Transforming the way
The GÉANT network is the fast and reliable pan-European communication infrastructure serving Europe’s
research and education community. Co-funded by European NRENs and the EC (under the 7th Framework
Programme), the GÉANT network is entering its third generation, along with associated development activities.
The GÉANT project advances all aspects of European research and education networking. This encompasses
the network itself, a range of network support and access services for users, initiatives to address the digital
divide of research and education networking around Europe, and technological research to ensure GÉANT
continues to be at the forefront of networking on a global scale.
connect • communicate • collaborate
GÉANT fast facts
• Extremely high bandwidth, advanced technology,
pan-European network infrastructure connecting the
research and education community
• Data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps across 50,000 km
of network infrastructure and over 12,000 km of lit fibre
• Providing connectivity to 38 countries across Europe with
links to other world regions
• Network services spanning multiple countries and regions
providing high bandwidth connectivity, point-to-point
links and performance monitoring
• Services aimed at the end user provide researchers with
remote and secure access to resources
• The GÉANT Service Area, comprising the GÉANT network
and the NREN connected networks, provides over 3,500
institutions and 40 million users access to network access,
support, tools and applications
• Investigating emerging networking technologies to shape
the Internet of the future
• Initiatives towards assessing user requirements and
narrowing the digital divide
The GÉANT network is now in its third generation. It is
co-funded by NREN members and the EC under the EUs
7th R&D framework programme.
European network dedicated to researchers
GÉANT, the extremely high bandwidth pan-European research and education backbone, sits firmly at the heart of
global research networking. The GÉANT network provides advanced interconnectivity between 34 National Research
and Education Networks (NRENs), delivering seamless connectivity to an estimated 40 million research and education
users across 38 European countries.
With its unrivalled geographical coverage, high transmission speeds, innovative networking technology and a range of
user-focused services, GÉANT remains the most advanced international network in the world.
Through the co-operation and close collaboration of NRENs across Europe in GÉANT, researchers and projects are able
to be more innovative, opening up new methods for research as well as new possibilities to share, exchange and
process data and information.
Bringing benefits to society
The way research projects are conducted has been transformed by its existence; some simply would not have been
possible without access to the GÉANT network.
Users from a wide variety of disciplines can utilise GÉANT to facilitate the collaboration and sharing of data. From
Big Science users seeking answers about our universe, to medical research seeking cures for diseases across the world;
and from research into understanding and predicting climate change, to communication providing support for natural
disasters - the diversity of user and project applications is immense.
GÉANT user projects:
LHC could not achieve its own private network links to its research The EXPReS project reduced their data transfer from 82 days to
centres without GÉANT 82 seconds through the GÉANT network
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest experiment, The EXPReS astronomy project creates real-time distributed
based at CERN in Geneva, where scientists, engineers and support pictures of specific areas of the universe and detailed images of
staff based across many different countries are combining state-of- some of the most distant objects in space. The project uses high
the-art science and engineering and sharing data on a vast private speed GÉANT links to connect remote radio telescopes to a
network created by GÉANT. central data processor to transmit enormous volumes of data.
GÉANT network topology
lighting dark fibre for greater network performance
Through GÉANT, malaria research can be accessed through a public GÉANT has enabled ancient instruments to play again by connecting
network that would otherwise be unavailable researchers in different countries
The Wellcome Trust’s Research Programme has used contemporary and The ASTRA project (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction
historical epidemiological, geographical and demographic information Application) has recreated the sounds of the harp-like Epigonion
to create a huge database that researchers can access through GÉANT instrument from Ancient Greece and has performed one of the oldest
to study the likelihood of infection from malaria parasites and known musical scores dating back to the Middle Ages using the
susceptibility to developing the disease. geographical reach and immense power of the GÉANT network.
Innovative services to optimise the user experience
Through it’s global partners, GÉANT delivers a range of services for institutions, projects and researchers that span
and operate across country and regional boundaries. The “network of networks”, the GÉANT Service Area, created by
the NRENs and GÉANT allows users to collaborate regardless of distance or location. Europe’s researchers can
exploit dedicated GÉANT links creating optical private networks that connect specific research centres, academic
institutions and information providers.
Access to the GÉANT network provides the standard, high bandwidth IP connectivity (GÉANT IP). In addition,
GÉANT offers the benefit of a “virtual” private network created by reserving capacity on the network backbone
(GÉANT Plus or GÉANT Lambda). These specialised point-to-point connections provide dedicated bandwidth
without the cost and difficulty of building and managing a private network.
Network performance services
The connectivity services are supported by a range of network monitoring, security and support services aimed at
optimising the network performance, and ultimately the user experience. These services work to provide seamless
access to the infrastructure and enhanced monitoring to identify and remedy any incidents that disrupt the data
flow and by eliminating attempts to disrupt service by maintaining high levels of network security.
End user applications
Roaming and authorisation services are being developed and rolled out to establish remote, secure access to
GÉANT and it’s interconnected networks. To the user, the multiple networks appear to be one seamless resource. In
order to make this possible, applications that operate across many different national domains are required that
allow roaming, verifying users’ identities (authentication), and granting access to resources (authorisation).
Connecting researchers across the globe
GÉANT provides the user with capabilities to share vast quantities of data and collaborate, within Europe, and
worldwide through the extended reach of the GÉANT network. Links to networks in other world regions include
extensive connectivity to North America as well as to TEIN (Asia-Pacific), ALICE (Latin America), EUMEDCONNECT
(Mediterranean), ORIENT (China) and UbuntuNet Alliance (Southern African). GÉANT is also working towards connecting
to Central Asia (CAREN) and South Eastern Africa.
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility
of DANTE and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.