Instrumentation and Automation in Today’s Research & Education Networks

Subscribe for more like this



By David Marble and Luke Fowler

2024 Internet2 Community Exchange logo

Regional networks and Internet2 are entering a new era of technical capability and the ability to support our members’ evolving digital critical infrastructures. Together, we are presented with an opportunity to support our members in ways that are second to none and fit our mission-based ecosystems. 

In a session at the 2024 Internet2 Community Exchange in Chicago, Ill., OSHEAN will present its implementation for instrumentation and automation for R&E networks. David Marble, CEO and president of OSHEAN, and Luke Fowler, executive director of Software and Network Engineering at Indiana University’s GlobalNOC, lead the session, which will be held on Tuesday, March 5.

OSHEAN’s Network Automation Journey

At this session, Marble and Fowler will dive into the implementation OSHEAN and the GlobalNOC at Indiana University have been developing to instrument the network, provide visibility through a member portal, and automate aspects of the configuration and diagnostics of network infrastructure.

OSHEAN and the R&E community are again seizing an opportunity to innovate in the end-to-end responsibility of critical payloads—large application datasets.

The technical aspects of the session will explore portal architectures, telemetry techniques, cloud encryption, and analytic choices such as IP SLA, and other visibility strategies. 

The session will also explore OSHEAN’s Ansible frameworks for configuration automation and network diagnostics. Marble and Fowler will utilize specific member implementations as example use cases and discuss the ties to important concepts, such as service level agreements and mean time to repair.

Network Transformation for Modern R&E

R&E networks have experienced significant transformations in how payloads are transported in recent years. Gone are the days of MPLS networks mostly connecting with commodity internet service providers.

Today’s application landscape requires direct peering with large app providers such as Google, Netflix, and Apple, payload handling to individual cloud destinations, and direct peering with SaaS applications. The percentage of commodity internet traffic dwindles year after year in favor of peering, site-to-site, and cloud traffic. Data-intensive science is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and multi-institutional, making our high-performance R&E networks ever more critical to discovering new knowledge.

David Marble

“OSHEAN is embracing the challenge of end-to-end support for specific payload requirements. With Internet2, the R&E community has an unprecedented opportunity to deliver the next generation of application network services.”

— David Marble

That practice drove innovation that impacted all types of traffic in the R&E world—most notably, payloads to cloud services through Internet2 networking for the cloud solution. That now sits at the forefront of R&E value propositions to our members as we build an efficient, high-performance cloud exchange into the fabrics of our networks.

These cloud payloads have low latency, predictable paths, security, and resilience. These same characteristics are required for modern big-data science. Feeding on that success, our members have raised the bar, demanding toolsets and reporting showing the efficacy of critical routes to individual cloud services.

Luke Fowler

“Without network instrumentation, you don’t have all the information about your members’ user experience. A well-instrumented network allows you to ensure optimal performance for all types of traffic and provides insight to help plan and evolve your network of tomorrow.”

— Luke Fowler

Learn about network automation and other related topics in the Impact of Advanced Networking in R&E Track included in the 2024 Internet2 Community Exchange program, held March 4-7 in Chicago, Il. This track features dozens of sessions related to Advanced Networking, with scheduled workshops, in-depth panel discussions, and engaging presentations.


David Marble

David Marble is the president and CEO of OSHEAN Inc., the research and education network in Rhode Island. David brings over 40 years of experience in engineering, sales and marketing, and operations in telecommunications and internet technology companies. David serves on a number of regional boards, national boards, and strategic committees in the R&E community.

Luke Fowler

Luke Fowler serves as the executive director for Network and Software Engineering at Indiana University’s GlobalNOC. He has extensive experience developing and operating complex networks and software systems in support of research, education, and the public interest. Luke and his teams operate some of the world’s most innovative high-performance networks and build best-of-breed network monitoring, measurement, visualization, and management systems powering the operation of the over 25 networks that GlobalNOC manages. While not behind the keyboard, Luke enjoys any kind of outdoor adventure, from running around local trails on foot to exploring rivers and lakes by kayak.