Author Archives: Jennifer Griffin

FMM logoWe will have an extraordinary line-up of speakers and guests scheduled to participate this year at our annual event. Building on the success of the 2015 events held in Austin, Texas, The Quilt, National Science Foundation’s Campus Cyberinfrastructure and Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop, and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee once again will be co-locating their meetings with us this fall.

Our Fall Member Meeting agenda is shaping to be filled with exciting discussions and presentations.

We’re planning to begin our collocated program with the three groups by exploring the LIGO Gravitational Waves Detection and cyberinfrastructure support for LIGO with Peter Couvares of Syracure University followed by a panel discussion that focuses on the LIGO project, LIGO researchers and cyberinfrastructure required to support the research.

On Day 2, we’ll start with our opening plenary featuring Dr. Jim Kurose, assistant director of NSF computer and information science and engineering, followed by a panel discussion on national cybersecurity featuring CICI/CC* PIs, ESnet and other regional representatives discussing topics such as Science DMZ, medical research, and HIPAA compliance. Then we’ll converse on ways to help bridge the gaps in science engagement along with several other panel discussions throughout the day including statewide data transfer initiatives, integration of vertical member segments in a statewide/regional community, and a summary of the workshop report on the Role of the Regional in Improving Access to Computational Infrastructure. On Friday, we’ll continue with the topic of cybersecurity among others.

The agenda will continue to be updated here leading up to the event.

Thanks again to Quilt member KINBER for inviting us to Philadelphia for this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation now and throughout the meeting using #FMM16 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

Quilt Commodity Internet RFPs, Internet2 Global Summit highlight exciting week in Denver

The Quilt will be in Denver this week along with many of the world’s top advanced technology leaders from universities, industry and research organizations.

First on our plate, we will be meeting with providers selected for our second round of Commodity Internet RFP Semi-Finalist Presentations on April 3 and April 4.  We are grateful to the technical review team comprised of Quilt member volunteers who contribute their expertise and time to this effort.  Now in its eighth RFP cycle under the program, Quilt members and their Authorized Quilt Buyers have made cumulative purchases of 335 Gbps of internet access through our program’s Authorized Quilt Providers as of December 2013.   Since its inception, we estimate the program has saved its Authorized Quilt Buyers $78 million. Our current Authorized Quilt Buyers list includes more than 250 member institutions along with our 34 member organizations. Out of this current RFP effort, The Quilt will select Authorized Quilt Providers for its CIS program

Then, starting on Sunday, we are excited to participate in Internet2’s Global Summit.

Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure will join James Deaton of OneNet, George Laskaris of NJEDge.Net, and Gil Gonzales of the University of New Mexico and Albuquerque GigaPoP in a lively discussion on Regional Research and Education Networks – Partners in Innovation. This session is Tuesday, April 8 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

Our country’s regional networking organizations are at the forefront delivering advanced network capabilities and a broad set of shared services offerings and applications that leverage an innovative network infrastructure to a diverse set of member communities. Hosted by The Quilt, this panel of regional network leaders will share key insights and experiences in deploying network capabilities such as those within the Innovation Platform Program and progress in providing a wide-range of value-add shared services and applications to member institutions.

Panelists also will share progress on partnering with InCommon to develop a secure trust framework through which the advantages of shared services can be realized by the K-12 schools and community colleges. Panelist presentations will be followed by a facilitated discussion, including Q&A.

We look forward to seeing many of our members this week in Denver.

CoSN highlights mobile in spring EdTechNext Report

The Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) latest EdTechNext Report shifts the focus for districts and schools toward building mobile into their content and application strategies – from school-wide apps to curriculum.

With ever-increasing “anytime, anywhere” uses of mobile devices, CoSN’s spring 2014 EdTechNext Report titled Small Screens, Big Plans explains that the mobile shift in U.S. communities should require school districts to move their focus from just adopting mobile technology programs to the impact mobile has on delivering information and services.

For districts or school systems to build a mobile content strategy, the report outlines six steps that comprise both information and application content:

  • Evaluate where your district is and with whom it works – compile an inventory of existing systems, people, skills sets, and content as well as evaluate their mobile readiness.
  • Prioritize what is most important – what information should be made mobile and on which devices / app platforms.
  • Act on tactical solutions for the short-term and plan for long-term mobility needs.
  • Communicate the designed strategy to key stakeholders and actively promote the application.
  • Monitor, measure, and guide your mobile strategy using analytics, surveys, audience profiles and usability testing.
  • Support, maintain, and adjust to changing needs, trends and technologies, including the frequency that content will require updates.

According to the report, these steps explain how district and school mobile apps are becoming essential communication drivers with parents and students for activities and events, news and announcements, school calendars and directories, among other useful information. In addition, “Small Screens, Big Plans” shares how districts and schools have successfully become mobile-based, including tailoring curriculum with mobile web and app development courses.

CoSN’s EdTechNext Reports are made possible by Amplify, Blackboard, CDW-G, Google, HP, iBoss Network Security, Identity Automation, Lenovo, Lightspeed Systems, Microsoft, Pearson, Pearson Foundation, Qualcomm, SchoolDude and Sprint.

Modernizing technology in education creates digital-ready citizens

Sixteen years ago, the FCC established the Schools and Libraries Universal Support Mechanism, or E-Rate, to bring advanced services to schools and libraries across America. The program represents the federal government’s largest education technology program. While the program has been a success, technology has changed significantly since the inception of the program and we support the FCC’s current efforts to modernize it.

In June 2013, the FCC initiated a thorough review and modernization of E-Rate built around three goals: increased broadband capacity, cost-effective purchasing, and streamlined program administration. That same month, President Barack Obama made a stop in North Carolina to announce the ConnectED initiative, a plan to connect U.S. schools and libraries with broadband Internet connections of at least 100 Mbps with a target of 1 Gbps within five years.

Recently, President Obama announced plans for an immediate down payment on ConnectED with private-sector support and an additional $2 billion from E-Rate to connect 20 million more students to next-generation broadband and wireless in 2014. The current effort to modernize E-Rate is critical to the success of schools and libraries in fulfilling their missions. The Quilt and its members are active in program modernization efforts at the local, state and national levels.

An estimated 72 percent of public schools today the broadband speeds necessary to fully access the Internet, according to California-based nonprofit Education Superhighway. While 99 percent of public schools are connected to the Internet, they lack the high-speed connections necessary to support the explosion of devices — laptops, tablets, smartphones — and education applications to make full use of the Web in the classroom. Further, for some schools around the country, Internet connectivity has not yet reached the place where the greatest benefits would be realized: in the classrooms.

The Research and Education (R&E) networking community has focused on improving connectivity for K-12 schools for years, and we are encouraged by the national attention and funding opportunities that will invest in improved bandwidth connectivity to support education. As more schools adopt new learning models powered by blended and online learning, an updated E-Rate will provide more opportunities for schools, libraries and others to secure essential broadband access and services.

Another recently announced and important opportunity that will benefit rural schools, libraries and health care sites without access to affordable, adequate bandwidth is the rural broadband experiments announced in late January as part of the FCC Order for IP-Transitioning and the Connect America Fund.

These experiments provide the opportunity for R&E networks (and other non-telecom entities) to submit expressions of interest for last-mile broadband projects to connect schools, libraries and health care sites. The FCC notes that rural areas have greater poverty, lower broadband adoption, and greater economic challenges in the build-out of broadband-capable infrastructure than in other areas of the country.

The R&E networking community looks forward to continuing to contribute its leadership, experience and expertise in serving and connecting schools and other community anchor institutions to these national discussions and initiatives focused on improved broadband technology for education.

The Quilt 2014 Winter Member Meeting is Right Around the Corner

The Quilt Community gathers in La Jolla next week for the 2014 Winter Member Meeting on Feb. 4-7 at the La Jolla Shores Hotel. It will be another informative event bringing together Quilt members from all over the country to look at trends and hot topics for advanced networking and infrastructure for research and education to start a new year.

In addition to discussing the strategic directions for The Quilt in 2014, we have an extensive and exciting agenda lined up for this meeting. Meeting program highlights include a vibrant CEO Roundtable discussion; best practices and strategies on how to renew network assets and support for the research enterprise… and that’s just to name a few!View full agenda

We are also pleased to have two invited addresses planned for the meeting. First, Kevin Thompson of the National Science Foundation will join us to discuss the new Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering Program (CC*IIE).

We also are pleased to have Glenn Ricart of U.S. Ignite to talk about Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and applications for big data.

The Quilt and Internet2 also will be holding the InCommon Federation Workshop immediately following the main member meeting. This workshop will be held the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 6 and concludes the following morning with case studies and discussions focused on the eight current FIM pilots as well as topics of Related Work Report Outs: InCommon Partnership ModelsRelated Work Report Outs: InCommon Partnership Models and InCommon TAC Interfederation, There will also be a Pilot Panel focusing on Applications and Value Propositions for K-12.

More details available here.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

UEN benefits from latest Quilt Peer Review

By Jen Leasure

We are pleased to report the completion of The Quilt’s 6th Peer Review with Quilt member Utah Education Network (UEN) in December 2013.

One of the nation’s advanced education networks making up our Quilt membership, the UEN connects all Utah K-12 school districts, libraries and higher education institutions to a robust network and quality educational resources. UEN has a successful track record of delivering mission-critical services to users with positive feedback from their community about the organization, staff and services

The UEN Peer Review focused on the network design, operations and services offered by the organization. Dave Jent, associate vice president of networks at Indiana University ( and; WVNET Executive Director Dan O’Hanlon; and MCNC Chief Technology Officer Mark Johnson all served as peer reviewers for the project.

“The UEN serves a loyal and engaged community with a very dedicated staff,” said Johnson. “Participating in a Quilt Peer Review is always valuable for the reviewer as you get a lot of insight into how similar organizations are working and can bring that information back to your own organization.”

As part of the formal review, the review team conducted stakeholder interviews (15 in total across the state and various sectors) and then formed a set of recommendations which later were presented to UEN leadership and the UEN Board of Directors for consideration.

“The peer review was extremely useful in helping us consider new opportunities for the organization based on the experiences and environments of other research and education networking organizations,” said UEN Executive Director Ray Timothy. “UEN is very grateful for the time and expertise the peer reviewers gave freely in support of the project and our organization. We are also appreciative to The Quilt for providing this invaluable service to its members.”

Our Quilt Peer Review Service continues to be a key focus for our organization in 2014 and highlights the collaborative spirit of The Quilt community and the vested interest we have in one another’s success.

World’s Fastest Computer Network Coming to Denver

This week in Denver, Colorado, The Colorado Convention Center will be home to the fastest computer network, SCinet. The massive 1 Terabit network, was built over the last 12 months by over 100 volunteer engineers representing industry, academia and government institutions and more than $20 million in donated equipment along with 90-plus miles of newly-installed fiber cable lines in the Convention Center. SCinet, will support more than 10,000 conference attendees as they unveil their latest innovations in high-performance computing applications throughout the weeklong event. As it does each year, SCinet will be provisioning an unprecedented amount of bandwidth into the conference’s host location and will connect multiple 100G circuits in collaboration with leading national and international research networks, resulting in total bandwidth of nearly 1 Terabit per second.

SC13 will not only showcase the next-generation of high performance computing applications but it will also be home to several innovative network research projects through a special program called the SCinet Network Research Exhibition (NRE). As a key component of SCinet, the NRE is designed to enable researchers to experiment and demonstrate their ideas on innovative network architectures, applications and protocols in the unique live environment of the SCinet network. This year, the NRE will provide researchers with dedicated access to multiple 100 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) wide area network links.

For more information on selected NRE projects that will be showcased as part of the Conference program and demonstrated in several booths visit:

If you are planning to attend SC13, don’t miss our Quilt members’ booths which include Great Plains Network (1341), Indiana University (1317), MREN/StarLight as part of the Laboratory for Advanced Computing/Open Cloud (828), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (818), Ohio Supercomputing Center (2713), Pacific Wave (326), Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (1132), the University of Utah (3327) among others.