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Abstract -- Romanian National Computer Network for Research and Higher Education Regional Track
R6: Europe

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Romanian National Computer Network for Research and Higher Education

Staicut, Eugenie ( estaicut@roearn.ici.ro)
Popa, Julian ( julian@roearn.ici.ro)
Macri, George ( gmacri@roearn.ici.ro)
Toia, Adrian ( atoia@roearn.ici.ro)


This paper reviews the current status of the Romanian National Computer Network for Research and Higher Education (RNC), services provided and user community in the first stage of the development. Some lessons learned during this phase are considered. Then, future plans for the second phase of development are briefly described with emphasis on the development of a national backbone and a metropolitan network for Bucharest.

The first node ( ROEARN) was installed in December 1992 at Research Institute of Informatics in Bucharest and it was connected by leased line to Vienna University having only BITNET connectivity. Very soon some other nodes installed at research institutes and universities in Bucharest were connected to ROEARN. Exploring the network services it became very soon clear that the future of networking for research community is Internet, so only in few months, April 1993, Romania got Internet connectivity too. With the kind assistance of people of INTERNIC, RIPE and Vienna University, the .ro top level domain was registered. People of ACONET, EUNET, SUNET, UUNET, and MILNET helped with running secondary nameservers for .ro domain. Also, with help from European Community a second leased line between Bucharest and Amsterdam was installed in 1993 to allow a higher number of end user nodes to be connected.

Communities being served by RNC include mainly: R&D institutes; higher education universities; libraries; government and non-government institutions that coordinate activity in research and academic institutions, high schools. The paper presents the sources of funds, statistics regarding the total traffic, number of hosts, subdomains and users. The present configuration is star like. About 25 nodes are connected by leased lines to the international gateway and 10 telephone numbers are equiped for dialup access both for e-mail communication and also for interactive acces via TELNET or FTP.

To improve the line utilization for dialup access, POP server und UUCP protocols were installed for e-mail communications. Many programs from public domain are being used for giving acces to users. A variety of computer types (MicroVAX/VMS, DECStation Sun, IBM-AIX, PC486 with Linux) are connected. The use of UNIX machines is recently gaining advantage.

User support is provided by personnel at each main site; technical assistance and training are offered for the connection of new users and initiation in using the network services. User documentation (in Romanian and English) and some guides for Internet resources are available in electronic form on fileservers.

The paper presents also some difficulties which were encountered during the first phase of development of RNC, mainly refered to the communication infrastructure, computer and human resources. Finally, the objectives for future developments, network structure and topology for a 2nd phase of RNC are outlined.