TWAREN Advances in 2008
The TaiWan Advanced Research and Education Network (TWAREN) is an advanced academic network equipped with the very latest in networking technology. Its 20 Gbp/s domestic backbone and 5 Gbp/s international link connects Taiwan's research and academic institutions with the world.
In 2008, the NCHC continued to raise the quality of TWAREN’s networking services and expanded its international bandwidth. We also worked on collaborative projects with other international networks to develop practical networking applications. In the area of network management, we developed a proprietary network monitoring system that ensures uninterrupted operation 24/7/365.
99.99% Average Uptime
The four 9s in 99.99% signify an extremely high operation standard. It translates to less than 5 minutes downtown during the entire year. In 2008, TWAREN's uptime was 99.974%, TANet's was at 99.993%, and the networks’ international connection was at 99.988%. These levels are very nearly on par with international service standards. This year, from January through March, TWAREN has maintained an uptime of 99.99%.
Direct Connection to Eastern Europe
Taiwan connects to the rest of the world via the U.S.A.'s Abilene Network. In 2008, TWAREN established a direct fiber optic connection to the Czech Republic's CESNET network. This represents Taiwan’s first ever connection to Eastern Europe. This fiber optics line became active in the beginning of 2008. It runs through both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Asia, America, and Europe. The four major networks that carry the connection are TWAREN, Canada's CA*Net4, Europe's GEANT2, and the Czech Republic's CESNET. IEEAF donated a transatlantic fiber optics line to the NCHC with a physical length of over 30,000 kilometers; a record setting international point-to-point connection. This connection expands TWAREN's reach to now included North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Long Distance Healthcare and International Collaboration
In order to promote its long distance healthcare initiative in 2008, the NCHC participated in the CESNET2008 multi-point medical teleconferencing event. The conference was hosted by Professor Shimizu of Japan's Kyushu University. Participants included eight medical institutes from Taiwan, Japan, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain. The video teleconference video stream was extremely clear due to the dedicated fiber optic line being used. Also in 2008, TWAREN was used to connect an experimental high school located in Taiwan’s Southern Science Park with the U.S.A.'s NASA to conduct long distance learning. This gave Taiwanese students a more vivid and memorable learning experience.
Single Sign-in Campus Wireless Roaming
TWAREN played a major role in the EduRoam project during 2008. Currently, there are 137 participating schools and 3,600 individual participants using the service every month to access the Internet when they are away from their home campus. The wireless roaming capability also works abroad due to its integration with the EduRoam Europe project. In 2008, TWAREN was used to add wireless authentication protocol to EduRoam. Also, TWAREN added system management which helps to ensure the safety and integrity of the network. In the works is free WiMAX connectivity for academic personnel as well.
TWAREN Network Monitoring System
The goal of the TWAREN Network Operation Center (NOC) is to be able to pinpoint and resolve networking anomalies the instant they occur. The NCHC’s TWAREN team assembled a hybrid monitoring system that visually gathers information from various sources to reduce false alarms and increase the rate of detection.
The improvements made to the system in 2008 included the establishment of a baseline comparison technique. Any abnormalities are compared against historical norms to increase the accuracy of an alert. The system also monitors incoming data and detects future trends. Such techniques are useful in preventing false alarms. The remote network monitoring service can respond to incidents 24/7/365, thus, providing TWAREN clients the highest quality of service.