Internet2 is a non-profit advanced technology consortium that provides secure, high-speed network, cloud solutions, research support, and other services to the research and education community. Internet2 interconnects U.S. universities, government agencies, industry partners, and regional and state education networks, supporting the work of these groups as well as 100,000+ community anchor institutions. IU’s GlobalNOC has been a proud partner of Internet2 since 1996.
Internet2: A collaborative partner since day one
Internet2 network connections
Internet2’s Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) program is delivering a new, advanced generation of national research and education network, focused on five key drivers:
- Enabling the data-intensive scientist
- Helping researchers and campuses move to the cloud
- Enabling the infrastructure through software with self-service and API interfaces
- Building ecosystem-wide services that simplify edge-to-edge connectivity
- Resetting the capacity and scale economies of the infrastructure itself
2020 was the year NGI became concrete, when all of the important and hard work developing requirements, planning, and organizing the program came together and shifted to the nuts-and-bolts deployment of real next-gen infrastructure across the country.
4xthe speed of current generation network
32network spans of new national backbone completed
In addition, Internet2 set the stage in 2020 for the deployment and turn-up in 2021 of the NGI packet network. With help from a highly engaged community team and a rigorous vetting and evaluation process, Internet2 chose Cisco to be the new backbone packet partner, moving from large, power-hungry chassis-based systems to much smaller and more energy efficient form factors. The result is a network with four times the speed using two-thirds the electrical power.
But it’s not just newer and faster hardware that defines NGI. NGI also marks a major shift toward being software managed. Rather than being operated through manual changes, network services on the NGI platform will be built and managed through software, speeding up service delivery and enhancing the security and stability of services. In 2020, a new team was formed within Internet2 to develop this software, working with partners at GlobalNOC to create the NGI software platform and to integrate it with operational tools and the existing self-service portal OESS. This work in 2020 included the choice to use Cisco’s Network Service Orchestrator (NSO) software as the basis of network automation, development of the system architecture, and integration of the existing OESS software with Internet2’s Trust and Identity framework.
None of this infrastructure would truly be useful, however, if it didn’t enable new network services. In 2020, Internet2 launched Cloud Connect 1.5 with improved usage reporting, faster turn-up, and integration with Grouper.
By the end of 2020, over 100 campuses were using Internet2’s Cloud Connect service.