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Cloud Services

Cloud Services

AfricaConnect is one of a series of EU-funded projects that provide infrastructure to connect research and education communities (R&E) in regions outside of Europe and to interconnect them with the pan-European GÉANT network. It has contributed to providing not only dedicated high-speed R&E connectivity but also research collaboration platforms in a growing digital cooperation space across Africa.  

Cloud has brought new attention to research and education communities. Cloud provides ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned for seamless access. Such resources include virtual servers, storage, applications, and services that are specific to the research and education communities. 

As an outcome of the AC3 project, ASREN installed high-end servers in its Point-of-Presence (PoP) located at Slough - UK, consisting of powerful CPUs, Terabytes of storage capacity, and hundreds of Gigabytes of RAM.
The servers are deployed as a “Private Cloud” virtualized infrastructure, to enable ASREN to run the long-needed network operations and management functions, and some administrative application services which are essential to the ASREN organization.
Examples of network operation functions are performance monitoring and fault monitoring software applications, which have been deployed for 24x7 network monitoring and automatic notifications in case of failures and/or issues on the peerings with NREN partners across the Arab region and with other Regional RENs like GÉANT. These functions are now deployed using long-established NOC software applications and represent the core functions of the ASREN NOC (Network Operation Center) to manage connectivity.  Examples of administrative services are ASREN DNS (Domain Name System) which is critical to manage the asren.net domain, a request tracker system to manage and follow-up requests from client NRENs, a mail transfer agent (MTA) to manage mailboxes and mailing lists of the domain, and federated identity management systems.
The ASREN Private Cloud platform provided crucial support to the Federated Identity training that was organized to build capacity aiming at AAI development for member NRENs. This has been facilitated by provisioning several virtual machines for the instructors and trainees, allowing them to get access to hands-on components and training scenarios executed in a real-life network environment. 
ASREN is proud to provide its NREN community with a set of Cloud services to meet their needs. Examples of potential services include, but are not limited to:
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – a cloud computing model that provides on-demand access to computing resources such as servers, storage, networking, and virtualization.
  • Virtual machines with powerful computing resources for scientists and educators to run simulation models and host services for scientific research.
  • Virtual machines with Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning research.
  • General purpose virtual machines for the NRENs to run applications to help their management functions, like networking, operations, and identity management.

If you would like to discuss your specific Clouds needs, feel free to contact us at cloud.services@asren.net