WVNET and KINBER’s PennREN Network in Pennsylvania Establish New Cross-Connection Between Networks June 22, 2016

The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) and West Virginia Network (WVNET) recently turned up a new fiber-optic peering connection between the two networks in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. KINBER, Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education and community network and trusted technology partner, provides advanced networking infrastructure and services to non-profit organizations and fosters collaboration between Pennsylvania-based organizations for value-added services such as Internet2 connectivity, realistic high-definition video, real-time videoconferencing, and data sharing. WVNET is a dynamic service organization providing telecommunications and computing services to West Virginia to higher education, K-12, libraries, state government and non-profits.

The new 10 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) fiber-optic connection now provides greater capacity and speed between Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Vice Chancellor for Technology and WVNET Director Dan O’Hanlon comments, “In these modern times, the speed of a connection is crucial for our customers. The cross-connect between WVNET and PennREN will help speed up connectivity between the two statewide networks in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and enable future enhanced connectivity to the Internet as well as to Internet2. WVNET is constantly seeking out opportunities to make our connections stronger, faster and safer.”

WVNET and PennREN are not strangers to each other since they are both regional network members of Internet2. This new network peering partnership will further their relationship. The new connection is a great benefit for KINBER and WVNET members and connected institutions, enabling better network connectivity and access to a broader range of network based services and applications.

“By working together on the direct connection between the two state networks, KINBER and WVNET are able to increase services to our communities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said Wendy Huntoon, president and CEO of KINBER. “Through this new peering connection, both organizations are now better positioned to enable our communities for enhanced community networking, public safety and educational applications and services between the two states now and in the future.”

The new high speed peering connection with WVNET is the first of several planned peering connections with other state and regional networks underway for KINBER.

Read the full press release on the KINBER website.

Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) – Call for Participation June 17, 2016

SC16 – Salt Lake City, UT
Please apply or encourage women in the research & networking IT community to apply

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program, introduced in November 2015 at the SC15 conference in Austin, Texas,  developed as a means for addressing the prevalent gender gap that exists in Information Technology (IT) particularly in the fields of network engineering and high performance computing (HPC).  The 2015 program enabled five talented early to mid-career women from diverse regions of the U.S. research and education community IT field to participate in the ground-up construction of SCinet, one of the fastest and most advanced computer networks in the world.  WINS, is a joint effort between the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

SCinet, the Supercomputing Conference’s (SC) dedicated high-performance research network and backbone of information and communication is seeking qualified female U.S. candidates in their early to mid-career to join the SCinet volunteer workforce for SC16. Selected candidates will receive full travel support and mentoring by well-known engineering experts in the research and education community.

SCinet provides an ideal “apprenticeship” opportunity for engineers and technologists looking for direct access to the most cutting-edge network hardware and software, while working side by side with the world’s leading network and software engineers, and the top network technology vendors.

There are more than 15 teams that comprise SCinet,  all focused on specific areas of expertise involved in setting up and operating a research network. Selected candidates will be matched with a mentor in one of these areas based on interest and background. Learning and training opportunities include (but are not limited to):

  • Operating and maintaining traditional “IT” services for SCinet;
  • Installing fiber optic network connections;
  • Installing and configuring wireless access points;
  • Installing and configuring wired network devices for conference meeting rooms;
  • Managing internet routing protocols;
  • Configuring wide-area network connections to national telecom providers;
  • Supporting conference attendees, high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performing network demonstrations;
  • Participating in cybersecurity activities focused on prevention, detection, and countermeasures to protect the resources of the conference.

SC is an annual conference co-sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society.  The conference focuses on the science and application of HPC and communication technologies. Since 1988, volunteers funded from academic, government and corporate organizations in the HPC industry have worked together to produce the SC Conference series.

The conference attracts over 12,000 technical program attendees, exhibitors and exhibit visitors. SC has been the breeding ground for the technologies that now underpin services ranging from cloud computing, high-speed Internet services, and current ubiquitous computing architectures.

Attendees are primarily computer engineers, computer scientists, computational scientists and managers/executives of computing facilities who use high-speed and high-performance computers for research and other technical applications. Executives, sales and engineering managers from companies involved in producing and selling HPC products and services also attend and participate.

SCinet provides the essential advanced and commodity networking capabilities the conference needs to support large-scale HPC demos.  In recent years, SCinet has delivered bandwidths exceeding 1 terabit per second and has had the opportunity to utilize new services and technology, such as pre-production software-defined networking and intrusion detection systems.

III. Travel for SCinet training

This grant funds selected participants to travel for the staging (if applicable), setup, and attendance of the SC conference and SCinet. Travel could include up to three weeks (or some portion of these three weeks) depending on the SCinet team needs.

  • SCinet Staging: October 20-28
  • SCinet Setup: November 7-12
  • SC Exhibit Show and Conference: November 13-19

IV. Project Measurement
After completion of the conference, participants will be asked to report on their experiences and touch on topics such as: what part of the training was new or useful, which learning experiences were not effective or valuable, and other targeted questions that will help drive the future of gender diversity outreach efforts. This reflection will be shared with their home institution, SCinet leadership, project PIs, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

V. Selection Criteria
Candidates will be reviewed by a panel of experts from the research and education community for current job relevance, stated support from applicant’s employer, ability to attend the conference (we will take care of the travel costs but you must be able to set aside time to attend), areas of interest (see application form), and desire to participate in SCinet!

The review committee will select up to seven candidates to receive funding to set up SCinet at the SC conference in Salt Lake City from October 20-28 and November 7-19, 2016. Final candidates will be notified by mid to late August 2016.

VI. Proposal Submission:
Please review and fill out the application at:

If you have any questions about WINS, please email

The WINS project team includes:  Marla Meehl – NCAR/UCAR (PI), Mary Hester (ESnet), Wendy Huntoon (KINBER), Kate Petersen Mace (ESnet), Lauren Rotman (ESnet).

grant #ACI-1440642

MOREnet Recognized for Exemplary Workplace Practices June 14, 2016

The Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), a business entity of the University of Missouri System, was recently honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award for its use of effective workplace strategies to increase business and employee success.

This prestigious award, part of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), recognizes employers of all sizes and types in Missouri and across the country.

“MOREnet’s workplace practices exemplify the strong leadership in place and the culture their team has created in order to be effective and productive,” said Michael Middleton, interim president of the UM System. ”This award exemplifies the great work done by MOREnet for the university and, in turn, its invaluable reach statewide.”

MOREnet’s Executive Director, John Gillispie brought the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) concept forward in 2013 as a means of empowering all employees to achieve a more fulfilling work/life balance.

“John has led the organization into a pilot of this innovative work culture that has proven to be highly successful and which has aided in attracting skilled workers in our highly-competitive environment. During the ongoing pilot, turnover is down, productivity is up, staff morale is high and members are receiving the high quality service they have always expected from MOREnet,” said Gary Allen, chief information officer and vice president for information technology at the University of Missouri System.  “This success is proven by member satisfaction survey scores remaining high while survey markers of employee satisfaction and engagement have increased.”

The award is the result of a rigorous assessment. Worksites must first qualify by ranking in the top 20 percent of the country based on a nationally representative sample of employers. Two-thirds of the evaluation of applicants comes from an employee survey. Applicants are evaluated on six research-based ingredients of an effective workplace: opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work/life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement — all factors associated with employee health, well-being and engagement.

About MOREnet

The Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet) is a member-driven consortium serving Missouri’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities, public libraries, state and local government, teaching hospitals and clinics and other affiliate organizations. MOREnet, which operates as a separate business unit within the University of Missouri System, was created in 1991 to deliver secure, reliable and robust Internet connectivity to its members. Today, MOREnet has evolved from an Internet service provider to an organization deploying and supporting the technology resources its members need to be successful. MOREnet provides technical support, videoconferencing support, technical training, hosted and managed cloud services, disaster recovery services and network security. MOREnet is committed to supporting and enabling its members’ missions through the use of technology to enhance opportunities for public access, learning and research.

Full story from the University of Missouri website: