History & Background

What is HEAnet?

HEAnet is Ireland’s national education and research network. It has been in operation since 1983 as a collaborative endeavour between its member institutions. From 1993 until the end of 1997, the network services were managed by UCD Computing Services, under contract to HEAnet. In November 1997, HEAnet was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and relocated its network operations centre to Marine House, Mount St, Dublin 2. In 2001, HEAnet moved to Brooklawn House, Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4. In July 2006, the company moved to new offices at 5, George’s Dock, I.F.S.C, Dublin 1, D01 X8N7.

HEAnet Today

HEAnet’s very high bandwidth network connects all Irish Universities, all Institutes of Technology, other higher education institutions (HEIs) and research organisations, in addition to all primary and post-primary schools across Ireland.

HEAnet’s e-Infrastructure services underpin academic research and education activity in Ireland with approximately 210,000 students and staff (third-level) and approximately 800,000 students and staff (first and second-level) relying on the HEAnet network each day for their learning and research needs.

These institutions are linked in a state-of-the-art wide area network (WAN) spanning the country. Significantly, HEAnet played a key role in the establishment of the Irish Neutral Exchange (INEX), a facility which enables all Irish Internet service providers (ISPs) to exchange their Internet traffic in Ireland. As a result, HEAnet members benefit from a high level of connectivity with all other major Irish networks, while customers of the commercial ISPs enjoy a high level of connectivity with the national education and research network. HEAnet currently connects to INEX with 2 x 100 Gbit/s links.

HEAnet also provides connections to networks in Europe by means of its 2 x 20 Gbit/s link with the GÉANT backbone, and 2 x 10 Gbit/s circuit links to Jisc, the UK education and research network. HEAnet has a 2 x 10 Gbit/s connection to the General Internet. HEAnet also funds and manages the National Information Server (ftp.heanet.ie) which serves as an online repository of information resources of relevance to the academic and research community, both in Ireland and around the globe. HEAnet also hosts a number of major dataset services for the education and research community. Through the provision of state-of-the-art network and communications technology and important Web-based information services, HEAnet has and will continue to promote progress in today’s Information Society.