Last June, the Internet connection
speed at UNOG was multiplied by
three and increased to 2×100Mbits
per second. What were the main
reasons for this?
We noticed that during working hours we were already reaching 100% of the capacity of the existing bandwidth. Users were experiencing a slow performance of watched audio and video streaming of both past and live events, such as webcasting. This, usually happened during heavier conference periods.
There were also other reasons which explain the higher rate of bandwidth use: an increasing number of Wi-Fi connections requested by Conference Services, meeting participants and delegates, as well as an increasing number of applications on the smartphones using the network (eg: Notes e-mail and web browsing).
In addition to that, the development of teleworking, which is also required to ensure business continuity in case of major health or natural hazards and last but not least, a continuous trend to move from network to web applications. An example of the latter is Inspira (UN Secretariat Staff Members Human Resources Gateway), which can now be accessed from any access point in the world.
After this speed increase to Internet,
users should experience a better
performance now! We may, however,
experience again in a very shortperiod
of time a slower performance of some particular applications,
especially during some major
conferences. What will you do then?
We will continue to manage the traffic and give priorities accordingly. In addition we currently have the option to temporarily upgrade our Internet capacity to 1 Gbps to cover high peak-loads (like large conferences).
At that point, could you also consider
to permanently upgrading the existing
Internet connection speed from
2x100Mbps to maybe 1 Gbps?
Of course, this is mainly a question of available budget. The infrastructure is all there. In addition, we are looking into the option to obtain a connection to the “Internet 2”.
What would represent the move of
UNOG to Internet 2?
“Internet2” is the term for the global next general academic and research network (since the original Internet also started as a network among research institutions).
The main advantages are the very strong backbone capacity of at least 10 Gbps, its high targets of availability, very close to 100% and the use of most modern technologies emerging from the research institutions.
In practical terms, we would connect to the Swiss “branch” of Internet 2 (SWITCH), which runs a particular high-capacity exchange close to Geneva due to the proximity of CERN. They provide connections of at least 1 Gbps and so we would have all the connectivity to the worldwide Internet benefiting from the global Internet2 capacity.
But, if the “Internet 2” is mainly for
universities, why should UNOG be
able to connect?
The UN is already an affiliate member of Internet 2 since 2006. The UN joined Internet 2 to better respond to the UN Charter values, the Millennium goals and the future of the UN.
Also, the UN is indeed a large resource for research institutions in all its areas and many universities run projects in very close cooperation with the Organization. Thus, academic institutions who jointly participate in Internet 2 would have a large benefit as well as the UN for being connected to their high-speed infrastructure.
The Organization, in turn, needs a new platform to fulfill the achievement of its present and future goals and to be able to share resources. These resources are: the official document system, the verbatim recordings, the interpretation of UN meetings, the access to the UN distant education material, the archives of the League of Nations, data on humanitarian operations, human rights, vulnerable groups, trade, finance, water and energy, among others. It will be a win-win situation.
UNOG joining OICT at Headquarters in this move to Internet 2 will represent a big step on the way how the Organization will better serve all communities throughout the world.