SANReN is a high speed network that aims to connect more than 200 research and tertiary sites around the country with one another as well as with international research and education organisations around the globe. It is part of the DST¿s national cyber infrastructure initiative and complements the Centre for High Performance Computing and the Very Large Database curation project. SANReN is operated by TENET.
The overall network architecture consists of a national backbone connecting Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and back to Durban on a 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) ring network. Metro rings have been installed in Johannesburg, Tshwane, eThekwini and Cape Town. A second phase of the SANReN project is extending the backbone to more remote sites including Polokwane, Grahamstown, Makhado and Mafikeng. SANReN provides international connectivity via the SEACOM submarine cable through an arrangement with TENET.
The SANReN Phase I network connects 105 institutions with 10Gbps links. This translates into 23 educational institutions, eight science councils and seven national facilities and a total of 450 000 users. Total investment in SANReN for phase 1 has been R429 million (including funding to connect the SALT and SKA sites).
By the end of FY 2012/13 a total of R787 million will have been invested in the national SANReN network roll out--which includes the national backbone network, metropolitan area networks, backbone network extensions, connections to SALT (South African Large Telescope) and SKA (Square Kilometre Array) sites, and associated equipment acquisition costs.