Thursday, February 02, 2006

AfrISPA unveils UNGANA IXBase

African Internet Service Providers Association (AfrISPA) would today in Kenya at the beginning if a two-day workshop of the first African Internet Exchange Research group, unveil the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) application, known as UNGANA IXBase.

The workshop holding at the Kenyan School of Monetary Studies, is expected to end tomorrow, Friday, February 3, and would attended by representatives drawn from nine African countries that currently have IXPs and will provide them with the software and equipment to set up data collection nodes at each participating countries.

ITRealms Online gathered that the application is a result of the African Internet Exchange Point (IXP) Research Project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to create systems and methodology in collecting, storing and analysing African Internet Exchange statistics.

Secretary-General of AfrISPA, Mr. Eric M.K Osiakwan while disclosing
this, said that name, UNGANA IXBase was taken from =EF=BF=BCUNGANA, which is a Swahili word that means "connect" and "join together".

Stressing that other meanings of the word include that 'ungana' also means combine in English when used as a verb as well as fit together.

While it equally means ‘joined’ when looked at as being derived from ‘unga V, even as it also means ‘mix together’ and ‘unite’ within the verb family usage.

He said that the essence of the software introduction is to help IXPs to have a common point at which to store traffic statistics with a central system to enable analysis and reporting on collected data.

This tool, he emphasised, would among other things help ISPs determine the rate of growth in the routing table, Internet Protocol (IP) address space, Internet traffic, degree of interconnectedness of networks and the relative volume of traffic flowing locally and internationally.

UNGANA IXBase, Mr. Osiakwan said, is an open-source software with its ongoing development coordinated via SourceForge.net.

He said each participating exchange point is encouraged to invite the local network engineers and developers to join in and contribute towards making UNGANA to serve Africa and the world better.

Disclosing that Messrs Brain Longwe and Mike Kwatampora of Inhand Limited were the brains behind this success based on leadership is its core development.

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