The interconnected research world…
Last week our Australian sales team were in attendance at the QUESTnet 2013 Conference on the Gold Coast. The Queensland Education, Science and Technology Network (QUESTnet) is the Queensland regional component of the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet). The QUESTnet annual conferences are aimed at network technologists and those ICT professionals who must work closely with network technology. To quote the conference website “Basically, QUESTnet is about net-workers networking!”
Research and educational sectors have always been at the forefront of advancements in network connectivity, often bringing online new services well before they’re seen by the general public or even in the enterprise. Driving these advancements is the collaborative nature of research and educational worldwide. Long gone are the days where institutions are only required to provide internet connectivity for their staff and students on campus. More services are expected from stakeholders to support collaborative research, data sharing, distance education, or even just working from a remote location.
At the heart of this interconnected research and educational sector are not-for-profit national research and educational network (NREN) providers like AARnet (Australia), Janet (UK), and VERNet (Victoria, Australia). There are well over 100 of these network providers worldwide. They collaborate to provide not only high-speed networks , but services like Eduroam, a location independent wireless network, that allows staff and students of universities to gain secure access to networks when visiting other institutions worldwide.
It’s always exciting to hear about the innovative approaches used to address the technology challenges that the education and research sector face. Whether that be managing a thousand wireless access points across a campus, or providing high-speed network access for high-definition video conferencing used by medical consultants in research hospitals.
As a vendor, we see conferences like this not only as a great opportunity to promote our solutions, but to also discuss future requirements for network infrastructure management. We learn about particular pain points that need addressing, and receive invaluable feedback about our solutions. So, to all those that were in attendance, a big thank-you from the Australian sales team. We look forward to seeing you next year!