Investigating RINA as the next generation NREN and GEANT architecture



The prevalent TCP/IP network architecture has been applied in a variety of situations it was never designed for. A new architecture that better supports distributed computing and effectively exploits the raw transmission capacity of the physical media is required. IRINA proposes to study the use of RINA, the Recursive InterNetwork Architecture, as the foundation of the next generation NREN and GEANT network architectures. IRINA targets the following goals:

  • To make a comparative study of RINA against the current networking state of the art and the most relevant clean-slate architectures under research, specially focusing on the particular requirements of the research-networking environment.
  • To perform a use-case study of how RINA could be better used in the NREN scenario, considering different deployment options, and illustrating the benefits that RINA can bring in terms of multi-homing, mobility, quality of service, programmability, virtualization and network management. 
  • To showcase a lab trial of the use-case study, utilizing a customized version of the RINA prototype being developed by the FP7 IRATI project, and the experimental facilities contributed by the project partners.
  • To involve the NREN and GEANT community in the different steps of the project, in order to discuss the project approach, the findings and to get valuable feedback. The organization of a network architectures workshop in cooperation with GN3+ JRA1 will be a key instrument to achieve this objective. 

The members of the IRINA consortium have a long track of successful experiences in network architecture research, both from the theoretical and experimental viewpoints. In particular, all the project partners are key members in the research and development of the RINA architecture. Participation in G3+ will allow IRINA partners to expose the NREN and GEANT community to the great potential of RINA, particularly in enabling a full unification of distributed computing and networking.


IRINA will apply the RINA architecture to the GEANT and NREN environment; effectively integrating scientific distributed computing services with the raw capacity provided by the latest generation of transmission and switching equipment. The approach taken by the IRINA consortium is to start from the basis that RINA is the best approach for the next generation GEANT and NREN network architectures, and to use the proposal to prove it (comparing RINA with the current architecture and the major clean-slate proposals; and analyzing how the NRENs and GEANT could better exploit RINA).

IRINA will survey the most relevant clean-slate network architectures proposed up to date, and analyse them taking the current architecture as a baseline. Input from the different clean-slate network architecture proposers, as well as from the NREN and GEANT community (including academia and industry) will be gathered and considered for the analysis work.

IRINA will organize a network architecture workshop in cooperation with JRA1, targeting the relevant stakeholders in the GEANT and NREN community – involving academia and industry. IRINA will also discuss the project work and gather input from the scientific networking community during the TERENA Networking Conference 2014.

IRINA will focus on the RINA architecture as the best approach for the NREN and GEANT architectures. The IRINA consortium believes that the NREN community can play a pivotal role in prototyping the next generation of networking powered by RINA, and can exploit the Horizon 2020 framework in order to slowly transition from conceptual work into deployment.

IRINA will showcase the benefits of using RINA in the NRENs and GEANT environment by conducting a lab trial using the FP7 IRATI RINA prototype and the experimental infrastructure contributed by the partners, interconnected through GEANT and the NRENs.

12/2013 to 03/2015
149.955 €, GEANT3+ Open Call ( 2013)
199.940 €