Catching Up on the Cloud: Spring 2024

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By Sean O’Brien - Associate Vice President, NET+, Internet2

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Internet2 NET+ and Other Cloud Program Updates

Meeting You Where You Are on Your Cloud Journey: 4 Pathways for Success

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu probably wasn’t thinking of cloud services and technology when he offered this life lesson, but it seems appropriate for describing the research and education community’s efforts to make the cloud work better for their institutions and stakeholders.

I2 Cloud NET+ logo

At the beginning of this year, we highlighted ways the NET+ Program and other Internet2 cloud programs could support you in implementing or expanding your cloud strategy in 2024. Whether you’re at the very beginning or in the middle of your institution’s cloud journey, we’re here for you every step of the way. 

We recognize that our dedicated community volunteers make it possible for us to provide the level of support that we do. This month is National Volunteer Week (April 21–27), and we are grateful for the many individual and collective volunteer efforts that enable us to continue bringing a better cloud to R&E.    

Throughout last year, we shared blog posts highlighting Cloud Superheroes, individuals who have made significant contributions to moving our work forward and facilitating community. We are continuing this series in 2024, so be on the lookout for additional interviews. (You can be a superhero too! Check out current opportunities to participate in NET+ working groups, service evaluations, and service advisory boards.)

In that spirit and as the first quarter of the year comes to a close, we’re pleased to highlight four pathways of key initiatives and programs that illustrate our commitment to meeting you where you are on your cloud journey and how we’re springing into action to make sure you have the resources you need to take the next steps on your journey to success in the cloud.

#1 – Expanding service offerings

Last month, we announced the availability of a new NET+ Amazon Web Services (AWS) agreement offered in collaboration with Four Points Technology. In a time of rapid digital transformation, the need for scalable and secure cloud services tailored to the evolving needs of research and higher education is more pressing than ever. Now all U.S. higher education institutions and Internet2 affiliate and federal affiliate members have a new NET+ agreement option as they scale the use of AWS to accelerate science, support teaching and learning, and modernize major IT functions. Check out the slides and the recording from our recent webinar about the new contract.

#2 – Providing procurement resources

We recognize the vital role that procurement professionals play in the research and education (R&E) community. The Internet2 NET+ program supports procurement professionals in meeting the needs and expectations of their institutions by pre-negotiating cloud contracts and pricing for leading cloud services. Last month, we shared a roundup of resources in recognition of national procurement month. Please take a look at all the ways we’re making procurement of cloud services easier for research & higher education. You can also watch the recording from our recent webinar, “IT Vendor Management: A Community Framework.”

#3 – Connecting and collaborating at events

We are fortunate that this year continues to present so many wonderful opportunities to literally meet you where you are – virtually or in-person – at not only Internet2-hosted events but also other important R&E cloud community gatherings. (Check out where we will be next.)

Save the Date! >>> 2024 NET+ ServiceNow Higher Ed Summit – May 6 from 12–5 p.m. PT, Maggiano’s Las Vegas.


Next month, you can catch up with us at the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Conference, May 1–3 in Minneapolis. Internet2 will actively participate in the conference, leading several sessions and discussions. Internet2 Program Manager Nick Lewis, Josh Callahan from California State University, and Charlie Escue from Indiana University will provide a HECVAT update for the community and An Introduction to Cloud Security Assessments Using HECVAT workshop. Nick will also be a co-presenter with Jay Gallman (Duke University), Alexander Magid (Clark University), Pegah Parsi (University of California San Diego), and Andy Weisskopf (University of Delaware) for a workshop, Putting the Pro (and the Cure!) in Procurement: Third-Party Security and Privacy Reviews. We look forward to seeing you there.

Later this month, we’re once again serving as the conveners of The Higher Education Cloud Forum, the premiere gathering for higher education IT professionals. While Cloud Forum currently has a waitlist of attendance, there are still ways to get involved! You can join us virtually for the researcher presentations and panel discussion on the morning of Wednesday, May 1, which will be streamed live for virtual audiences. We encourage everyone to join us for this portion of the program. See the Cloud Forum schedule for full details. Register to attend Cloud Forum 2024 Virtual.

Cloud Forum logo

You can also help the research and education community achieve a greater understanding of our cloud usage. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Cloud Forum has featured a “state of the cloud” survey. We encourage community members to complete the survey and contribute to the effort. The survey results will be shared with the community after this year’s Cloud Forum. The survey will close on Friday, April 26.

Group of professionals taking a photo at Community Exchange 2024.

It was great to see many of you last month at the 2024 Internet2 Community Exchange in Chicago. The NET+ team worked with members of the R&E cloud community to present an outstanding track of sessions focused on ways to maximize opportunity and minimize risk. If you weren’t able to join us, please check out the slides from the presentations

#4 – Learning new skills with training

You can build real-world Cloud Skills for Research with CLASS Advanced. From basics to use cases: CLASS Advanced Alumni gain invaluable cloud expertise.

If you want to learn more about empowering your campus or research group to utilize the cloud, consider enrolling in CLASS Advanced to increase your knowledge of IaC, Kubernetes, Networking, Security, and other cloud tools. The enrollment window for the Spring 2024 cohort of CLASS Advanced closes on April 22, so get started on your application today.

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For more information about these upcoming training cohorts, please contact class@internet2.edu. To hear about upcoming training opportunities, sign up for the CLASS mailing list.

Other Cloud Program Updates

Internet2 Cloud Connect Adds New 100 Gbps Connections in San Jose to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: The Internet2 Cloud Connect (I2CC) service recently added two 100 Gbps connections to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) via Oracle FastConnect in San Jose, California. San Jose is now the third location where I2CC offers OCI connectivity, in addition to Ashburn, Virginia, and Dallas, Texas. Those connections tie to OCI’s U.S. West (San Jose), U.S. East (Ashburn), and U.S. West (Phoenix) regions, respectively.

Internet2 Cloud Connect

New and Next

Internet2 Cloud Scorecard Questionnaire Now Includes Questions on AI and Data Privacy: We recently announced the release of a new version of the Internet2 Cloud Scorecard Questionnaire. The Cloud Scorecard and Profiles Advisory Group approved the addition of two new questions to address generative AI and data privacy considerations. The questions were drafted in consultation with the NET+ Business, Procurement, and Legal Advisory Committee (BPLAC). Read more.

Cloud Scorecard logo

Check out new Internet2 Cloud Scorecard participants in the past quarter:

If there is a cloud service you would like to see listed, please reach out to us with your suggestion(s).

Cloud Service Updates: More Opps to Meet You Where You Are

  • 2024 NET+ Google Workspace for Education Webinar Series: We are offering a webinar series showcasing Internet2 NET+ Google Workspace for Education. To learn more about the 2024 pricing and options available to existing customers, and to register for the upcoming webinars, visit the 2024 Internet2 NET+ Google Workspace for Education webinar series page.

  • Townhall Series for NET+ ServiceNow Subscribers: We’ve launched a monthly NET+ ServiceNow Townhall Series. These monthly webinars are a benefit of the NET+ Program and are open to subscribers only. If you’re a current NET+ ServiceNow subscriber, get the details about the monthly webinars. If you would like to participate as a speaker in one of the upcoming townhalls or have suggestions for topics for other townhalls, please reach out to netplus@interent2.edu, and we can get you involved.

Spotlight on NET+ Service Providers 

We’re pleased to continue inviting NET+ service providers to share articles, blog posts, webinars, or other content relevant to cloud practitioners in the R&E community. Take a look at the resources they shared this quarter:

  • Instructure – The 2023 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education report is now available. Instructure worked with Hanover Research to field a survey in 17 countries that asked 6,100 current students, administrators, and faculty from two-year, four-year, public, and private higher education institutions for their perspectives on factors impacting student success and engagement. Read the report.
    • Registration is open for InstructureCon 2024! We’d love for you to join us from July 9-11 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. Whether you’re a seasoned Canvas user or new to the Instructure Community, you’ll leave our annual conference with fresh ideas, new connections, and actionable takeaways.
  • LabArchives Check out our Trust Center portal, a fully transparent self-service portal for institutions to gather the required audit, compliance, and cybersecurity details and engage with our security team.
  • Miro – Learn about hosting Hybrid Meetings in Miro during a webinar on April 16.
  • Panopto – Check out this case study from TAFE Queensland, a college in Australia that migrated from MediaSite to Panopto with ease.

This will be a regular feature in our quarterly newsletter, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! 

Keep Up With the Cloud

As always, we welcome your ideas and appreciate your contributions to our cloud programs! Interested in participating in one or more NET+ service evaluations? Or have feedback for other prospective services for the program? Don’t know where to start? Email cloud@internet2.edu.

Internet2 Program Contact Resources
Cloud Learning and Skills Sessions class@internet2.edu Read about the learning modules. Watch the researcher spotlight.
Cloud Connect cloudconnect_request@internet2.edu Read CloudConnect News. Check out the new Networking for Cloud wiki.
NET+ and the Cloud Scorecard netplus@internet2.edu

Read the latest NET+ news. Check out our NET+ wiki. Catch up on any I2Online event recordings at any time.
Peer Exchange networkdevelopment@internet2.edu Learn more about the program.

Catching Up on the Cloud brings you all the latest Internet2 cloud updates. Whether you’re supporting the academic enterprise, research domain, or anything in between, these timely announcements and updates will help you with the best solutions for implementing cloud services at your institution.