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Egypt - OLE

The concept of Egypt Open Lightpath Exchange has been motivated by the need for an interconnection point of presence for R/NRENs in the Arab Mediterranean region. The Arab States Research and Education Network would collaborate with the Ministry of ICT, the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, the Ministry of Research (represented by Egypt National Science and Technology Information Network (ENSTINET), and the Ministry of Higher Education (represented by Egypt Universities Network) to establish OLE in Egypt. Egypt OLE will serve as a connectivity hub between many of world research and education networks, which are passing through the Mediterranean Sea. It will establish peering for the Lightpath segments of regional and national research and education networks (R/NRENs) and big data providers, including cloud service providers.

The Egypt OLE is expected to bring connection points for NRENs and big data providers, worldwide, hosting additional connection points for adding resilience and richer connectivity. It is also expected to benefit from local expertise and will help create more jobs and opportunities for young graduates, as well as attract more traffic to Egypt. Premises of the OLE may be established at the Smart City, or possibly at the Maadi Park for better connectivity as it is near the Maadi Exchange.

Objectives

The main objectives for establishing Egypt OLE are based on technological, social, and economic factors, and are identified as follows:

Technological: To satisfy a growing demand for regional eScience activities, including:

  • Peering of R/NERN connections to support large data traffic of applications related to:

o   Multimedia Collaboration

o   Distributed High Performance Computing (HPC, GRIDs)

o   Earth Sciences, High Energy Physics (CERN, LHC…),

o   Bioinformatics, Computational Chemistry, Radio-astronomy (eVLBI),

o   Engineering (computations, emulations & simulations)

o   Cultural (archiving, collaborative digital access & processing)

  • Linking seamlessly scattered educational LANs, which exist across multiple networks
  • Routing traffic directly to reduce latency and path complexity
  • Deploying lightpath services to support common experimental activities among distributed virtual research communities.

Social: To meet societal needs towards:

  • Common culture of research and education community
  • Global and regional virtual organizations for collaborative research and distance education
  • Smoothing the digital divides and beyond by linkage to the global research and education community

Economic: To develop capacity for economic prosperity:

  • Demand aggregators for Research and Education Connectivity
  • Stimulation of technological developments and telecommunication markets

General activities

The Egypt OLE will provide variety of general services and activities to the research and education communities in Egypt and abroad, including:

  • Peering through Physical fiber cross connects, circuit switching, or packet based VPN services, with equal and open access to all R/NRENs, carriers and content providers.
  • Providing unified connectivity to all research and education communities with standard communication facilities and capabilities at the national and regional levels, leading to better sharing of resources, information, data, knowledge and expertise.
  • Consolidating services for research and education, with Egypt OLE acting as peering connectivity service provider to Arab national and regional RENs as well as to big data providers.
  • Aggregating and facilitating access to content, common repositories, and library resources with federated access to scientific resources, applications, and services.
  • Providing common caching, filtering, and protection services to all connected institutions.

Conceptual design

Egypt OLE is expected to serve as an exchange hub for Arab NRENs in Egypt (EUN), Tunis (CCK), Algeria (ARN), Morocco (MARWAN), Sudan (SudREN), Somalia (SomalREN), Jordan (JuNET), UAE (Ankabout), and cloud/ content providers, as well as to peering to GÉANT, and the US Internet2.