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Abstract -- Bringing Internet to North-West of Russia -- RUSNet N/W project Regional Track
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Bringing Internet to North-West of Russia -- RUSNet N/W project

Zaborovski, Vladimir ( vlad@stu.spb.su)
Lopota, Vitaly ( vlopota@stu.spb.su)
Shemanin, Yuri ( yuri@fuzzy.stu.neva.ru)
Tarasov, Stanislav ( star@stu.spb.su)


The paper reveals the basic concepts, current activities and the practical approaches of the pilot networking project that has been launched by State Technical University of Saint Petersburg (STUSP), State Scientific Center of Russia/Institute of Robotics and Technical Cybernetics (SSC IRTC) and LENENERGO Inc. The project is an example of how academic and research community in the North- Western region of Russia adapt to the new market reality in close collaboration with major industrial data-communication facilities providers of both domestic and foreign dispositions. The basic concept of academic network in N/W region of Russia has been offered by the Analytic Research Group of STUSP in 1993 and approved at international conferences (INETT94/JENC5 in Prague, NSCT94 in London).

Due to a number of historical and political reasons Russia currently has a very low level of Internet connectivity. Last years growth of academic traffic has been accommodated by mobilizing spare capacity in the leased low-speed line infrastructure. The project has several goals: brings together the joint efforts of a number of organizations to extend the reach of Internet in the Northern-Western part of Russia, as well as to establish high-speed backbone network based on the modern technologies at St.Petersburg. Another aim of the Project is to create and carry on successful collaboration activities among multiple organizations in implementing Internet connectivity.

Optical fiber technology is crucial for building of modern telecommunication infrastructure. With its enormous transmission capacity, optical fiber has already become the medium of choice for Internet links. RUSNet N/W network infrastructure based on LENENERGO fiber web.

RUSNet is an experimental wide area network that serves as a test bed for research on data networking. The global aim of the research work is to provide the new communication environment and switching technology for multimedia. The primary service offered over RUSNet is a fast IP interconnect between nodes in FDDI ring. This feature makes RUSNet an ideal testbed for experiments on multimedia communication. Besides, such a choice gives a possibility of relatively easy changing FDDI to ATM technology -- most promising transmission method, that supports every type of traffic with few delays, guaranteed bandwidth and high-speed switching. Since RUSNet offers seamless IP connectivity we will be able to use some common IP multicast based tools.

Now the constructing of advanced communications networks requires a huge investment and a long period of time. The key of project to successful evolution towards the future network is optimum distribution of industrial and academic resources. Another major component of the project are information services. We have identified three requirements for information services provided as a part of project: support the project's primary mission to bring the power of the Internet to the universities and research centers in Saint Petersburg and N/W part of Russia; build upon today's information infrastructure (Gopher and WAIS), and incorporate evolving technologies (WWW, WHOIS++); provide a convenient medium for communication and the distribution of teaching material.

Research part of the project is to investigate mixed-traffic application and improve ordinary router-based architectures. The project supposed to be implemented in 3 stages. The first stage includes the construction of basic backbone segment. This allows to test main technical solutions, to make technical staff training and certification, to create a base of information services. This stage should give the result as working high-speed backbone segment in St.Petersburg connected to Internet via FUNET/NORDUNet.

The second stage of the project includes the development of backbone infrastructure and technical base, its international and cross-regional connections by attaching new high-speed lines and remote nodes. The spreading of an information servicesT range will take place. At the third stage, side by side with the future regional network development, we intend to migrate to ATM - the most modern network technology. In router-based network tree major ATM routing application can be implemented. These application will be used in different scenarios, depending upon needs for increasing bandwidth at different points in the network.