R&E Networking Leaders Gather at Quilt 2013 Winter Meeting

Program highlights included trends in large-scale research and leading-edge applications for R&E

Seattle, February 27, 2013 – More than 100 leaders from research and education (R&E) networking organizations gathered at The Quilt’s Winter Member Meeting to discuss top technology trends and leading-edge applications for the R&E community. The meeting was held near the campus of University of California San Diego in La Jolla, California February 5-7. The Quilt is the national coalition of advanced regional R&E networks.

Sessions from the meeting focused on key developments in advanced networking to support large-scale, data-driven research. Eli Dart, network engineer of ESnet, presented on big data trends for researchers and provided insights into how regional networks might adapt to the requirements of extreme-data science. A panel of Quilt leaders shared perspectives on their organizations’ efforts to meet the challenges of supporting trends in big data for researchers, including the deployment of 100G infrastructure and software-defined networking.

The program continued with featured presentations on federal legislation of interest to Quilt members related to network architectures, security and telecommunications.

Also on the agenda was an opportunity for Quilt members to share communications strategies and learnings refined as a result of a series of outreach and advocacy workshops hosted by The Quilt in 2012. A team from Quilt member OneNet in Oklahoma presented on their experiences implementing its communication strategies. As Quilt members support R&E in a highly changing and technically complex environment, smaller groups convened at the meeting for focused discussions on such topics as OpenFlow and “above-the-net services” for Quilt member constituent groups.

“As a leader of a research and education networking organization, The Quilt member meeting programs strongly reflect my organization’s priority interests and ensure the opportunity for me to informally network with my national colleagues to exchange experiences and ideas,” said Cort Buffington, executive director, Kansas Research and Education Network or KanREN.

“Regional R&E networks often face common challenges, such as rapid technology change or pressures on traditional business models and thus we can learn a great deal from each other,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO, The Quilt. “The Quilt’s biannual member meetings are designed to inform our members on topics that are of key interest to the regional networks as well as to provide the forum for our members to leverage one another’s knowledge and expertise to collectively advance networking for research and education.”

Immediately after the Member Meeting, The Quilt jointly hosted a first-of-its-kind Federated Identity and Access Management Workshop with InCommon, the identity management federation for U.S. R&E. The workshop was designed to develop a new distributed framework for federation that would extend InCommon Federation Services to K-12 and other community anchor institutions in collaboration with regional networks.