GRNET provides Internet connectivity, high-quality e-Infrastructures and advanced services to the Greek Educational, Academic and Research community, aiming at minimizing the digital divide and at ensuring equal participation of its members in the global Society of Knowledge. Additionally, GRNET develops digital applications that ensure resource optimization for the Greek State, modernize public functional structures and procedures, and introduce new models of cooperation between public bodies, research and education communities, citizens and businesses.
GRNET operates under the auspices of the Greek Secretariat for Research and Technology / Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.
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Advanced e-Infrastructures and Innovative Services
GRNET backbone interconnects more than 100 institutions including all universities and technological institutions, research centers, public hospitals, museums and libraries, as well as the Greek School Network, with speeds up to 26×10 Gbps through its high-speed, high-capacity infrastructure of long-term leased fiber that spans across the entire country.
GRNET is present in global networking for research and education, representing Greece in GÉANT. GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness.
Large Scale Computing Services for the Researchers (Cloud Computing)
GRNET offers innovative Cloud Computing services that are available via the Infrastracture as a Service model, under the brand name “~okeanos”. By using “~okeanos”, any academic user can create a multi-layer virtual infrastructure and instantiate virtual computing machines, local networks to interconnect them, and a reliable storage space within seconds. Thousands of academic users have already utilized virtual machines in the course of their research, experimental, educational or other activities. The Cloud Computing infrastructure and services of GRNET have been made available to the pan-European R&E community via the “okeanos-global” service.
Hellenic High Performance Computing Infrastructure
GRNET “ARIS” national high-performance computing infrastructure provides state-of-the-art supercomputing capabilities to the Greek scientists. The system went into pilot operational phase in June 2015 and it is available for productive use to all researchers and scientists across Greek universities, technological institutions and research centers. The system enables the implementation of scientific and technical large-scale applications, with GRNET guaranteeing its smooth operation offering comprehensive end-user support.
ARIS is based on IBM’s NeXtScale platform, incorporating the Intel ® Xeon ® E5 v2 processors, (Ivy Bridge) and it provides computational power that reaches 170TFlops (trillion floating point operations per second). With a total of 426 compute nodes, it offers more than 8500 processor cores (CPU cores) interconnected through FDR Infiniband network, a technology offering very low latency and high bandwidth. In addition, the system will offer about 1 Petabyte (quadrillion bytes) of raw storage, based on the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS). The system software allows developing and running scientific applications and provides several pre-installed compilers, scientific libraries and popular scientific application suites.
Enhancing the use of ICT and Access to Digital Content
GRNET coordinates a series of initiatives aimed at creating e-infrastructures and services that can facilitate organizing, describing and promoting digital content of educational, research, geospatial, and environmental as well as cultural topics. These actions contribute to the vision of creating a virtual horizontal infrastructure of digital repositories, which is available from universities, research centers, museums, libraries and other institutions in the country and Europe and facilitates the preservation, sharing and exploitation of digital content by businesses and the society. The ultimate goal is to enhance the use of digital content and services from researchers, teachers, staff of public bodies and SMEs, as well as other types of communities involved in the production, processing, and use of digital knowledge.
GRNET implements green technologies in its networking and computing infrastructure, in an attempt to reduce its yearly greenhouse gas emissions’ footprint. In order to achieve that, environmental regulation, laws and codes of practice are highly regarded when assessing standards of environmental performance.
To this respect, GRNET’s environmental policy is based on the following lines of action:
- upgrades of networking & computational infrastructure with energy efficient equipment,
- deployment of an energy consumption monitoring infrastructure for real time measurements in the network Points of Presence (PoPs) and Data Centers,
- participation in research activities for the design of energy-aware mechanisms in the operation and control of the network,
- improvement of energy efficiency in GRNET data centers (low Power Usage Effectiveness – PUE values) through the application of innovative energy-aware techniques,
- increase of environmental awareness within the Greek research and academic community through the dissemination of “green” best practices,
- increase in the use of videoconferencing tools to achieve commute trip reduction,
- minimization of environmental pollution through the reduction, reuse or recycling of materials.
GRNET operates GR-IX, the Greek Internet Exchange. GR-IX constitutes an important national infrastructure as it interconnects significant players of the Greek Internet, such as Internet Service Providers, Content providers etc., and facilitates the exchange of IP traffic among them.
The goal of GR-IX is to improve the connectivity, quality and speed of the Greek Internet and, at the same time, reduce the cost of accessing it.