KREN has begun to implement through the realization of the following goals:
• Creation of advanced information and communication infrastructure
For the academic and research community which will contain as the main core the KREN Data Center and private network infrastructure (managed, secure and fast) with advanced hardware devices that will meet the needs of HEIs;
• Platform and Software as a service
Improving higher education and science, as well as the work and life of students,
collaborators, lecturers and scientists by providing platforms and software as a service for
better collaboration and communication (IaaS, PaaS, HaaS, SaaS), various content, research,
Learning Management System (LMS) platforms, such as MOODLE and OneNote for
education and API services;
• Participation and membership in international organizations
Membership and proactive participation in the GÉANT network which connects the
National-RENs of Europe and beyond (in total 110 such networks) with high-speed, low-cost broadband and provides access to a various research, research and innovation services and other international research and educational organizations;
• Support and education for the KREN community
Creating a research and educational community, providing support for the dissemination of
knowledge and the exchange of information.
- Increasing the participation of Kosovar professors/scientific workers in research and
development activities led by the international scientific and educational
- Raising the educational and research level in Kosovo to the levels of European Union
(EU) countries, from the aspect of providing technological opportunities in education
- Strengthening of Kosovar HEIs in their function as disseminators of high-level
knowledge, and as implementers and promoters of research-scientific activity;
- General objectives for socio-economic and cultural development of the country and
for regional and European integration.
Since the beginning of the realization of KREN through the KODE project, an infrastructure has been created for the KREN network which empowers public and private Kosovar HEIs in their digital function and LMS.
KREN – Data Center
- The Data Center is a hybrid cloud infrastructure, Azure Stack on-Premises, with capacity that will meet the needs of all HEI users and for each HEI it provides access to all the services that Azure offers. KREN has provided HEIs with direct access to data center resources and coordinates ongoing activities with HEIs to provide appropriate support and services that are needed and prioritized.
KREN – Services
Following are descriptions of some of the more important services that are available or in development.
- Through KREN’s infrastructure, the following services are already available:
- LMS learning management platforms such as MOODLE and OneNote for Education;
- All services from Office365 for education that include applications for office (word, Excel, power point, OneNote, Dvelve…), communication (MS Teams,
- Yamer, share point, …), OneDrive for data storage, analysis of data (PowerBI, Power app, …) project management (Project, Planner, …) etc.
- All Microsoft Azure and open-source services for the management, monitoring and use of hardware resources in KREN, Data Center (AI, Compute, Containers, Databases, IoT, Hosting apps, DevOps,…). These services are made possible because of the Data Center hardware infrastructure that is Azure Stack Hub.
- Medium term planning:
- Some special applications for the needs of HEIs that will be developed in the near future, such as the plagiarism application, CRM platform, access to scientific journals, scientific research databases, etc.
- System for Identification and Authorization (KREN FEDERATION) which must be adapted to the standards of GÉANT (EduGAIN). This is more challenging for KREN, due to the complexity and impact of various technical and administrative factors. This system will enable “Single-Sign-On” for each user of the KREN community and from the GÉANT community.
There are 20 HEIs in Kosovo, of which nine (9) are public universities and 11 are private colleges, with a total of about 85 thousand students and five (5) thousand academic staff. Out of 20 HEIs, with 16 ME institutions, on behalf of KREN, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the use of KREN’s services and with three (3) HEIs, KREN has proper cooperation and the MoU will be signed very soon.
KREN Network – Dedicated connection to HEI campuses
KREN has currently equipped 27 campuses with the necessary hardware to enable the connection between KREN Data Center and each campus has a speed for use of up to 500Mbps, with the possibility of increasing the speed according to needs. In addition to the fiber connection, some campuses already have equipment through which the KREN network is being expanded even within the campuses with wi-fi Access points. KREN manages and monitors the network as a whole as a private network.
Connection to PoP GÉANT
Through the contract with the local ISP company, a connection with a capacity of 1Gbps has been established between the KREN Data Center and the GEANT PoP in Zagreb. The connection to the GEANT network will enable access to a wider range of services and cooperation under favorable circumstances at the European level. Whenever the speed is required, it can easily be increased to 10Gbps.
Membership in International Organizations
- KREN is a member of the GÉANT organization from November 2020 – With the “Associate” statute, the statute which enables the use of all rights and services as members with the “Member” statute, with the exception of the right to vote in the GEANT Assembly . Through GÉANT we will be able to activate and use different services.
- KREN is a member of the RIPE organization from June 2021 – through the Ministry of Economy. The membership provides the necessary Internet resources for the operation of the KREN infrastructure – Block of IPv4/24 addresses, IPv6/29 addresses and ASN number.
KREN still does not have the statute as a separate body within the institutions of Kosovo. All activities are organized within the legal framework defined by the KODE project. In order to ensure the continuity of the intended effects of the KODE Project, the Ministry of Economy with other institutions is working on a stable legal proposal for the operation of KREN, to be ready by June 2023.
Kosovo institutions and private ones, and especially HEIs, in order to raise the level of collaboration with KREN, using KREN's Data Center and LMS online platforms – In principle, higher state institutions (Government and Central Parliament), should develop KREN as a stable body or institution with its charter/statute, as a long-term institution and at the same time serving them.
For the purposes of the KODE project, the Ministry of Economy, Department of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology (DPTTIK), is the main implementing entity of the KODE project with responsibility for the management and supervision of all project components.
The KODE project staff consists of the KODE project director delegated by the ME, together with four (4) other Individual Consultants (IC) including the Coordinator as the head of the KODE Project Implementation Unit (PIU), who work in Pristina in the office headquarters of KODE within the premises of the ME. In this way, the use of ME logistics in the realization of other activities of the KODE project is being made possible. As a result, KODE has brought KREN, this time placing its infrastructure and staff in the city of Prizren, in the premises of ITP.
Currently, five (5) Individual Consultants (IC) are engaged in Prizren full-time, who provide consulting services only for KREN. One of these five consultants is the KREN Coordinator, and the same has been part of the KODE project since its inception.
KREN is located in the ITP Park in Prizren, which contains a complex of buildings with supporting and fully functional infrastructure. The location of the ITP Park is optimal in terms of transport, communication and connection with the communication infrastructure.
KREN uses half of the ground floor of the "red building", the total working area for KREN is about 600m2, where are available: two training halls, 3D technology laboratory, server room, offices and recreation park for the staff.