The Router for Academia, Research and Education (RARE) project aims to create a full featured router running on open, commodity networking hardware. RARE is being developed under the auspices of GÉANT, which is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for research and education. As such, the project focuses on research and education (R&E) institutions as well as national research and education networks (NRENs), which often require features that are not supported by commercial vendors. Another target audience is institutions that want to customize their networks to support new protocols.
Building on an earlier effort that produced freeRouter, an open-source router, the RARE project uses P4 to program the data plane, resulted in a platform that combines an open source IP router with a rich set of additional protocols and advanced features.
GÉANT is an association whose founding members are from the European Union and around 40 countries in Europe. Within this community, the members have different organizational structures and funding schemes—e.g., some are government-owned companies, some are pure associations, and some can be perceived almost as private companies.