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Internet2 Establishes Direct Peering to Microsoft Cloud Services

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Todd Sedmak
Tags: Research & Education Networks,Products & Services,Big Data,Azure,100 gigabit Ethernet,NET+,BTOP grant,Emerging National Research and Education Networks,Cloud Services & Applications

Provides Faster Access to Secure Cloud Computing with Windows Azure and Office 365 Education for Students, Educators, Researchers and College Campuses World-Wide

Emeryville, Calif.—May 23, 2013--Students, staff and researchers at college campuses throughout the nation, and participating institutions through regional, national and global research and education partner networks will benefit from a faster and more secure connection, thanks to a new peering arrangement between Microsoft Corp. and Internet2, the nation’s premier research and education network.

This new agreement enables improved access to infrastructure and application services that support virtual learning environments and large-scale data intensive research projects, through the use of Microsoft’s high performance computing clusters, collaboration tools, and disaster recovery services.

Campuses around the world will have enhanced access to two Internet2 NET+ offerings from Microsoft – Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365 Education. These services will enable unmetered access to both the high-performance computing and the communications infrastructure to aid collaboration. This peering service is part of ongoing collaborative efforts between Microsoft and the Internet2 community to bring other enhanced services to researchers, educators, and students that leverage the Internet2 Network.

"Microsoft and Internet2 have agreed to establish direct peering to leverage the nation’s fastest research and education network in bringing the power and diversity of Microsoft cloud services to the entire education and research community," said Shelton Waggener, senior vice president, Internet2.

"We are very excited to work collaboratively with Internet2 and the Regional Education Networks to help schools quickly build, deploy, and manage cloud applications so they can benefit from big data insights. Windows Azure's global and scalable cloud infrastructure enables education institutions to meet their research goals and serve their students’ needs on an open and flexible cloud platform," said Margo Day, vice president, Microsoft US Education.

"Big Data researchers need the power of a service like Windows Azure. With Internet2, they will be able to transfer very large data sets to and from Windows Azure across Internet2's 100 Gigabit per second network," said Kelli Trosvig, vice president for UW Information Technology and chief information officer, University of Washington. "This same high-performance will also be available for applications such as Office 365 Education."

The move to privately peer the Microsoft data centers to the Internet2 Network eliminates the need to traverse these very large data sets over the public Internet. This enables a high-bandwidth connection for students, faculty and staff to use Windows Azure and Office 365. Bandwidth is managed and ensures high-speed delivery, with minimal delay or latency.

"During our service validation phase of Office 365 Education and Windows Azure, both sides quickly realized that these services not only address campuses' big data research, communication, collaboration and compute needs but also enable the higher education community to be HIPAA and FERPA compliant," said Elias G. Eldayrie, vice president and chief information officer, University of Florida. "Microsoft has worked closely with us to understand and meet our needs and is committed to working with higher education throughout the process."

Internet2 recently completed a dramatic expansion to its network—the nation's first 100 Gigabit per second nationwide open, software-defined network (SDN)—that is built to support advanced services and cloud applications to spur new waves of innovation in education, research and industry.

Funded in part through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), along with Internet2 partners, the upgraded network uses brand new 100G technology and has an unprecedented 8.8 Terabits of capacity. The Internet2 Network is the first national network to deploy 100G waves on its entire footprint, and the most sophisticated research and education platform in the world.

Working with its regional network partners, the Internet2 Network enables access to advanced networking features for more than 200,000 of the country's community anchor institutions, including libraries, hospitals, K-12 schools, community colleges, and public safety organizations. The network infrastructure also will support advanced applications, such as HD and multi-cast video, distance learning and telemedicine.

Internet2's members also can leverage the new Internet2 Network to deliver other cloud services and keep pace with the exponential growth in Big Data science being driven by the nation's collaborative researchers in labs and universities. Internet2 NET+ Services currently offers more than 30 cloud services to college campuses nationwide that are cost-effective, easy to access, simple to administer, and tailored to the unique needs of the research and education community. The new network and cloud services enable transformational new solutions for education delivery and provide better-yielding solutions for university business functions—helping higher education institutions remain competitive nationally and globally.

About Internet2® • www.internet2.edu

Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Internet2 consists of more than 220 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Emeryville, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

Internet2 Media contact:

Todd Sedmak, (202) 331-5373 or todd@internet2.edu