Greek Research and Technology Network

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GRNET
GRNET Logo
MottoNetworking Research and Education
Formation1998
TypeNational research and education network
PurposeTo manage the operation and development of the Greece's national education and research network
HeadquartersAthens, Greece
Region served
GREECE
Websitegrnet.gr/en//

The Greek Research and Technology Network or GRNET (Greek: Εθνικό Δίκτυο Έρευνας και Τεχνολογίας, ΕΔΕΤ) is the national research and education network of Greece. GRNET S.A. provides Internet connectivity, high-quality e-Infrastructures and advanced services to the Greek Educational, Academic and Research community, aiming at minimizing the digital divide and at ensuring equal participation of its members in the global Society of Knowledge. Additionally, GRNET develops digital applications that ensure resource optimization for the Greek State, modernize public functional structures and procedures, and introduce new models of cooperation between public bodies, research and education communities, citizens and businesses. GRnet's executives have been contributors of or occupied board positions in organisations including GÉANT, TERENA, DANTE,GR-IX, Euro-IX, , RIPE NCC. GRNET provides advanced services to the following sectors: Education, Research, Health, Culture. GRNET supports all Universities, Technological Education Institutes, Research Centers and over 9,500 schools via the Greek School Network a population of more than one million people. Video presentations of some of the services (in Greek) are available in Pyxida.

GRNET operates under the auspices of the Greek Secretariat for Research and Technology / Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

GRNET Main offices are located at 7, Kifisias Av. in Athens, Greece, 37°59′15″N 23°45′43″E / 37.987628°N 23.761873°E / 37.987628; 23.761873Coordinates: 37°59′15″N 23°45′43″E / 37.987628°N 23.761873°E / 37.987628; 23.761873.

Advanced e-Infrastructures and Innovative Services[edit]

GRNET backbone interconnects more than 100 institutions including all universities and technological institutions, research centers, public hospitals, museums and libraries, as well as the Greek School Network, with speeds up to 26×10 Gbit/s through its high-speed, high-capacity infrastructure of long-term leased fiber that spans across the entire country.

GRNET is present in global networking for research and education, representing Greece in GÉANT. GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness.

GRNET fiber optic network map showing PoPs and regeneration points

Large Scale Computing Services for the Researchers (Cloud Computing)[edit]

GRNET offers innovative Cloud Computing services that are available via the Infrastracture as a Service model, under the brand name “~okeanos” in order to promote academic, educational and research aims[2]. These services are hosted on GRNET's own infrastructure and fall into the category of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). More specifically, the following cloud services are provided:

  • ~okeanos [3]: Cloud Service with end users in the academic and research community powered by Synnefo [4], an IaaS cloud computing project.
  • ViMa [5]: Virtual Private Server (VPS) Service provided to GRNET peers for hosting of services.

By using “~okeanos”, any academic user can create a multi-layer virtual infrastructure and instantiate virtual computing machines, local networks to interconnect them, and a reliable storage space within seconds. Thousands of academic users have already utilized virtual machines in the course of their research, experimental, educational or other activities. The Cloud Computing infrastructure and services of GRNET have been made available to the pan-European R&E community via the “okeanos-global” service.

GRNET has installed and operates large datacenters in several locations around the country including a "Green Data Center".

Hellenic High Performance Computing Infrastructure[edit]

GRNET “ARIS” national high-performance computing infrastructure provides state-of-the-art supercomputing capabilities to the Greek scientists. The system went into pilot operational phase in June 2015 and it is available for productive use to all researchers and scientists across Greek universities, technological institutions and research centers. The system enables the implementation of scientific and technical large-scale applications, with GRNET guaranteeing its smooth operation offering comprehensive end-user support.

ARIS infrastructure[1] consists of four computing systems (islets) based on Intel x86 architecture interconnected via a single Infiniband FDR14 network offering multiple processing capabilities and architectures:

  • Thin nodes islet based on IBM NextScale and Intel Xeon E5-2680v2 processors. It has 426 compute nodes with 8,520 CPU cores.
  • Large memory fat nodes islet consists of 44 Dell PowerEdge R820 servers, with each one offering 4 Intel Xeon E5-4650V2 CPUs and 512GB of RAM.
  • GPU nodes islet consists of 44 Dell PowerEdge R730 servers. Each server contains 2 Intel Xeon E5-2660v3 CPUs, 64GB of RAM and 2 NVIDIA K40 cards.
  • Accelerator Xeon Phi nodes islet consists of 18 Dell PowerEdge R730 servers. Each server contains 2 Intel Xeon E5-2660v3 CPUs, 64GB of RAM and 2 Intel Xeon Phi 7120P coprocessors.

In addition, the system offers 2 Petabytes (quadrillion bytes) of storage via the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS). The system also offers an ΙΒΜ TS3500 tape library with 6 Petabytes of storage capacity. The system software allows the development and execution of scientific applications and provides several pre-installed compilers, scientific libraries and popular scientific application suites.

Enhancing the use of ICT and Access to Digital Content[edit]

GRNET coordinates a series of initiatives aimed at creating e-infrastructures and services that can facilitate organizing, describing and promoting digital content of educational, research, geospatial, and environmental as well as cultural topics. These actions contribute to the vision of creating a virtual horizontal infrastructure of digital repositories, which is available from universities, research centers, museums, libraries and other institutions in the country and Europe and facilitates the preservation, sharing and exploitation of digital content by businesses and the society. The ultimate goal is to enhance the use of digital content and services from researchers, teachers, staff of public bodies and SMEs, as well as other types of communities involved in the production, processing, and use of digital knowledge. GRNET promotes the use and the development of open source software products in Greece [6].

GR-IX[edit]

GRNET operates the Greek Internet Exchange (GR-IX)[7]. GR-IX constitutes an important national infrastructure as it interconnects significant players of the Greek Internet, such as Internet Service Providers, Content providers etc., and facilitates the exchange of IP traffic among them.

The goal of GR-IX is to improve the connectivity, quality and speed of the Greek Internet and, at the same time, reduce the cost of accessing it.

International activities[edit]

GRNET participates actively in international projects funded by the European Union, including [8] 6DISS, EUMedConnect[9], EUMedGrid, [10] ForSociety, ACTION[11], and others, for the advance of digital technologies in Europe and the world. ORIENT Plus - Linking European and Chinese Research Infrastructures and Communities. COMPLETE project aims at optimizing the spending of public resources when purchasing network equipment and related services. As a key approach towards this goal, the project will create a common information platform for public procurers, while it will support them in the procurement process by providing the organizational and technical expertise. AARC is an EC funded project that brings together 20 different partners from National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), e-Infrastructures service providers and libraries. AARC aims to develop and pilot an integrated cross-discipline authentication and authorisation framework, built on existing AAIs and on production federated infrastructures.

South-Eastern Europe eInfrastructures[edit]

GRNET participates in regional and European projects which aim at bridging the digital divide between countries of the region and the rest of Europe. In this context, GRNET coordinated the SEEREN[12] project for building a high-speed regional network which extended GEANT to all the Balkan countries, as well as the SEE-GRID[13] project to prepare the ground for the region to join the broader European Grid computing activities. Furthermore, GRNET is a partner in the SEEFIRE[14] project which studies the existing optical networking infrastructure in SE Europe, in preparation for building a dark fibre network which will cover the whole region. VI-SEEM, is a project that will unify the existing e-Infrastructures in South-east Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean (SEEM) in order to facilitate regional interdisciplinary collaboration among the scientific communities dealing with Life Sciences, Climatology and Digital Cultural Heritage

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], ARIS System information (in Greek)

External links[edit]

  • grnet.gr/en - The Official site of GRNET (in English)
  • grnet.gr - The Official site of GRNET (ΕΔΕΤ) (in Greek)