Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN)

 

 

Name of the project: Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN)

 

Dept. under which the project was taken: Science & Technology Department, GoG   

 

Objectives

  • To modernize the intra-governmental communication setup

  • To improve administrative effectiveness and efficiency

  • To facilitate improvements in the Quality of Public services

Features

  • Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) is one of the largest IP based Multi Service (Voice, Data and Video) IT infrastructure connecting 26 Districts, 225 Talukas to State capital Gandhinagar.

  • GSWAN is End to End IP based Backbone that supports Voice, Video, and Data on the same Bandwidth from State Center to all 26 Districts and 225 Taluka centers.

  • Sachivalaya Campus Area Network (SCAN), having 7000 Fast Ethernet Input / Output ports, connects all the Government offices and Government buildings / complexes in State capital on Gigabit backbone.

  • Web sever, DNS server, Mail server and database servers have been installed at the State Data Center and have been integrated to the GSWAN / SCAN networks.

  • More than 3300 District / Taluka Government offices of 32 Government departments and semi government offices have been connected with GSWAN.

Project Description:

 

Government of Gujarat implemented the state wide area network in the year 2001-02. The end-to-end IP based network was designed for the service convergence (Voice, video and Data) on the same backbone.

 

Selection of technology standards for the Gujarat ICT infrastructures became most crucial in the given situation. Government of Gujarat, with an emphasis on the state-of-the-art “Open Standard converged network, had succeeded in creating, operating and maintaining required State wide ICT infrastructures, unparallel any where in the country.

 

Project report was prepared for State wide area network after undertaking a detailed feasibility study.  Inclusion of various offices and their location, traffic load and its characteristics, Security, LAN/WAN protocols, topology, bandwidth requirements and utilization, allocation of bandwidth ETC., were some of the critical components considered while designing the project document. Characteristics of Various climatic zones, coastal areas and identified disaster prone areas were also taken into consideration while finalizing the project specifications, as communication requirements varies from case to case basis.

 

Initial survey report included number of the Government/PSU/board/corporations offices in each District and Taluka. Based on this report need of Wide Area Services for each these unit located, in & out side of the secretariat was evaluated and a priority list was prepared indicating name and locations of such offices to be integrated initially, and to be integrated after third year of the operation.

 

Connectivity (band width) needs were defined on the basis of traffic estimated between various network nodes for initial phase and after third year. It was decided to connect SC-DC with 2 Mb link and DC-TC with 64 Kb. All horizontal offices at district were envisaged to 64 Kb links (if they were located out side district collector’s premises) be connected with district. Horizontal offices within the reach of LAN were directly interfaced with district center.

 

Adequate provisions were made for Dial-in lines for Remote Access Servers (RAS) located at each DC to facilitate GSWAN access to all Government offices not connected on Ethernet or leased line. Number of subscribers and the growth pattern were analyzed for arriving at various resources requirements on time scale. Assessment of Internet bandwidth, email service, web hosting resources, DBM resources, Security, accounting/billing, storage and backup requirements, virus protection etc... was carried out, keeping e-governance objectives and network availability criterion into consideration. Work was awarded on 1st march 2001 to the vendor for creation of GSWAN on BOOT (Built Operate Own and Transfer) basis for a period of 8 years. GSWAN was commissioned and accepted by Government of Gujarat on 26.12.2001.

 

NETWORK ARCHITECTURE & TOPOLOGY

 

The network topology as conceived and designed for GSWAN was based on a hub-and-spoke design philosophy, with three tiers in to it.

 

First tier - Secretariat Center (SC) at state capital, Gandhinagar, where from the highest office of Government functions in the state. Various departments and hundreds of subordinate offices located at the state capital are connected to SC horizontally through SCAN (Secretariat Campus Area Network). SCAN had about 7000 Ethernet I/O’s at Gandhinagar and all these I/Os are interconnected with GSWAN for information exchange. 300 GSWAN phone connections provided to various offices at Secretariat for direct voice communication to any GSWAN node in the state (at District or Taluka level).

 

Second Tier- Constitutes District Centers, or DC’s, located at district collector’s office and multiple district level other offices connected with DC horizontally. All 24 DCs, except Gandhinagar, connected on 2 Mbps (E1) leased lines with SC. Gandhinagar DC is a part of SCAN infrastructure. GoG evaluated several options to achieve cost effective, flexible and scalable connectivity for all horizontal offices and used Cat-5, OFC, JFC, wireless VSAT on case to case basis. Ten dialup PSTN lines terminated on remote access server (RAS) at DC enabling GSWAN access to all dialup users in Government. The dialup access is given to all those Government offices in district, Taluka, which are not considered for direct integration on Ethernet / leased / OFC / Wireless.

 

Third Tier - constitutes Talukas Centers, or TC’s, located at Taluka Mamlatdar’s office and Taluka Development Office provision are kept for connecting Taluka level other offices horizontally. All 225 Talukas are connected to DC. (211 on 64 Kb leased lines, and rest of 14 Talukas on Ethernet).

 

In each of the stations, there is a state-of-the-art Router, which terminates the Leased Line. These routers route IP packets intelligently throughout the network, and provide the Quality of Service (or QoS) features necessary to enable convergence of voice, video and data on to a single network infrastructure.

  

GSWAN Enhancement

 

As per original plan, and the network architecture, various GOG offices at DCs, had to be connected horizontally using 64 Kb/s leased circuits. In addition to this, at the Taluka level the current legacy architecture supports only one data connection and nine voice connections. Since 2001 when existing GSWAN started functioning, many GoG departments had progressively rolled out their applications which have been riding on existing GSWAN, which had also been expanded to cater to all these requirements by providing connectivity, through OFC / JFC / CAT-5 cabling and using Broad Band Wireless Radios. As such, as on date, more than 3000 GoG offices at DC and TC locations have been connected to GSWAN in the above manner.

 

Keeping the above in view and also requirement of many Departments seeking for additional large bandwidth to run their current and future applications, DST has already initiated the process for enhancement of existing GSWAN. Accordingly, it is necessary to increase the number of ports / elements of inter connections to aggregate higher level of bandwidth by forming clusters of nearby districts in the form of a inter connected RING / MESH and also for regulating and better management of the traffic flow.  This has been conceptualized after taking note of progressively higher traffic flow during last two years. Considering the future traffic and the geographic locations and current scenario, GoG therefore incorporated six ring clusters architecture involving multiple districts.

 

After having several rounds of discussions with the Department of Information Technology; Government of India (DIT) SWAN team; that the enhancement of GSWAN infrastructure should make the best use of the legacy architecture and the existing networking components so that an optimal architecture for enhanced GSWAN emerges, keeping in view of the legacy network and the future requirements of 5-7 years.

 

Currently, Leased Line Bandwidth, for connecting all 25 District Nodes to State capital Gandhinagar and all 211 Taluka Nodes to respective District nodes has been provided by BSNL, forming a ‘STAR’ topology network. High end ‘Carrier class’ WAN Infrastructure, having High / Midrange Class Routers and Level 3 Switches, is under implementation at 12 district locations; to transport the Video, Voice and Data traffic from one DC to the other DC directly inter-connected. Using the proposed infrastructure, the local traffic can be routed directly to the destination directly, without involvement of SC. This will reduce load on the network and will ensure more efficient service delivery. Thus, by interconnecting nearby districts to form RING / MESH, the Network traffic can be regulated more efficiently and effectively. Under the GSWAN enhancement initiative, the entire infrastructure is getting converted in to a MESH / RING topology, as shown in the figures.

 

GSWAN Current Status

  • Connects 7 Districts on 8 Mbps, 18 Districts on 4 Mbps and 1 district with 2 Mbps to State Data Center at Gandhinagar using leased circuits provided by BSNL, Reliance and Tata Tele Services.

  • Connects 225 Talukas to 26 District HQ on 2 Mbps leased circuits.

  • Interconnects more than 3300 District and Taluka level GoG offices.

  • Average 70 departmental offices at District locations and 5 offices at Taluka Locations have been connected to GSWAN

  • Over 20000 E-mail IDs created for Government officers all over the state.

  • Over 248 Websites are hosted for various departments/offices.

  • 70 Mbps Internet Bandwidth terminated at GSWAN State Centre among >4800 Internet Users.

  • Facilitates uninterrupted and easy IP based Video-conferencing between various GoG offices.

Advantages

  • GSWAN acts as an information highway and has facilitated intra governmental communications.

  • GSWAN provides a reliable Video conferencing facility between State and District Head Quarters and now it is being extended to Taluka Head Quarters.

  • GSWAN provides network support to important e-Gov applications such as e-Dhara (Land Records), HMIS, VATIS,  HD-IITS, IFMS etc.