Regional Networks & Support for Research, OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure highlights Quilt Fall Member Meeting

Our 2015 Fall Member Meeting is next week, and we have an extraordinary line-up of speakers and special guests scheduled to participate.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas. This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

This will be one Texas-sized meeting with the best networking minds in the country gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges.

Over the last couple of weeks we have previewed some items on the agenda.  Please see previous posts including features on Pacific Research Platform and the Science DMZ and Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas.

Today’s post highlights two engaging discussions on Wednesday afternoon.

First, will be a presentation on Regional Networks and Support for Research.  In this discussion we will feature an overview of The Quilt’s 2015 goals and activities in this area, explore The Quilt’s Regional Collaboration Projects Working Group, the Regional Role in National Computation Infrastructure Workshop, and Regional Networks and NSF Big Data Innovation Hub Program. Presenters include Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure, KINBER President and CEO Wendy Huntoon, and Greg Monaco, Director for Research & Cyberinfrastructure Initiatives for the Great Plains Network.

Immediately following this discussion will be a special presentation on the OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative.

Henry Neeman of the University of Oklahoma will talk about this initiative and how it is designed to deliver improved network reliability, robustness, availability and bandwidth to Oklahoma’s researchers (and probably some fun meteorology aspects as well).  Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, the Oklahoma Optical Initiative benefits the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, OneNet (Oklahoma’s education, research and government network), the University of Tulsa, Langston University, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and a variety of other institutions across the state.

The OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative has already reached a total of 97 institutions and organizations: 50 academic and 47 non-academic.

Finally, the first day’s activities will close with our Member Meeting Event with Bat Cruise and Dinner.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting.

You can follow the conversation now and during the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!

2015 Fall Member Meeting features discussions on Pacific Research Platform, Science DMZ

For the last three years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a series of competitive grants to more than 100 universities to upgrade their campus network capacity for greatly enhanced science data access.

NSF is now building on that distributed investment by funding a $5 million, five-year award to UC San Diego and UC Berkeley to establish a Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a science-driven high-capacity data-centric “freeway system” on a large regional scale.

Within a few years, the PRP will give participating universities and other research institutions the ability to move data 1,000 times faster compared to speeds on today’s inter-campus shared Internet.

At our 2015 Fall Member Meeting joint program day with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 30, we are excited to welcome Larry Smarr, UC San Diego computer science and engineering professor, principal investigator of the PRP, and director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), to share his insight on the project.

“To accelerate the rate of scientific discovery, researchers must get the data they need, where they need it, and when they need it,” said Smarr. “This requires a high-performance data freeway system in which we use optical lightpaths to connect data generators and users of that data.”

Separately, NSF has awarded funds to hold a PRP design workshop at UC San Diego, now scheduled for October, entitled: ‘Building an Interoperable Regional Science DMZ.” This workshop will bring together the PRP application driver researchers with the distributed computer architects, the network engineers, and the multi-institutional IT/Telecom administrators to further refine the PRP implementation.

Also on our joint program day in Austin, we will discuss some of the future directions of Science DMZ. The discussion features Eli Dart, Network Engineer at ESnet, and the security in a Science DMZ with Robin Sommer, senior researcher in the Networking and Security Group at the International Computer Science Institute and Berkeley National Lab.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas. This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

This will be one Texas-sized meeting with the best networking minds in the country gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting. If you have not registered, online registration is still available.

You can follow the conversation now and throughout the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!

Explore Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas at 2015 Fall Member Meeting

Our 2015 Fall Member Meeting is coming up at the end of the month, and we have an extraordinary line-up of keynote speakers and guests scheduled to participate.

At the invitation of Quilt member LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network), The Quilt will be holding its Fall Member Meeting on Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas. This year’s Fall Member Meeting also coincides with the National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure PI Workshop and the ESnet Site Coordinators Committee (ESCC).

This will be one Texas-sized meeting with the best networking minds in the country gathered all in one place for some exciting discussions on how R&E networks are uniquely positioned to meet today’s infrastructure challenges.

Over the next couple of weeks we will preview several items on the agenda and spotlight some of our special guests and speakers participating at this year’s meeting. One example is the discussion on cyberinfrastructure in Texas.

LEARN President and CEO Mike Phillips and current chairman of The Quilt will be hosting an engaging panel on Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Texas. Additional panel participants include Deniz Gurkan, of the University of Houston, and Kaushik De, of Stephen F. Austin State University.

The NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure program provides new capabilities that advance current and future research efforts.   A number of awards were made under this program to Texas institutions and this panel will showcase the impact of campus infrastructure investments for two universities and with LEARN providing a statewide view of the impact of the program across the region.

Thanks again to LEARN for hosting this year’s meeting. If you have not registered, online registration is still available.

You can follow the conversation now and throughout the meeting using #FMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you Austin!

The Quilt to present on CC*IIE at Internet2 Global Summit

The 2015 Internet2 Global Summit is being held through Thursday at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Downtown Hotel. Building on the success of the 2014 event, the theme for this year is “Community: Leading the way.”

The Quilt will lead a panel discussion on Wednesday geared towards R&E networks on Advanced Networking: Regional Collaboration Through its Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering (CC*IIE) program.

The National Science Foundation funded five R&E networks for regional collaboration projects. These projects will disseminate information regarding advanced networking techniques, build bridges to distributed science communities, and share insights into technology options that can be tailored to solve advanced networking challenges faced by science collaborators and projects.

This session scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT in The Grand Ballroom will be available live online via Netcast.

Regional network representatives will showcase several of these innovative projects to demonstrate the key role of the regional networks in fostering collaboration among member institutions. Followed by this overview, the group will turn to a specific example of how the long history of collaboration and innovation among Ohio’s regional network community fostered by OARnet has been an engine in the success of several of its members receiving NSF CC*NIE/CC*IIE awards.

The scheduled panelists to be featured include Paul Schopis from Quilt Member OARnet; Marla Meehl UCAR / NCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research); James von Oehsen of Clemson University; Thomas Skill of the University of Dayton; Roger Bielefeld Case Western Reserve University; Bruce Burton of the University of Cincinnati; Claude Garelik from the South Dakota Board of Regents; and Patricia Campbell from Quilt Member KINBER. The panel will be moderated by The Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure.

“These awards were achieved through mutual support among constituents and the collaborative spirit of our R&E networking community. I’m looking forward to the discussion on Wednesday as we examine these projects more closely,” said Leasure.

The Global Summit is Internet2’s annual meeting that showcases how the R&E community is transforming the way networking is conceived and conducted. The 2015 meeting will focus on the advancement of research and education capabilities through collaborative innovations in IT infrastructure and applications and will feature keynote addresses from top R&E leaders, presentations from noted experts, and sessions focused on partnerships and advanced technologies. Internet2 Network Services also will give updates on efforts related to operational excellence, planning for the next iteration of the Internet2 Network, and a new security effort.

Most, if not all, plenary sessions will be available through live streaming online.

Obama forms new Broadband Opportunity Council

President Obama on Monday signed a Presidential Memorandum formally creating a Broadband Opportunity Council, to be co-chaired by representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Broadband Opportunity Council includes 25 federal agencies and departments that will engage with industry and other stakeholders to understand ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking broadband investment. It also will help identify regulatory barriers impeding broadband deployment or competition, and take steps to remove such barriers.

Secretary Vilsack will represent the USDA. Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling has been appointed by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to serve as Commerce’s representative on the council.

The NTIA has been a major force in helping to bring broadband to areas of the country where service was either limited or non-existent through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded initially by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and now through the new BroadandUSA initiative.

“At NTIA, we have seen firsthand how essential broadband is to schools, public safety, health care, businesses and most other sectors of society,” said Strickling. “The interagency effort the council is undertaking will help marshal the resources of multiple federal agencies to promote opportunities to advance broadband deployment and adoption across the country.”

The council will report back to the president within 150 days with the steps each agency will take to advance these aforementioned goals, including specific regulatory actions or budget proposals.

Resource: White House Fact Sheet (Next Steps in Delivering Fast, Affordable Broadband)

In January, the president traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa to announce his plan to promote “Broadband that Works,” a public-private effort to help more Americans, in more communities around the country, get access to fast and affordable broadband. Making good on the vision outlined in his State of the Union Address means promoting investment and rewarding competition while trying to reaching the national goal of providing 98 percent of Americans with access to high-Speed, mobile Broadband.

To carry forward the momentum, help communities leaders learn from one another, and report out the progress of recent broadband initiatives, the White House will in June host the Community Broadband Summit. Details will follow soon at WhiteHouse.gov.

Spring has sprung for Quilt member events

Several of our Quilt members will be hosting networking events for their member communities across the country this spring, and we’ve highlighted a few that may be of interest. If you know of others or have an upcoming spring event that you want to share, please contact us.

2015 KINBER Annual Conference | April 15-16 (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

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Hundreds of Pennsylvania’s leaders in education, health care, economic development, libraries, public media and technology will share ideas and success stories about using next generation networks at the 2015 KINBER Annual Conference on April 15-16 at the Hilton Harrisburg. The event will host dozens of panels and speaker-led workshops as well as keynote speakers and professional development opportunities.

View the conference schedule here. Registration is now open.

BCNET Annual Conference | April 27-29 (Vancouver, British Columbia)

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The BCNET Annual Conference on April 27-29 in Vancouver is the leading opportunity to network with more than 600 higher education IT, network, enterprise systems, and education technology professionals. Learn and share ideas on insights, experiences, strategies, real-life solutions and more. The program is derived from their higher education IT member community and is hosted by Quilt Member BCNET, a not-for-profit shared information technology services organization serving British Columbia’s higher education and research institutions.

View the agenda and/or register to attend.

WiscNet Future Technologies Conference | May 11-12 (Madison, Wisconsin)

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The WiscNet Future Technologies Conference on May 11-12 is an annual gathering of the WiscNet membership held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin. Each year, several thought-provoking keynote speakers participate in addition to several breakout sessions featuring the great things going on across the membership.

WiscNet has 24 great sessions lined up for 2015. Registration currently is open.

2015 Merit Member Conference (MMC) | May 13-14 (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

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The 2015 Merit Member Conference (MMC) is set for May 13-14 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Michigan. The MMC is a community gathering on the state-of-the-art in IT for organizations, with a focus both on technology and on the many related policy, financial and social considerations of providing information services. Registration for the Merit Member Conference is open only to Merit Members, potential Members from higher education, K-12, libraries, government, health care and non-profits, and event sponsors. Merit Members who register for the full conference have the limited-time opportunity to register a colleague to attend the conference at no extra charge.

The full schedule is now available. Click here for more information and to register.

3rd Annual CEN Member Conference | May 15 (Hartford, Connecticut)

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2015 marks the 3rd Annual Member Conference hosted by the Connecticut Education Network (CEN). More than 350 participants came out last year to network with their peers and to learn about the future of CEN and technology trends. CEN anticipates a wide range of participants drawn from educators (K-12 and higher ed), municipalities, libraries, local businesses and State of Connecticut agencies. This conference will draw together key stakeholders in the high-speed, fiber optical network from both hardware and end user perspectives.

Online registration is now open.

I-Light / Indiana GigaPOP Members Meeting | June 11-12 (Bloomington, Indiana)

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I-Light continues to make an impact in communities across Indiana every day with many great stories to be heard from throughout their community. That is what the I-Light and Indiana GigaPOP Members Meeting is for on June 11-12 inside Wrubel Commons, Cyberinfrastructure Building at IU Bloomington,

Registration and other details coming soon. In the meantime, check out last year’s archive.

2015 OSHEAN Member Forum | June 12 (New England Institute of Technology)

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OSHEAN’s Annual Member Forum is scheduled for Friday, June 12, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich campus. The program agenda for this year’s event is still being finalized … more details to come. To register, click here.

The Quilt welcomes CAAREN as our newest affiliate member

The Quilt is pleased to welcome the Capital Area Advanced Research and Education Network (CAAREN) as our newest affiliate member. CAAREN is working to facilitate world-class research, education and knowledge sharing in the nation’s capital.

Powered by the George Washington University, CAAREN is an initiative designed to build a high-performance research and education network infrastructure serving the Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia areas.

CAAREN is partnering with DC-Net, a program managed by the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), to reach public and private K-12 schools, public libraries, museums, hospitals and independent research organizations as part of the Sponsored Education Group Participants (SEGP) program at Internet2 under the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN).

Their goal is to bring the rich capabilities of the Internet2 community deeper into the communities around research institutions. Also, using the George Washington University’s dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) infrastructure, CAAREN has established a connection to Internet2’s established fiber paths throughout the country and will be looking to connect individual customers to this network in situations where commercial service providers are unable to do so.

CAAREN is a research network built to support the most demanding research, with a dedicated 100Gbps connection to Internet2’s Advanced Layer 2 Service (AL2S).  The network consists of a Juniper MX480 with 100Gbps, 10Gbps and 1Gbps interfaces. To reach Internet2, they use GW’s DWDM infrastructure.  Currently, they have four circuits enabled to reach the Advanced Layer 3 Service IP services nodes in Washington and New York (IPv4 and IPv6 are on separate circuits, for a total of four).

“We are happy to welcome CAAREN to The Quilt,” said Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure. “This new network will greatly enhance collaboration and reduce barriers to research, education and health applications to support the DC area.”

To learn more about the CAAREN, visit www.caaren.org or follow them on Twitter @CAARENgw.

 

Networking leaders connect at Quilt Winter Meeting

Some of the country’s best in networking met last week to discuss advancements in research and education networks at The Quilt 2015 Winter Member Meeting in California.

The Quilt, a national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education representing nearly 40 networks across the country, hosted the event with almost 100 participants from Quilt member organizations, affiliates and guests from throughout the country and world.

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Representatives from the federal level also joined and included the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The formal event got underway with an informative briefing/overview of CC*IIE Regional Collaboration Awards featuring KINBER, OARnet, GPN, and FRGP. Kevin Thompson of the National Science Foundation provided an update from the NSF Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.

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Experts in cybersecurity from UEN, GPN, CENIC, Merit Network and MCNC organized a panel discussion to share insights into how their organizations are preparing for and responding to direct network attacks as well as attacks on member institutions.

And, finally, Jason Zurawski of ESnet gave a great presentation on understanding big data trends and the key role of regional networks in bridging needs and solutions. He added, “It’s not just infrastructure anymore, it’s an instrument.”

One of the more dynamic discussions featured a panel of representatives from the FCC who provided an overview of some of the commission’s broadband programs and opportunities available for research and education networks.

The Quilt President and CEO Jen Leasure said the organization’s bi-annual member meetings are designed to inform members on interesting topics for regional networks as well as provide a forum for members to leverage each other’s knowledge and expertise to collectively advance networking for research and education throughout the country.

“We saw excellent engagement among our members and our community partners at this year’s winter meeting,” she said.

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Of course there was plenty of time to network as well as attend a number of member briefings and breakout sessions on topics such as advanced networking, network security, R&E networking community building and much more.

 

Quilt 2015 Winter Member Meeting: Support for research and more

Nearly 100 representatives from our Quilt member organizations have registered for our 2015 Winter Member Meeting in La Jolla next month. This year’s event will be at the Shores Hotel and La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in California on Feb. 10-12. And, in addition to some California sunshine, we also have a high-energy agenda to warm you up during these chilly February days.

Before the formal event gets underway, we will have our CEO Roundtable discussion on Tuesday afternoon, which continues to be our semiannual tradition where executive leaders from R&E networks meet with peers for a roundtable exchange of views, concerns and opportunities. This session is open to all with primary participation by CEOs of R&E networking organizations.

We officially get going on Wednesday, and we have some great topics of conversations lined up.

We start with an informative briefing/overview of CC*IIE Regional Collaboration Awards featuring KINBER, OARnet, GPN, FRGP, and Clemson University. Also joining us for our member meeting to provide invited addresses are: Kevin Thompson, Program Director at the NSF to update us from the National Science Foundation Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure; Jason Zurawski of ESnet to speak on Big Data Trends and the Key Role of the Regionals in Bridging Needs and Solutions; and representatives from the FCC to provide an overview of FCC Broadband Programs and Opportunities for R&E Networks.

Of course there will be plenty of time to network and catch up with colleagues as well as attend a number of member briefings and breakout sessions throughout the meeting on topics such as, advanced networking, network security, R&E networking community building and much more.

Click here to view the full agenda.

Finally, after receiving positive feedback from our original leadership workshop attendees and requests from other members, we will host a second Leadership Workshop at the conclusion of the 2015 Winter Member Meeting facilitated by Don Welch, President and CEO of Quilt member Merit Network. This will be another opportunity for Quilt member staff to further develop its leadership skills.

If you have not registered, please be sure to do so by Jan. 23. Online registration is available and space is limited.

You can follow the conversation now and throughout the meeting using #WMM15 or @TweettheQuilt.

We look forward to seeing you in February!

Deep dive on E-Rate 2.0 and what it means for R&E networks

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans’ phone bills by about $2 a year.

The FCC also is mandating higher Internet speeds in rural areas for consumers.

E-Rate is the nation’s largest program supporting education technology. Today, the FCC implemented a fundamental reset of the program, the first such effort since the program’s creation 18 years ago, so that it can keep pace with the exploding demands for ever-faster Internet service placed on school and library networks by digital learning applications, which often rely on individually connected tablets and laptops.

The FCC Order adopted yesterday aimed at closing this connectivity gap by making more funding available for libraries and schools to purchase broadband connectivity capable of delivering gigabit service over the next five years. The Order also provides schools and libraries additional flexibility and options for purchasing broadband services to meet their Internet capacity needs in the most cost-effective way possible.

The Order builds on action taken by the FCC in July to meet another critical need: robust Wi-Fi networks inside libraries and schools capable of supporting individualized learning. The July Order freed up funds for Wi-Fi through improved fiscal management and by ending or phasing out legacy services like paging and phone service. The July Order also increased program fairness by ensuring all schools and libraries have equitable access to funding for Wi-Fi.

Thursday’s Order also takes further steps to improve the overall administration of the program and maximizes the options schools and libraries have for purchasing affordable high-speed broadband connectivity.

Included in yesterday’s Order were items that The Quilt recommended to the FCC through its written comments in the proceeding.

  • Suspending the requirement that applicants seek funding for large up-front construction costs over several years, and allowing applicants to pay their share of one-time, up-front construction costs over multiple years
  • Equalizing the treatment of schools and libraries seeking support for dark fiber with those seeking support for lit fiber.  Dark fiber leases allow the purchase of capacity without the service of transmitting data – lighting the fiber. Dark fiber can be an especially cost-effective option for smaller, rural districts
  • Allowing schools and libraries to build high-speed broadband facilities themselves when that is the most cost-effective option, subject to a number of safeguards
  • Increasing the certainty and predictability of funding for Wi-Fi by expanding the five-year budget approach to providing more equitable support for internal connections – known as category two – through funding year 2019

Two other provisions were included in yesterday’s order:

  • Providing an incentive for state support of last-mile broadband facilities through a match from E-Rate of up to 10 percent of the cost of construction, with special consideration for Tribal schools
  • Requiring carriers that receive subsidies from the universal service program for rural areas – called the High Cost program – to offer high-speed broadband to schools and libraries located in geographic areas receiving those subsidies at rates reasonably comparable to similar services in urban areas

Where it once was revolutionary to connect a computer lab down the hall to the Internet, harnessing the full value of digital learning today means enabling all students to go online from their desk or from any library workspace. While schools and libraries are now on a path to providing robust Wi-Fi for students, teachers and patrons over the next five years, data the FCC has been gathering over the past six months has revealed the depth of the connectivity gap. For example, the FCC noted that 63 percent of public schools don’t have broadband connections to the building capable of taking advantage of modern digital learning.