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This page is dedicated to the management and understanding of GDS from a technical standpoint.  For more information about the background and generic understanding of GDS, please visit:


GDS is broken down into three major infrastructure pieces:  Global Root, National Root, and Institution/Organization.  Each of these serves a function of providing connectivity and are structured also in a way as to provide redundancy to one another.

The Global Root:

The global roots are the major heads of GDS.  Each one maintains an identical configuration so that they are redundant for each of the National Roots that point to them.  The each global root knows about every single national root.  The global roots are not aware of each other because this is un-needed.  If a single global root fails, it will not have ability to point to send a call any other direction, so there is no need for it to know about the other roots.

The National Root

Each national root is the main root for the Country or continent.  The national root knows about every institutional gatekeeper within its geographic area of coverage and also knows about every global root, but not other National Roots.  This gatekeeper usually covers the entire country code as assigned by the ITU, but is not always the case. 

Institutional Gatkeeper

This gatekeeper is the bottom of the chain as far as the GDS hierarchy goes.  This is where a specific numerical range ends for the number allocations within GDS.  This gatekeeper is where all endpoints for an institution or organization should be registered to.  No endpoints shold be directly registered with National or Global roots.

See the Figure 1 for a visual representation of how the peerings between Globals, Nationals and Institutional gatekeepers work.

Figure 1:

Figure 1 gives a basic one column view of how peering and registrations work.  Figure 2 (below) shows how this looks when there are multiple Global, National, and Institutional gatekeepers in the mix.

Figure 2:


As mentioned, GDS follows the ITU numbering plan for its numbering scheme. 

North America Specific Information

North American Peering Information

If you are an organization in North America and you are already peered into GDS, these are the address your organizational gatekeeper should be pointing to.
If you are using GnuGK, you will need to use the IP addresses, not the FQDN's.

Primary: FQDN: na-vcs-c-primary.wash.internet2.edu , IP:

Backup: FQDN: na-vcs-c-secondary.wash.internet2.edu , IP: (Will be active as of February 1, 2013).

If you are a administrator for a Global or National Root, please click here to login and add or edit your information.

If you are having peering problems or questions, please contact video-support@internet2.edu .

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