Tag Archives: collaboration

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.)


Find out what was trending this year at #QuiltinSoCal

The Quilt returned to the La Jolla Shores Hotel and La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in California on Feb. 6-8 for its 2018 Winter Member Meeting. Let’s see what was trending this year …

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.

Collaboration, gentle tension key to innovation for research and education networks

Leaders of state networks from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio talked about the role of their organizations in driving innovation recently at MCNC’s annual event in North Carolina.

Representatives from these Quilt members provided great insight and thought leadership as to the importance of RENs in today’s networking environment during the panel discussion.

A general theme resonated during the discussion – collaboration is the key for RENs to prosper, but some “gentle tension” also creates an environment for us to learn from each other and continue to innovate. “If everything is smooth and easy, then we’re not pushing or innovating enough,” said panel moderator Tracy Futhey, Vice President of Information Technology & CIO at Duke University.

The panel included Wendy Huntoon, Executive Director, Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), Tim Lance, President, New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNet), and Pankaj Shah, Executive Director, Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), who joined the conversation via video conference.

Streaming video of the entire discussion is here. (The chapter begins at the 23-minute mark).

Each state and region is different when it comes to networking and high-speed connectivity, so what works in one area of the country or region may not in another area and vice-versa. This is a great discussion on the networking ecosystem seen today for RENs and worth a quick view.

Congratulations to MCNC on another successful annual event, NCREN Community Day 2014.