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National Knowledge Network (NKN) is a state-of-art countrywide network which is a revolutionary step towards creating a knowledge society without boundaries.

The objective of NKN is to interconnect all institutions of higher learning and research with a high-speed data communication network to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative research.

National Knowledge Network (NKN) bridges the existing knowledge gap in the country and helps to evolve as a Knowledge Society and spur economic activities in the Knowledge domain. It facilitates the development of India’s information infrastructure, stimulate research, and create next generation applications and services.

Some of the salient features of the NKN are:

  • Establishing Connectivity for Knowledge and information sharing.
  • Enabling Collaborative Research in emerging areas such as Climate Modelling.
  • Facilitating distance education in specialized fields such as medicine, emerging high tech areas covering info-bio-nano technology.
  • Facilitating an ultra-high-speed e-governance backbone for information sharing.

NKN also acts as a test bed for research in the area of network, security and delivery models for various services. As NKN is a new initiative, it will leverage existing initiatives, to ensure faster roll out with modest investment.

NKN Design and Architecture

The main design consideration for NKN was to create an infrastructure that can scale and adapt to future requirements.

NKN design philosophy is to Encourage, Enable, Enrich and Empower the user community to test and implement innovative ideas without any restriction from the network technology and its administration. Based on that philosophy, as a next generation network, NKN will cater to the following requirements:

  • Network design –

    NKN design follows all the current standards to permit seamless inter-operability amongst technologies and seamless integration amongst different original equipment manufacturers.

  • Security requirements –

    With the growing number of incidences reported by CERT and the increasing challenges posed by innovations in convergence, keeping the network alive can be possible only with very stringent security measures designed, implemented and deployed.

  • Service requirements –

    These requirements are essential for transparent delivery of services based on either heritage (as in telephony) or the general requirements for a particular service.

  • Network requirements –

    These requirements are network-specific and can be tied to specific services, specific delivery mechanism (client could be variety of devices like PC/ PDA/ any other device) and access mechanisms like (intranet / Internet). The design will cater to the overall performance goal of the NKN infrastructure.

  • Operational requirements –

    The NKN is designed to cater to the requirements of tracking, troubleshooting, health monitoring, and proactive performance monitoring. With the converged network it becomes more important to proactively monitor the network for impending issues.

NKN Services:

NKN is steadily evolving as the National Education Research Network (NREN) of India. The project has already made significant progress by connecting over 1100+ institutes in the network. NKN is now being looked as the harbinger of change in our knowledge society but this also brings together the responsibility to continuously look forward to providing the much-required impetus to R&D initiatives related to networking technology.

NKN understands the requirement of R&D initiatives without a profit motive and therefore took a step forward in facilitation of this cause. The team comprising of zealous engineers and networking experts have worked over past few months to develop set of NKN products and services.

NKN Services are categorized into three major categories:

  • Cloud based Services
  • Network Oriented Services
  • Application Services

Community Services:

The focus area is the common problems faced by a pool of users and provide them an easy access to tools and technologies through a centralized mechanism. The delivery mechanism for these services is primarily cloud-based technology which allows us to disseminate it to a larger audience within short span of time.

  • Countrywide Virtual Classroom :

    NKN is a platform for delivering effective distance education where teachers and students can interact in real time. This is especially significant in a country like India where access to education is limited by factors such as geography, lack of infrastructure facilities etc.

  • Collaborative Research :

    NKN enables collaboration among researchers from different educational networks like GLORIAD, TEIN3, GARUDA, CERN etc. NKN also enables sharing of scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.

  • Grid Computing :

    NKN has the capability to handle high bandwidth with low latency with a provision overlay grid computing. Some of the grid-based applications are climate change/global warming, science projects like Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and ITER.

  • Virtual Library :

    The Virtual Library will enable sharing of journals, books and research papers across different institutions.

  • Sharing of Computing Resources :

    High-performance computing is critical for national security, industrial productivity, and advances in science and engineering. The network enables many institutions to access high-performance computing to conduct advanced research in areas such as weather monitoring, earthquake engineering and other computationally intensive fields.

  • Network Technology Testbed :

    NKN provides a testbed for testing and validation of services before they are made available to the production network. NKN also provides an opportunity to test new hardware & software, vendor interoperability etc.

  • e-Governance :

    The NKN will provide high speed backbone connectivity for e-governance infrastructure such as data Centres at the national and state levels, and networks (SWANs). The NKN will also provide massive data transfer capabilities required for e-governance applications.

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