What is an NREN?

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As New Zealand’s designated National Research and Education Network (NREN), we are an active member of the global community of over 120 national and regional research and
education networks.

These NRENs have long-established working relationships, and have over time developed shared practices and operational protocols, which enable them to work together to transfer data between researchers, research organisations and libraries, around the world.

In effect these NRENs simply “hold hands“ to create a seamless high-performance network infrastructure. Together they enable data-intensive traffic to transfer to or from their NREN or to transit through their NREN to a further destination.

The international research and education network enables researchers to connect with their peers nationally and internationally. It supports research collaborations, and facilitates massive data transfers. New Zealand researchers at the southern-most NREN in the world are able to participate in and play an active role in addressing global issues.

Because of this global network of NRENs, New Zealand researchers gain access to a worldwide, multi-billion-dollar research and education infrastructure, dedicated to the pursuit of science, research and education. This is because each NREN develops and maintains the
cost of their national infrastructure with the understanding and expectation that it will be used by other NRENs. They send and receive traffic between each other, at no cost to other parties.

The global advanced network community also develops and manages services for the use of all NREN members. The services include eduroam (education roaming: the secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education
community) and eduGAIN (the global federated identity management system).

REANNZ is proud to be the smallest NREN to have a seat at the table of the international NREN Chief Executive’s Forum. We were also pleased to host the CEO’s Forum in New Zealand in February 2019.

Today, a dedicated and high-performance specialist research and education network is a signal of a country’s commitment to, and value placed on, data-intensive science.

The New Zealand government now requires all applicants for data science research funding to have access to an advanced network that delivers rapid and high-fidelity national and international transfer of data with minimal packet loss, and also enables data-intensive research activity and collaboration with international researchers.

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