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In the name of God the Most Compassionate and Merciful. UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking UbuntuNet IEEEAF Eastern Cluster Design Workshop Nairobi 6-7 October 2008 The Sudanese Universities Information Network (SUIN ): Overview By: Dr. Iman Abuel Mali Abdelrahman

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In the name of God the Most Compassionate and Merciful

UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking

UbuntuNet IEEEAF Eastern Cluster Design Workshop

Nairobi 6-7 October 2008The Sudanese Universities Information Network (SUIN):Overview

By: Dr. ImanAbuel Mali Abdelrahman



1. Introduction

2. Project Overall Goal

3. Business Plan

4. Network Plan

5. Operation and Maintenance

7. Project Cost

8. Challenges and Opportunities

9. Proposed Network Design

Area : 1 million square miles.

Population: 36 Million

Telecommunication Revolution in Sudan

1993 Privatization of Telecommunication in Sudan

  • 1994 Regulator

  • 1995 Internet

  • 1997 Mobile Communication

Telecommunication Revolution in Sudan

Mobile Technologies: 2.5 G, 3G, and 3.5G

Data Transmission Networks : X-25, ATM, Frame Relay, DSL, mDSL, EVDO

Optical Fibre in Sudan

a total of 11000 km

Covering all states except the south

Higher Education


  • The beginning of higher education in Sudan trace to the establishment of the Gordon Memorial College in 1902

Total of 86 Institutions

27 Public Institutions

45 Private Institutions

14 Technical Institutions

A total of:

600,000 Students

13,000 Staff

  • The ICT community at these universities and enthusiastic users exerted great pressure to acquire their own network.

  • In 2004 the Ministry of Higher Education responded to these needs by establishing The Sudanese Universities Virtual Library project (SUVL) and later being upgraded to Sudanese Universities Information Network (SUIN.)

Sudanese Universities Information Network

The Sudanese Universities Information Network


Main goals
Main Goals

The main goals of this project are to provide connectivity among the Sudanese educational institutions, increase sharing of knowledge, help universities build their information infrastructure, and extend the value of digital libraries.

Main goals1
Main Goals

The main goals of this project are to provide connectivity among the Sudanese educational institutions, increase sharing of knowledge, help universities build their information infrastructure, and extend the value of digital libraries.

Business Plan

  • UofK is the oldest and largest public university in Sudan.

  • It has 5 campuses located in different geographical locations in Khartoum.

  • In 1999 the campuses were connected in a WAN based on different technologies (Optical fibre, frame relay and wireless Tech).

  • The business plan for SUIN was based on the model of the University of Khartoum (UofK) network

  • It has a similar users’ behaviour and service demand

Phased Plan

  • A five years plan for the whole project was outlined as follows:

  • Phase I Implementation of the Sudanese Universities Information Network (SUIN) 2005

  • Phase II Implementation of the Sudanese Universities Virtual Library (SUVL) 2006

  • Phase III Network upgrade and optimization 2007

  • Phase IV Content development 2008

  • Phase V E- services provision 2009

Network Plan: Phase I (2005)

  • 31 public universities were connected by 128 kbps data link using the Frame Relay technology to a central router at the University of Khartoum.

  • 4 Mbps was provided for the Internet, using the DSL technology.

  • Cisco routers and fast Ethernet were the technologies used.

Network Plan: Phase I (2005)

  • The service was provided by Sudatel.

  • Why starting with that very low connectivity ?

  • Because of the low budget available at that time.

Frame Relay

128 Kbps / month ----------150 USD


512 Kbps/ month -----------2000 USD

Optical Fibre

1 Mbps /month -----------2500 USD

Network Plan: Phase I (Obstacles)

  • 10 fold increase of the traffic especially for those universities for which SUIN were the only path to the Internet.

  • Due to small bandwidth; universities looked for other solutions to get a better bandwidth for the Internet.

  • Weak operation due to lack of proper contacts with the ICT people in the universities.

Phase ii the sudanese universities virtual library

Phase IIThe Sudanese Universities Virtual Library


Local contents


Lib catalog




Reports and stats

Digital Libs




Int Libraries

Int Clases

Int sites

Lib Societies

Int. DBs

International Contents

Network Plan: Phase II (network topology)

  • A web server and a firewall were connected to SUIN and four databases were implemented.

  • Open source software is the used

  • Figure (4) shows the network topology with details concerning the web server and firewall located in the University of Khartoum.

Phase III: Network upgrade

  • We got Fund for 2008

  • Optical Fiber for

    • 30 Public univ,

    • 10 private

    • 10 research centers

Phase III: Network upgrade

Current situation

  • Optical Fiber

  • Wireless

  • VSAT

  • Frame Relay

Phase III: Network upgrade



Frame Relay

Optical Fibre

Operation and Maintenance

Consultancy committee

  • 2 Univeristies VC

  • 2 CEO form universities networks

  • 2 Directors from Ministry of Higher Education

Operation and Maintenance

Technical Team

  • SUIN (CEO)

  • UofK CEO


  • SUIN (CTO)

  • Three Technical assistant ( programmers)

  • Two part-time network engineers

Operation and Maintenance

The ICT Committee

The ICTC is comprised of 31 ICT specialists (Heads of university computer centers (CEOs)).

Operation and Maintenance

The Libraries and Information Committee (LIC)

The LIC is comprised of 13 librarians and information specialists in SUIN member institutions.

Capacity Building

  • In 2005: One training workshop in Networking and Linux operation system (70 trainers)

  • In 2007: 3 training workshops in Linux operating system ( 20 ICT specialists)

  • In 2007; 2 Training workshops in quality assurance of Libraries and building e-catalogues( 30 Librarians)

Project Cost

The Project is Funded by Governmental bodies:

1. The Ministry of Higher Education

2. The Sudanese Information Technology Fund (SITF)

  • The whole project is locally funded WITHOUT any support from the International Bodies.

  • THEN we need to strengthen the relation with the supporting bodies


  • Need for a decentralized design

  • Need for a sustainable operation model.

  • Completing the fiber networking with acceptable prices

  • Keeping the parties supporting the project motivated

  • Improve environment and salaries for ICT professionals

  • Applications and contents Development ( webhosting , email, elearning)

  • Assisting in Campuses connectivity


  • The National Regulator is the driving force for the project

  • The e-government project is a guarantee for continuation

  • Fiber will soon extend to southern Sudan and will connect to Uganda

  • Opportunity for STM1 provision

  • Opportunity for Dark fibre (e-Government project)

Proposed Network Design

All connections through optical fibre

  • Decentralization of the network can be based either on:

    • Based on 4 universities where professional ICT people and proper server rooms exist.

    • E-Government Project

Proposed Network Design I

  • This design is centralized in 4 universities (4 NOCs)

  • Static Router

  • SNMP Activated in all Routers

  • 4 VLAN ID for each site (Internet, Data, Voice, Backup)

Proposed Network Design I

  • WAN IP:

  • LAN IP: 172.16.0.x/24

  • VLAN ID:

  • BW: 2Mbps

  • Internet IP: X.X.X.X/30

  • WAN IP: Y.Y.Y.Y/24

  • VLAN ID:

  • BW: 5Mbps

Proposed Network Design II

The e-government project

Proposed Network Design II

  • The university node will be used as the gateway for the state and federal ministries and departments at state capital.

  • The federal ministries at Khartoum are connected to the network by GE links by using one of the following devices ( depending on size of Ministry and its location)

    • Net engine (router) NE20]

    • Net engine (router) AR28

    • Layer 3 switch S3900

Proposed Network Design II

  • VLANs

  • Each university has its own VLAN

  • Routing to take place at the nearest network engine or L3 switch

  • SUIN will be connected to the NTC Data Center via network engine NE40 and GE link