Recommendations, Next Steps Discussed at Summer NGI Community Architects’ Workshop

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By Linda Roos, Internet2 Senior Director, State and Regional Networks

One hundred  regional, campus and Internet2 staff representatives gathered on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on July 16-17, 2019, for the Community Architects’ Workshop. This workshop provided an important opportunity for the presentation and discussion of the Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) packet and orchestration design plans before Internet2 staff begin procurement and implementation plans of the packet layer.

Participants were asked to provide feedback on current infrastructure options, helping to ensure the plans will meet the community’s requirements for research, cloud, automation, economies and ecosystem collaboration. The hosts for the workshop included James Deaton, GPN and chair of the NAOPpag NGI Automation Group, Bernie Gulachek, University of Minnesota, Jim Stewart, UETN and chair of the NAOPpag NGI Infrastructure Group, and Rob Vietzke of Internet2.

The workshop was a mix of presentations by Internet2 staff and large and break-out group discussions by all in attendance. The presentation began with an overview of the NGI project. The overview included five stories that encompass what we have heard from the community that is motivating the creation of NGI including the support for the data-intensive researcher, software-driven infrastructure, cloud for research and administration, ecosystem-wide and resetting the scale economies. The NGI project is composed of the following focus areas: infrastructure including optical and packet, software/automation, service models, and testbed. Presentations were made on each of the project focus areas with emphasis on seeking input on the plans for the packet portion of the infrastructure area.
A number of recommendations were made by the group. There was broad support for Segment Routing (SR) and EVPN, although there was a recognition that many questions remain about the implementation and use of SR and EVPN. Subsequent to the workshop, an NTAC Segment Routing/EVPN working group was formed. Additional community discussion on MPLS, LDP, protocols and definitions was encouraged.

The group expressed significant interest in testbeds. Ideas for both testbed vendor and community member participants were discussed. There was a recommendation from the group that testbeds be built to recreate current service levels with testing of new protocols and new services to follow. Based on the interest among the group in investigating streaming telemetry, it was suggested that a Streaming Telemetry working group be formed. Subsequent to the workshop, the Streaming Telemetry working group was formed as subgroup of the existing NTAC Performance Working Group. The community requested that regular updates on the project are provided.
Internet2 staff are grateful to the community for their participation in the workshop. You may view slides from the meeting.  A report from the workshop is being edited for distribution.

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