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Taiwan’s 100G Research and Education Network Officially Begins Operating

Taiwan's 100G research and education backbone network jointly established by the Ministry of Education, the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC) of the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), and Academia Sinica officially began operating on October 6, 2016. It has not only upgraded Taiwan's research and education network to 100G for high-performance applications, but has also made strides toward a new milestone.

The original academic research network in Taiwan only had a bandwidth of roughly 10G, far lower than the advanced countries. In 2012, the predecessor to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the National Science Council (NSC) resolved that the Ministry of Education, NCHC, and Academia Sinica to formulate the “Academic Research Backbone Network Bandwidth Expansion Plan” and establish a high quality, high bandwidth research and education backbone network. Construction of the research and education backbone network formally began in 2015, and went through infrastructure construction, changing old and new equipments, and connection migration. Trial operations began in April, 2016, from the main nodes in Academia Sinica, Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, and Tainan to 13 network’s regional centers and educational network centers of counties and cities island wide. All connections were finally completed after five months of adjustments and testing, increasing the network's performance 10-fold.

To alleviate exiting network congestion and provide faster, more flexible, more stable, and higher performing network service to domestic academic and research institutes, NCHC has developed the smart network management technologies which include network quality monitoring and performance measurement. It provides graphical visualizations for monitoring network status and performance in real time. The smart network management technologies enable early detection of abnormal connections and performance issues, achieving automated monitoring and an early-warning mechanism, so that the network can maintain superior connectivity. Further, NCHC has established the advanced smart network service on SDN which is capable of rapidly establishing peer-to-peer dedicated broadband service, making network use highly flexible and achieving better infrastructure utilization.

The completion of the bandwidth expansion will provide the research and education network with mechanisms to distribute information and manage bandwidth, supporting the development of cloud computing for education and a new generation of e-learning plans from the Ministry of Education, and promoting multimedia applications. Furthermore, in response to the big data era, it will also significantly reduce data transfer time for domestic academic research in areas such as environmental disaster prevention, biomedicine and pharmaceuticals, and high energy physics, accelerating research efficiency to achieve more innovations and breakthroughs.