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The São Paulo Academic Network: 2016 project


Every year, in October, Gartner, Inc. publishes the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for the following year. In 2015, as in the last four years, out of the ten trends identified, at least eight relate directly to computer networks and computing cloud services, and it is not difficult concluding that the other two depend on networks and cloud at a large extent. Making a comparison with the accurate predictions of Gartner in previous years, the topics of this year appear as simple facts of technological evolution, with high probability of realization. The ANSP network, which serves a community of more than 300,000 researchers, students and employees of the State of São Paulo research system has to follow these trends. And for that, it was proposed from the beginning of this decade, to leave the role of just a network provider (who ANSP has played in an exemplary manner during the previous decade) and start working as well as the sponsor of the development and tests of new technologies and architectures. With respect to the physical layer of the network specifically, the ANSP network has been updated to meet the needs of the São Paulo research community and at the same time not to waste resources. In this sense, although the ANSP participate in the initiative of the National Science Foundation, Florida International University, Padtec and ANSPs to test an experimental link 100 Gbps on the submarine cable between Miami and Sao Paulo in 2016, will expand its production network in just 20 GBps necessary and sufficient flow for the needs of the year. Tests with 100 GBps will enable the team to progress to this band in 2017.With regard to the data, network and applications layers, the coming changes seem to be dramatic. On the one hand, it is increasingly clear that during the next five years these layers will move from the current packet switching technology, with switches and routers (devices using configurable rules hardware), for new packet switching technology and/or flows with equipment that follows rules set by software (SDN - software defined Networks) as the products that implement the Open Flow protocol and the virtualization of network functions (NFV - network functions virtualization). ANSP surfs that wave since its inception, with a pattern of success that put it at the top of quality among the main academic networks of the world. Since August 2014, ANSP began operating its international link on a trial basis using SDN techniques. From December on, began to operate in production the international links of the ANSP-RNP consortium. It was the first time that SDN was used to manage and operate an international academic link (besides the novelty of these links carrying simultaneously IP traffic, for RNP, and Ethernet traffic, for ANSP). The experience resulted in a paper presented to the IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Network Management 2015 (Ottawa, Canada), in May 2015, which received the Best Experience Paper Award. On the other hand, the Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes called by Gartner the "Internet of Everything", i.e. the increasingly intensive use of devices (machines, wearable devices, sensors, electronic tags, and other gadgets) connected to the Internet, requires more flexible and safer networks in all layers and all substrates. From an operational point of view, in 2016, the ANSP will continue the process of reformulation of its data center, started in 2015, improving its availability and quality of service. There will be no changes in technology in 2016 because the large research projects will require new connectivity only in 2017. (AU)

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