Pakistan Education and Research Network
The Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) is a part of an IT Action Plan that was launched by Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman as Minister of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan, in August 2002. The project was financed by the Government of Pakistan in cooperation with PTCLs (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited) Research and Development funds.
The network was designed, operated and maintained by NTC and now by PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited) and it is managed by Higher Education Commission (HEC). The project interlinks all public/private sector chartered universities/degree awarding institutes registered with the Higher Education Commission. The interconnectivity of these universities/institutes will integrate data banks, help collaboration for research and development activities and up-grade teaching and learning skills.
The Higher Education Commission Pakistan redesigned PERN and established a National Research and Research Education Network (NREN), known as PERN2, for the academic sectors of Pakistan. PERN2 has connectivity to other NRENs of the world including APAN (Asia), Internet2 (USA), and GEANT2 (Europe). PERN2 features include QoS, IPv6, MPLS routing/switching, gigabit networks, adaptive applications and multicasting.
PERN2 interlinks more than 100 public and private sector academic and research institutes of the country over an IP based infrastructure through metro fiber ring (Gigabit Ethernet) in the cities where facilities are available. The remaining universities/institutes are interlinked via leased dark fiber or legacy TDM communication system.
PERN2 is internationally connected through TIEN3 which is the third generation of the Trans-Eurasia Information Network TEIN3 that provides an internet network for research and education communities across Asia-Pacific. TEIN3 connects researchers and academics in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia. Bangladesh, Bhutan and Cambodia are in the process of connection, bringing the number of partners involved in TEIN3 to 19.
PERN2 Network design
PERN design is based on the latest technology available in the domain, i.e. Gigabit MetroEthernet, SDH, and DWDM (OADMs/OLAs). The network architecture had to consist of 10 GE Metro Ring Networks in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Lahore metro cities, whereas in other larger cities like, Hyderabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Quetta and Peshawar, the network had to be established using hub-and-spoke topology. Three (03) High End Carrier Class Core Routers at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi had to be installed as three Regional Access (RA) POPs (Point of Presence: a junction/aggregation point of connections), whereas, Eight Local Access (LA) POPs in the three metro cities and Four Sub-Regional Access (sRA)POPs based on aggregation/ distribution routers of Carrier Class had to be installed in four major cities.
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