NET+ Update: Late 2020/Early 2021 Highlights

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By Sean O’Brien, Director, Internet2 NET+ Cloud Services Program

As 2020 comes to an end, the Internet2 NET+ team wants to thank the research and education community for supporting our community cloud services program. Here are a few updates of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a community over the last few months.

Community Working Group Updates

Update from the Cloud Scorecard Working Group: Final Report Open for Public Comment
The working group final report is a recommendation for the development of a cloud scorecard to help research and education (R&E) institutions quickly assess the degree to which cloud services meet common requirements for operating in the complex technology, security, compliance, and legal environments in R&E. The report is open for public comment. Phase 2 of the Cloud Scorecard Working Group will kick off in late January to develop the format and tools to launch the program in Q2 2021. If you would like to join this group, please let Tara Gyenis know.

AWS SSO & Grouper: Seeking Additional Participants
This group is exploring best practices in the use of Grouper with AWS to manage roles and permissions within the AWS environment. The current goals are to document the best practices, including sharing working examples, to identify gaps and propose future work to fill them. If you are interested in participating, please contact Ananya Ravipati and/or Oren Sreebny.

Storage of Video Working Group: Seeking Additional Participants
Cost-effective storage of video assets has become a hot-button issue as work and teaching were forced to go virtual during the pandemic. This CSTAAC working group is working with NET+ members and service providers to identify and document best practices (in both policy and technical realms) for video storage and to recommend opportunities for a concerted community action. If you are interested in participating, please contact Oren Sreebny.

Service Evaluation Updates

The Internet2 NET+ community periodically adds cloud services to the portfolio when there is an unmet community need or to support overall portfolio diversity for higher education. There are three active service evaluations for CloudCheckr Premium, Palo Alto Networks, and GSuite Enterprise for Education (GSEfE). Additionally, we are working on a pre-evaluation agreement with Airslate and previously completed a pre-evaluation agreement for Prisma Access. Several of these initiatives would benefit from additional community involvement. More information about all these efforts is available.

Help Identify Future NET+ Services

What new cloud services are you considering that the community could be interested in and the Internet2 NET+ team can help evaluate? Save time and resources with a community led initiative to support your needs with service features, legal and compliance terms, and pricing models aligned with higher education and research environments. Current services under consideration are listed on our wiki. Internet2 members interested in bringing forward a service or working a service already under discussion should review the intake process and candidate service pages. Additionally, feel free to contact Tara Gyenis with any suggestions or questions.

NET+ Service Updates

  • Did you know that NET+ Lab Archives now integrates with Jupyter Notebooks, allowing users to capture data science, scientific computing, and machine learning workflows?
  • Did you know that the NIH STRIDES program offers deep discounts for NET+ Google cloud usage on NIH-funded research work?
  • Did you know that the NET+ AWS Organizations and Control Tower working group has developed strategies to help campuses implement Control Tower in their AWS environment?

Service Town Hall Series for Subscribers Kickoff/Expand

During 2020, the NET+ Community Town Hall series started or expanded for multiple of service providers, including AWS, Code42, DocuSign, ServiceNow, and Zoom. These subscriber-only events were an opportunity for the service provider to share roadmaps, address issues and concerns specific to the higher education community, and to hear how community colleagues are leveraging service provider capabilities.

Virtual Event Recap and 2021 Planning

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March 2020, the Internet2 NET+ team was forced to pivot planned in-person programming into what initially began as just a 4-week Google Cloud Platform virtual event series over the course of May. Seven months later, we want to thank everyone who participated and helped us make the transition to NET+ I2 Online. Recordings of all events can be found on the Past Events section of the Internet2 website.

Looking for an excuse to get some ‘distance’ from the family after the holidays? Tune into the 2020 NET+ I2 Online highlights reels coming to a home theatre near you! Keep an eye out for an upcoming series of emails that will feature highlights of each of the virtual events completed this year.

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