The Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network, or KAREN, is now live, providing 10Gb/s (gigabits per second) network access to all KARENís foundation members, which includes New Zealandís eight Universities, nine Crown Research Institutes and the National Library.
The network is dedicated to fostering collaboration in teaching, learning, research and innovation by seamlessly connecting members with researchers, educators, data and internet resources anywhere in the world at any time.
Telecommunications company TelstraClear has worked with the KAREN team to provide the live backbone for the network.
Several members have been using the network on a pilot basis since August 2006. Immediate uses include real-time access to data sets and resources nationally and internationally, high quality video conferencing and increased computational power through GRID computing.
Researchers in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Auckland University are actively participating in earthquake simulation experiments at the US based Network Earthquake Engineering Simulation. KAREN gives the engineers in Auckland the ability to carry out remote experiments through the use of advanced telepresence technologies. Where once they were solely observers of international earthquake experimentation, they now participate on an equal footing with their international collaborators.
The Human Interface Technology Lab (HITLab) has developed AccessGrid venue servers to enable people to log in and link up with others on the network nationally or internationally. KAREN has enabled the HITLab to push forward the boundaries of high definition virtual reality from its New Zealand base.
Auckland and Oxford Universities held the first of their videoconferencing sessions using Auckland Universityís BeSTGRID Portable AccessGRID. Five Maths Educationists, three in New Zealand and two in Oxford, were able to discuss new possibilities for collaboration provided to them as if they were in the same room, particularly joint viewing of numerical and video data (from research projects) and discussions in real time.