The Quilt’s newest affiliate member is Cybera, a not-for-profit, technology-neutral agency responsible for accelerating technology adoption in Alberta, Canada. One of its core roles is the management and operation of Alberta’s Research and Education Network, called CyberaNet.
Cybera currently has 62 members comprised of 16 post-secondary connectors, 25 K-12 school districts, nine not-for-profit organizations, and two enterprise research organizations. Cybera works with interested public sector organizations to determine how best to maximize their networking investments.
Institutions can connect to CyberaNet either through ISPs or through the provincial fiber-optic network, the Alberta SuperNet. Cybera members that connect to CyberaNet see significant network savings by leveraging existing public networks and Cybera’s networking services. This publicly-funded system of high-speed networks and “above the network” services are part of Alberta’s innovation ecosystem.
At its core, Cybera is the architect and guardian of CyberaNet, connecting Alberta universities to an exclusive, secure international network. Institutions like the University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, Mount Royal University, Grant MacEwan University, SAIT and NAIT are connected to CyberaNet. In Alberta, students and researchers depend on CyberaNet every day for their research and education internet traffic.
In addition to running this network, Cybera coordinates pilot projects and services that put this network to use, driving business and research success by partnering with academia and the private sector on projects that explore the latest technologies to meet the needs of today’s interconnected society. Through its access to computing infrastructure and cyberinfrastructure expertise, Cybera enables academic, industry, and government groups to accelerate research and product development in priority areas, including health, energy and environment, and ICT.
Researchers and companies work with Cybera to investigate, develop and test new technologies, or to launch their products in innovative ways. Cybera can provide project management and consultation services in areas of cloud computing, advanced networking, high-performance computing, and data management. These services are implemented through Cybera’s pilot project program where the objective is to work with partners to demonstrate the benefits and advance the use of cyberinfrastructure as well as related tools in academic and industry applications.
Cybera’s expertise in cloud computing and advanced networking is recognized globally. Staff members were involved in writing the first official OpenStack Operations Guide and starting the first OpenStack Users Group in Canada. They also were the first in Canada to beta test a “cloud in a box” called Nebula One, and they have been a leader in the development of Software Defined Networking. Cybera also has taken part in several international work exchanges over the past five years, with organizations such as SURFNet and the TransEuropean Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA) in the Netherlands, SWITCH in Switzerland, the University of London Computing Centre in the UK; and with the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) project in Australia.
“While our affiliates come from a variety of countries, backgrounds and cultures they all have one thing in common with our U.S. research and education networks: the desire to improve network connectivity and services for higher education academic and research pursuits as well as other similarly missioned institutions to create a better future for us all,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt. “The knowledge and expertise of running one of Canada’s most dynamic research and education networks brings a tremendous value to our membership, and Cybera is a welcomed addition to The Quilt.”
Cybera has offices in Calgary and Edmonton. The CyberaNet network map can be viewed here.