Words: Yasmeen AlKouz, ASREN
On January 1, 2022, the Moroccan national research and education network (MARWAN) successfully migrated from MARWAN 4 (2017-2021) to the new architecture MARWAN 5 (2022-2026).
MARWAN, which was created in 1998 and run by the National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST), has evolved slowly but steadily over the years despite significant governance and funding constraints.
CNRST constantly relies on the evolution of communication technologies internationally to improve the quality, service and network architecture of MARWAN. Today, in its new topology using SD-WAN technology built on the VPN/MPLS telecom operator backbone, MARWAN 5 connects more than 250 higher education and research institutions through 133 links covering 51 cities in Morocco, with a bandwidth speed up to 10 Gbps.
MARWAN new layout showed an improvement in the network efficiency and speed, significantly improving access to the nationwide R&E connectivity across Morocco. And thanks to the recent direct link to the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) through its participation in the EU co-funded AfricaConnect3 project, connecting MARWAN to the European network GÉANT and the global R&E networking community; the Moroccan researchers and students is now placed in a leading position to leave a mark both nationally and internationally.
Since its inception, MARWAN has been a driver for Moroccan universities and research centers to develop new services in education, technology transfer and scientific research, increasing the uptake of their service portfolio, including High Performance Computing (HPC), eduroam, identity federation, IPv6, digital certificates, EduVPN, content caches and Software repository mirrors.