The Ministry of Universities, Research and Innovation takes over Improving the mesh capacity of 3,100 kilometers of fiber optics serving the Andalusian scientific and academic community and with which they have advanced connectivity and network services needed to perform their work and collaborate remotely. Your update will allow it ten times the bandwidth from ten to one hundred gigabits.
This high-performance communications infrastructure, called Scientific Informatics Network of Andalusia (RICA)is managed by the Board of Directors and forms the “Super Internet” connecting the ten public universities and 45 centers and organizations, also of a public nature, that carry out their work in the territory of Andalusia. It offers a more advanced and faster service than the traditional commercial network, in which information is transmitted in gigabits rather than megabits and its access is limited to the general public.
The Minister of University, Research and Innovation, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, has emphasized that thanks to this ongoing modernization “Andalusian science and higher education will be able to work with better results, since it will be possible to achieve the maximum connectivity and offer cutting-edge telematic services, ensure that the entire system works safely, reliably and efficiently“.
The modernization of the RICA network consists of replacing the ten existing routers, which are tens of thousands larger than those installed for domestic use and each weigh more than 100 kilos. With this update, it will be possible to increase the bandwidth currently available to universities and research centers by up to ten times, as the computer network is expanded from connection interfaces with ten gigabits per second, scalable up to 40, to a capacity of up to 100 gigabits per second Second. Compared to fiber optics connecting homes, the potential is almost 160 times greater.
In order to benefit from these changes, academic institutions must make interventions in their own facilities to adapt their campus to the new characteristics.
That The University of Granada (UGR) is the first to complete its renovation works. The tasks started a year and a half ago with the commissioning of the new connection to the Melilla campus and with the adaptation of the telecommunications infrastructure required for the next expansion of the Ceuta campus network. The intervention has made it possible to implement two fiber optic connections to the RICA network, offering redundancy and fault tolerance while doubling the speed of operation. Execution of all these improvements ended last August.
With the optimization carried out, this academic institution has managed to qualitatively change its fiber optic network installed in Granada, Melilla and Ceuta, becoming the most advanced in its area at national and international level.
Gómez Villamandos “appreciated and made possible the efforts of the UGR in its network offer a higher quality service for strategic projects like the IFMIF-DONES and those related to disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain or the Internet of Things (IoT)”.
In addition, he has stressed that Granada will also benefit from the improvement of the RICA network “the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusiaone of the unique infrastructures of greater relevance in the community”.
In the coming months, the University Council, in cooperation with the rest of the academic institutions and research centers, will carry out the remaining pending update tasks. The router will be replaced and the network installed in the node before the end of September Andalusian Scientific Computing Center (CICA), which serves the University of Seville. The knot of cicCartujawhich covers a group of research organizations carrying out their activities in the Cartuja Science and Technology Park (PCT Cartuja).
In the last quarter, the changes to the campuses of the other public universities will be addressed, with the forecast that they can be completed in the first quarter of next year 2023.
Fiber optic highways in the service of science
The renewal of the RICA network is being carried out in collaboration with the public company Red.es, affiliated to the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation.
With this increase in data flow, the data volumes increase and are transmitted faster. up to 4,000 ultra-high definition videos simultaneously and without delays nor buffering (cache memory). The improvement project also envisages the deployment of two new fiber optic connectivity upgrades in the existing network.
from that the 2,129 research groups will benefit linked to academic institutions and research infrastructures as relevant and unique as the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia based in Granada or the Calar Alto Observatory, in Almeria; as well as CSIC centers. All these agents are at the forefront of knowledge and try to respond to the main scientific challenges for the progress of Andalusian society.
The total investment to implement the intervention was estimated at more than 2.4 million euros, which are fully financed by Next Generation Funds from the European Union. The ministry also provides all the technical work necessary to successfully complete the expansion of the scientific infrastructure.