'It is hard for research-oriented organizations to work globally without some organization helping us to get the network connectivity in place,' said Beck. 'Keeping our own infrastructure secure is the biggest and most important step in distributing software that is secure. The Cybera connection ensures that this can be done.'
Cybera is a non-profit organization that accelerates Albertan's competitive advantage in research and development. It operates CyberaNet as a high-speed, high-bandwidth gateway to advanced networks around the world. CyberaNet's fast, low-latency connectivity provides a significant advantage to the open source community, said Beck, as Open BSD can now distribute items such as software releases with greater speed and efficiency than previously possible. The infrastructure provided by CyberaNet also means that Open BSD does not have to compromise their security to provide the degree of connectivity necessary for global open-source collaboration. While shared data centres can provide the network requirements for many Canadian businesses, the high level of security that has benchmarked the Open BSD platform necessitates an independent network connection. Cybera Network Manager Jean-Francois Amiot said CyberaNet provides a means to strengthen the capacity for globally distributed teams to collaborate.
'The Cybera network enables researchers to exchange ideas, whether through video conferencing or other collaboration tools such as software repositories and files sharing,' said Amiot. 'Collaboration is one of Cybera's core competencies, and the Open BSD connection demonstrates the value of CyberaNet.'
Open BSD developers from around the world experienced CyberaNet's extra bandwidth capacity first-hand at the N2K10 Open BSD Network Developers Conference in January 2010, hosted by the Victoria Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC) in Melbourne, AUS. Beck was impressed by the difference the new connection made in their on-site performance at the conference.
'It was rather obvious that the connectivity was vastly improved over past events outside of Canada, ' said Beck.
Overall, the partnership with Cybera has enabled Open BSD to use a made-in-Alberta solution to address the challenges of operating a globally-distributed service using secure, seamless networking.
'Open BSD is based in Alberta, and sustained by developers all over the world. It is imperative that we are able to do this type of work in Canada, and organizations like Cybera make that possible,' said Beck.
For the last 15 years, Cybera has supported Alberta's system of research and development ' also known as cyberinfrastructure ' by planning and implementing advanced networks and computational facilities. Cybera works with the Government of Alberta, Cybera's member organizations, other public and private Alberta organizations and interprovincial and federal partners to ensure Alberta's competitiveness in advanced technologies. Expanded in 2007 from the existing Netera Alliance organization, Cybera manages CyberaNet, a high performance network that connects Alberta to CANARIE, Canada's national research network. Cybera acts as the prime contractor for the management of WestGrid, a consortium that provides advanced computing for research to participating universities in Western Canada. Cybera also works with public and private partners to create pilot projects of new technologies that have potential benefits for Alberta and Canada. For more information, please visit the Cybera website.
CyberaNet is a high-speed network that connects research institutes across Alberta. The network provides an essential base infrastructure that enables Cybera to support groups performing research. The network runs at a speed of 1 Gbs between the Universities of Calgary and Alberta and other member institutes across the province. CyberaNet also provides a gateway to CANARIE, Canada's national research network, allowing member institutes to connect to 42 other networks around the world. In the past year, CyberaNet has seen a 30 per cent increase in usage over the last year.
CyberaNet also supports a virtual network using the Alberta SuperNet, providing connectivity to various education institutes and community organizations across the province.'¨ '¨
About Open BSD'¨:
The OpenBSD project produces a free, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. Open BSD emphasizes portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography; and also supports binary emulation of most programs from SVR4 (Solaris), FreeBSD, Linux, BSD/OS, SunOS and HP–UX. For more information, please visit the Open BSD website.