LAWRENCE — Academics and research at the University of Kansas will benefit from a faster internet connection through a recent upgrade by KanREN, the internet service provider for universities and other public entities in Kansas.
KanREN completed a new, 100-gigabit-per-second connection to Internet2, a network consortium that provides access to education and research institutions. The new connection provides service exclusively to Kansas universities, K-12 schools, municipalities and other KanREN members in the state. Previously, KanREN shared a 100 Gbps connection to Internet2 with five other Midwest states through the Great Plains Network.
“This new connection provides more capacity and resiliency for our Kansas members,” said Cort Buffington, KanREN executive director. “We’ve worked closely with KU and other institutions to ensure we keep pace with the ever-growing need for faster and more robust connectivity.”
The upgrade will benefit KU students, faculty and staff both in academics and research, particularly those who work with massive data sets. Some KU researchers routinely upload, download and share terabytes of data, according to KU Chief Information Officer Mary Walsh. A terabyte is 1 million megabytes — equivalent to about 300,000 images.
“In addition to supporting researchers with huge data needs, faster internet connections are critical to ensuring cloud services are a viable option for systems that support our students, faculty and staff,” Walsh said. “KanREN’s new 100 gig connection furthers our efforts to leverage the efficiency and flexibility of the cloud.”
KanREN is a member-based consortium providing internet and network technologies to research, education and public service institutions in Kansas. Networking and computing staff at KU led the creation of KanREN in 1992, as well as the creation of the Great Plains Network, a multistate research and academic networking consortium established in 1997.
“KU has always been a leader in networking, dating back to before the birth of the internet,” Buffington said. “This new 100 gigabit connection keeps the university at the forefront and will support current and future innovation.”