18 November 2014

fiber optics threads

Researchers right around the country will have access to extended and enhanced broadband connectivity when South Australian Shadow Minister for Education David Pisoni launches the National Research Network (NRN) project on November 18 at 12 noon at the University of South Australia’s City West campus.

Funded by the Federal Department of Education and led by UniSA’s CIO, the National Research Network project has greatly enhanced connectivity for researchers in capital cities (Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne), regional areas (including Far North Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia), interstate (between Adelaide and Perth) and has enhanced new mission-specific projects in radio astronomy and storage networking.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the project represents a large and important investment in Australia’s future.

“The network will improve research efficiency by giving Australian researchers the ability to collaborate more widely and effectively.

“Researchers will be able to manage, move and share data volumes well beyond current capacities, use and manipulate significant collections of data that have been previously unavailable or difficult to access, and improve the availability of quality research data for sharing and re-use.”

Paul Sherlock, UniSA Chief Information Officer and Project Director says almost every researcher in Australia will benefit from this network. 

“As researchers grapple with ever more complex research questions the technology they use must be able to keep up with their ever-expanding datasets, allow collaboration with their interstate and international peers and enable instant access to computing resources,” Sherlock says.

“The $37 million investment by the Federal Government has significantly enhanced Australia’s advanced research and education telecommunication network (AREN) which now provides critical, very high-speed connections between Australian universities and research institutions. The AREN is implemented by SABREnet in South Australia, VERNet in Victoria, and in other states, nationally and internationally by AARNet.

“The AREN connects institutions in all capital cities and many regional centres, as well as isolated research facilities such as radio telescopes. It also connects Australian researchers to the USA, Singapore, Asia and Europe.”

Locally, Sherlock says the National Research Network will connect researchers to cloud, and storage infrastructure made possible by co-investment from the NCRIS-funded Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) scheme and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources project (NeCTAR).

Introducing these complementary services, Director eResearch SA, Mary Hobson says the storage capacity of 4300 terabytes is the largest research data storage capability in South Australia.

“The South Australian node of the Australian Research Cloud puts cost effective, secure, scalable computing infrastructure at researchers’ fingertips, delivering an instant impact for their productivity and output,” Hobsen says.

“Together with the National Research Network these services will support researchers at the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Flinders University, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the state government by hosting and supporting research data collections and their active use and retention.

“The research that will benefit from this communications infrastructure range from projects to protect Australia’s unique biodiversity, the cataloguing of cultural treasures right through to top level medical and agricultural research.”

Stakeholders from the NRN project including NRN Steering Committee members, AARNet, SABRENet, and VERNet staff, Project Steering Committee Members, South Australian researchers, eResearch SA staff and VIPs including UniSA Vice Chancellor Prof David Lloyd, SA Shadow Minister for Education David Pisoni, SA Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Gail Gago will all attend the launch of this vital network.

Contacts for interview:

Paul Sherlock, CIO UniSA and NRN Project Director, UniSA, Paul.Sherlock@unisa.edu.au, tel: (08) 8302 6260 

Mary Hobson, Executive Director, eResearchSA, mary.hobson@ersa.edu.autel: (08) 8313 1107

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: +61 8 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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