Tag Archives: CENIC

The Quilt again shines collaborative light on future of R&E Networking

The Quilt, a consortium of regional Research and Education (R&E) Networks throughout the United States, hosted its annual Fall Member Meeting virtually on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. More than 100 registered attendees and stakeholders gathered online for two days to collectively advance networking for research and education throughout the United States.

The program included several plenary and breakout sessions particularly relevant to the R&E networking community.

R&E partnerships with state leaders to facilitate internet access solutions for unserved and underserved communities topped the list of hot topics and “aha moments” from this year’s meeting.

The meeting opened with a “Fireside Chat” with CENIC’s Louis Fox outlining California’s new statewide middle-mile broadband initiative. The Fireside Chat led into a panel discussion moderated by Louis and included panelists from the Ohio, Oregon, and Nevada R&E networks as well as included the R&E state broadband leader partners from the State of Ohio’s broadband office called BroadbandOhio as well as a state representative from Oregon who is a champion of affordable broadband access in the state. The panel discussion focused on the important role of R&E networks in state broadband strategies.

Another presentation by Sun Corridor Network (SCN) and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) focused on the collaborative efforts between the two organizations with the goal of delivering affordable broadband access to the unserved and underserved in the stae. Derek Masseth with Sun Corridor noted that it has been a great partnership, and SCN very much appreciates ADOT’s willingness to partner!

Additional comments shared in the virtual chat during the presentation included …This year attendees also took deep dives into areas such as disaster recovery, network facilities management, mapping, and cybersecurity. MCNC Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer Chris Beal talked on the emergence of new R&E cybersecurity solutions to help protect community anchor institutions as well as the North Carolina organization’s new managed services cybersecurity practice called Vital Cyber.“No one is safe from hackers today. There have been far too many headlines recently involving phishing or ransomware attacks affecting big companies and industries. But what you don’t hear much about is how cyber criminals hit our schools, our hospitals, our libraries, and other community anchor institutions,” explained Beal. “These important pillars in our local towns need more protections from today’s growing cyber threats. That why Vital Cyber was created to develop and activate a full suite of managed security services to protect North Carolina’s critical cyber infrastructure; marrying a proven and tested combination of tools, services, and consulting without any extra hardware or staff.”

Additional sessions focused on budget planning, cloud, business continuity, fiber IRU renewals and inter-exchange points, observations from the most-recent NSF CC* PI Workshop, and much more.

The two-day event closed out with a fascinating presentation from Eli Dart, Lauren Rotman, and Jason Zurawski on ESnet’s High Energy Physics requirements and R&E network preparedness for next Large Hadron Collider (LHC) run.

“Identifying new opportunities for Quilt members to leverage one another’s resources and expertise is the hallmark of Quilt events,” said Jen Leasure, President and CEO of The Quilt. “Although we all would like to get together in person, the level of conversation even virtually is of such a great benefit to all of our members as well as our collective mission.”

The Quilt is the national coalition of non-profit U.S. regional research and education networks representing 40 networks across the country. Members of The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to over 900 universities and tens of thousands of other educational and community anchor institutions. Together, we promote consistent, reliable, inter-operable and efficient advanced networking services that extend to the broadest possible community and represent common interests in the development and delivery of advanced cyberinfrastructure that enables innovation through our education and research mission.

The next member meeting for The Quilt is scheduled for early February 2021.


R&E Networks empower communities in a time of unprecedented demands

A panel of national and international R&E network leaders came together recently for “R&E Networks at a Crossroads” during CENIC’s 2019 Conference.

The Square Kilometer Array radio telescope — the largest scientific facility on Earth — will generate more data per day than the entire global Internet when it comes online in the mid-2020s. SKA will help search for Earth-like planets, signs of alien life, dark matter, and black holes. It will be 10,000 times more powerful than any telescope currently used.

The project represents a tremendous opportunity for science, but it comes with a massive challenge to provide unprecedented computing power and historic data networking capabilities. It’s an example of the ever-increasing demands on research and education networks that serve data-intensive projects. These days, R&E networks find themselves at a crossroads with demands at all-time highs and budgets that have not kept pace.

A panel of national and international R&E network leaders came together at CENIC’s 2019 Conference to discuss the challenges networks face and what they’re doing to provide the high-speed connectivity and customized services that bolster scientific discovery and promote digital access. R&E networks have helped researchers solve some of science’s biggest challenges in fields such as natural disaster mitigation, climate change, medicine, and information technology. Networks also help bridge the digital divide, and provide new opportunities for online education and workforce training.

“It’s important to tell our stories,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt, a consortium representing R&E networks across the United States. “As R&E networks need to do a better job of telling our stories through outreach and education about the impact of these networks and their services.”

Panelists Carlos Casasús (CUDI), Louis Fox (CENIC), Jen Leasure (The Quilt), Inder Monga (ESnet), Howard Pfeffer (Internet2), and Tripti Sinha (MAX) agreed that one of the greatest assets of R&E networks is their ability to collaborate. While commercial Internet service providers are characterized by competition, R&E networks thrive because of collaboration is fundamental to their work: the science and education communities they serve are frequently unbounded by discipline, institution, or geographic borders. Moreover, by working together, R&E network members typically enjoy reduced costs, shared expertise, shared services, advanced security, increased buying power, and economies of scale.

“Networks provide enormous capabilities and potential for serving all of the missions of our diverse research, education, library, arts and culture, health care, and government constituencies,” said Louis Fox, CENIC president and CEO. “We want to ensure that the valuable network resources and services we are entrusted to develop and operate serve these constituencies, help them further their work, and help them reach their most audacious and ambitious goals.”

Several leading networks are on the verge of major technology upgrades to support increasing traffic demands. The Department of Energy’s ESnet, the world’s fastest network for science, has experienced exponential traffic growth and is now moving more than a petabyte of data per week. As a result, ESnet is planning its next-generation architecture, ESnet6, which will deliver up to eight times more capacity. Internet2, the nation’s largest and fastest coast-to-coast R&E network infrastructure, saw traffic increase 2,500% between 2008 and 2016.

R&E networks drive innovation. Networks are designed to move huge amounts of data across the globe quickly, reliably, and securely, to accelerate scientific discovery that solves the big issues facing our world. R&E networks work together in a way that commercial providers cannot. “Research and education networks play a huge role in diminishing the gaps between the haves and have-nots,” said Carlos Casasús, director general of Mexico’s R&E network, CUDI (Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet).

Networking can supersede politics, and provide an important model for international collaboration. Seven countries signed an agreement in March to create a global governing body for the SKA telescope array. The body was modeled after CERN, Europe’s particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN’s scientific publications and resources are open source, freely available in a highly collaborative environment. It’s public science for the benefit of society.

At the center of CENIC’s work is its commitment to supporting the research and educational missions of its members. More than 20 million people, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions, rely on CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) to connect with each other and the world. CENIC provides exceptional value in advanced networking based on our unique understanding and undivided attention to our users’ needs. We share our knowledge and serve as an advocate for public policy that advances broadband access for all.

Watch video of the complete panel discussion, “R&E Networks as a Crossroads,” from CENIC’s 2019 conference.


(Editor’s Note: The following has been re-published by permission from Quilt Member CENIC.)


Humans and technology intersect at NRP Workshop

The first National Research Platform (NRP) Workshop is happening next month and The Quilt is excited and looking forward to discussing and learning more about our potential role in developing a national big data superhighway.

The NRP workshop will be held at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8. The purpose is to bring together representatives from interested institutions to discuss implementation strategies for deployment of interoperable Science DMZs at a national scale. This workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through the Pacific Research Platform and Montana State University, and CENIC.

The National Science Foundation funded a 5-year cooperative agreement for the Pacific Research Platform (PRP) to improve the end-to-end, high-speed networking data transfer capabilities in collaborative, big-data science among 20 institutions. As part of the PRP cooperative agreement, NSF requires that the ensemble of PRP technologies be extensible across other scientific domains and to other regional and national networks. In response to this requirement, the NRP Workshop will solicit input from many multi-state networking organizations (Internet2, The Quilt, ESnet and others) on how the PRP model might further blossom.

Sessions will be devoted to science-driver application researchers describing their needs for high-speed data transfer, including their successes and frustrations. Discussions will focus on requirements from the domain scientists and the networking architecture, policies, tools and security necessary to deploy a 200-institution National Research Platform. All participants will be encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts during these discussions. View the impressive line-up of speakers and experts.

The NRP is committed to facilitating the necessary social engineering among a diverse group of science, R&E network and IT leaders as well as provide proven end-to-end networking. An effective national partnership will need cyberinfrastructure experts working with scientists at their interface and understanding the desired scientific outcomes, rather than viewing the technology as an end to itself. Identifying common functionality that can be leveraged between science applications to make the NRP partnership more efficient and effective and prioritize high-performance access to supercomputer centers is key.

Registration has closed as the event is at capacity. For information about future workshops or the latest PRP research, please join the PRP listserv. Any other questions, visit the FAQ section on the event website.