of workgroup early 2023

Collaboration methods

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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;