Evaluation of research education networks in Zambia a case study: Zambia research education networks(ZAMREN)

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Mwiinga, Jervas
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The University of Zambia
ABSTRACT- ZAMREN a Zambian NREN, established on 19th September, 2007, has its network along the line of rail (Livingstone town to Chililabombwe town), and it connects to rest of the world through two (2) fibre channel at 1Gbps. The use of video conferencing application or data intensive applications is desirable and a quicker means of fostering e-learning over the internet. Sustaining such a service is, however, expensive as it requires a substantial bandwidth allocation as well as computers with adequate capacity. Therefore, knowing the capacity of the network, strategies on how to manage multimedia services or applications in RENs is essential. This research was an evaluation of REN in Zambia primarily focusing on identifying affiliates challenges in accessing ZAMREN network, determining the current ZAMREN network status and determining the robustness of ZAMREN network in support video conference applications. The research instruments used in the study included questionnaires, Ms-excel, SPSS and Opnet 14.5 network simulation software. The findings for objective (i); 19% of ZAMREN affiliates faced a challenge of power outage, 16% challenge of funding, 16% fibre cuts (damages), 11% high internet tariffs, 7% lack of technical ICT know-how, 7% lack of support from ZAMREN, 5% lack or low level of appreciation ZAMREN’s infrastructure, 5% connection problem, 5% long response time, 2% lack of management support on ICTs matters, low level of appreciation of ZAMREN was 2%, 2% poor services, 2% unsecure and unreliable and 2% bureaucracy. The finding for objective (ii) was that the maximum current channel capacity of ZAMREN was 1Gbps, and the findings of objective (iii); was determined at point of failure for ZAMREN network which was at 6752 nodes and total traffic sent was 1000067889 bits/sec. Keywords: Research Education Networks (RENs), ZAMREN, video conferencing, High Performance Computing (HPC)
High performance computing--Zambia , Research education networks--Zambia