(Guido Cervone and John Domico, co-chairs)
During Fall 2015/Spring 2016, the Research Network & Data Classification Policies Working Group (RN&DC WG) focused on making the new Penn State Research Network a long-term success that will improve research productivity of Penn State researchers.
Accomplishments for Fall 2015/Spring 2016
The RN&DC WG met with key parties to prepare a progress report on the state of the Penn State Research Network and to develop a set of recommendations for the Penn State Research Network. In particular, the RN&DC working group recommends the following:
- The OVPR commits sustained funding for the research network’s core capital equipment and operating budget on a five-to-eight year lifecycle.
- The OVPR commits to adopting the connection costs for researchers, institutes, colleges, and departments, as proposed in the “Proposed Levels of Service” section of this report.
- Four levels of edge connectivity service be supported as described in the “Proposed Levels of Service” section. The differing service levels offer flexibility with respect to user throughput, compliance, financial, and location requirements.
- Formal stakeholder governance be instituted for the research network. We recommend that the RCCI RN&DC working group serve in this capacity.
Further details can be found in the report below. We anticipate that this report and its recommendations will be considered by the RCCI Executive Committee soon.
Proposed Work for Fall 2016/Spring 2017
- Governance: The Research Network was initially funded through grants. However, continued operation of the Research Network will require additional investment. We will need to determine who will make those investments, how the investments will be identified, and how access needs will be prioritized given limited resources. We plan to make a recommendation regarding the composition of a governance body to steward this work.
- Sustainability Model/Life Cycle Plan: The Research Network has been developed with funding acquired through an NSF CC-NIE grant. The award was received in 2012, and funds have been successfully invested in building the core of the Research Network. However, the research network is evolving into a 100Gbps Science DMZ that lacks a viable financial plan. Because the seed funding has been exhausted, continued operations will require institutional commitment to a sustainable funding plan for research network equipment and operations. This is doubly important since the research network is ACI’s sole source of connectivity. The RN&DC working group intends to propose a sustainable operating plan that assumes a five-to-eight year equipment life cycle.
- A CICI proposal has been submitted for a NSF grant solicitation for Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) program. The proposal discusses the scalability of the Research Network based on a Science DMZ design model to any research location university wide. Also addressed are data security standards currently being proposed by many agencies, and the compliance measures necessary to meet these regulations. Some of the models discussed in the proposal are already being investigated. The proposal is a collaborative effort between the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), ITS Telecommunications and Networking Services (TNS), ITS Services and Solutions (SAS), the Institute for CyberScience (ICS), the Office of Information Security (OIS), and the Office of the Vice-President of Research (VPR).
- Virtual data enclaves – In conjunction with ACI storage services, the proposed connectivity options would allow for private virtual connections from most campus locations back to a specialized area within ACI. As the Research Network is transport for data to and from ACI, these abstracted network connections could be customized for specific research data compliance needs.