Help Us Build Out the Internet2 NET+ Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services Portfolio

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By Bob Flynn, Internet2 Program Manager

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The first in a series of blog posts about NET+ Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services

Bob Flynn

The Internet2 NET+ program was established to help the higher education community identify common needs and aggregate demand to negotiate collectively with suppliers on a stronger footing than we generally can individually. There are many other benefits produced by the process like all institutions benefitting from the sweat equity of the schools going through the rigors of the service evaluation and the long-term rewards of the community of practice that we nurture around a service. 

The NET+ portfolio I manage is called “Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services (IPS).” The pillars of this portfolio are the NET+ Amazon Web Services (AWS) and NET+ Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services.

Internet2 NET+ logo

While the major cloud platforms are the core around which the IPS conversation revolves, they simply provide us with the raw materials from which we mold success. That success comes in the shape of groundbreaking research, skilled graduates, disruptive innovation, and resource-saving optimization. All of that is enabled by the ease of access, effective tooling, and confidence in the security of the cloud environments we create and manage.

Lead On!

It is my job to work with the community to take us beyond the platforms into the practical realities of what it takes to make them not only useful but successful tools for higher education institutions. We do this by identifying the challenges and the tools to master them. I’m inviting you to join me, nay, guide me on this journey! 

Over the next several weeks I want to engage you in a discussion around the tools, services, and magic fairy dust that help us manage our cloud implementations. After all, if we don’t have our arms around our enterprise environments, we won’t have leadership confidence and buy-in. If we don’t have that buy-in, we are at best pushing a rock up the hill and at worst we are not going anywhere.

Not only is your input important because NET+ is a community initiative, but it’s also important because the selection of a service for inclusion in the NET+ portfolio is a rigorous process that requires a sponsoring institution and a number of institutions willing to put in the time to pilot the service, work with the vendor to meet higher ed’s requirements and negotiate a business model and legal terms. That said, if it’s worth having, it’s worth working for! You can learn more about NET+ requirements and our process for adding a service on our wiki

Where Do We Begin?

Let’s start by talking about what’s worth having. I want you to put me to work. I want your suggestions on where I should be spending my time expanding the portfolio. I’ve already got a few suggestions, but I need more. 

Here is What I Will Do

  • Sketch out some ideas in a series of blog posts to spur discussion
  • Put together some virtual conversations to give some vendors with a baseline of interest an opportunity to show the larger population their services so you can weigh in on whether we should proceed
  • Continue talking to you one-on-one and in small groups to hear what interests you

Here is What I Need You to Do

To receive future updates on this effort and the IPS portfolio, please submit the form and be sure to select Cloud Infrastructure & Architecture Area of Interest. Read the second post in this series, Episode One: When Can We Stop Saying Cloud?