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NET+ Summer 2018 Update

Aug 15, 2018, by David Gift
Tags: 2019 Internet2 Global Summit, Internet2 NET+, Program Advisory Groups, Recent Posts

Seasonal Update on the NET+ Cloud Services Program

The Internet2 NET+ program is a collaborative effort between multiple Internet2 member institutions and service providers, facilitated by Internet2 staff, working together to fashion and maintain cloud service offerings that work uniquely well for research and education consumption and use. NET+ continues to have strong engagement and produces solid results with the higher education community and service providers.  

The program is tracking strongly to remain self-supporting for the foreseeable future, with financial growth of 29% for the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. New service providers are in contact every month, anxious to participate, and an actively engaged NET+ Program Advisory Group (PAG) continues to help guide the direction of the program and shape of the service portfolio. The program is continuously updated based on campus engagement, changes at service providers, and changes in the marketplace at large. 
The NET+ program continues to focus on how to keep money in classrooms and research labs while dealing with the realities of the market. One of the recent trends in the marketplace is evolving business models for cloud service providers to use distributors and resellers. As service providers grow, many times they engage with a distributor or reseller community to help them scale their business operations, so they can remain focused on the product and their strategic priorities. 

This has led the NET+ program to adjust and accommodate distributors and resellers. Further, there is ongoing consolidation in the cloud services market and several companies going public. Both forces drive increased attention to revenue production and to price increases, and the NET+ focus on predictable pricing changes is working well to constrain the impacts of these market forces on higher education members.

Coordination between NET+ services and Internet2’s Network, and Trust and Identity services, continues to support the research and education community in creating a tailored and integrated cloud architecture that simplifies cloud access, connectivity, and applications for academic and research collaboration. Stay tuned to the Internet2 website and social media for more on these efforts.

Global Summit Cloud Program Highlights

Several conference presentations and meetings at the 2018 Internet2 Global Summit focused on cloud projects and the important role the NET+ program plays in the research and education community. The planning for Global Summit 2019 is already underway and the call for participation closes on September 7th. 

Survey of IT leadership on NET+ program: key goals and objectives call for participation closes on September 7th.

This year’s Global Summit Executive Track featured a session on NET+ status, trajectory, and value to Internet2’s higher education members. Tracey Schroeder (CIO, Boston University) and Jack Suess (CIO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) led the gathered CIOs in a strategic discussion of NET+, reviewing its successes, impacts and shortcomings, and key aspects of the vision for its future. 

Feedback was gathered during the session, and also over the week following Global Summit for those not able to attend, through a survey. The NET+ PAG is working this summer to analyze the feedback, which (not surprisingly) was rich and diverse. Among key findings was this list of most-valued outcomes from NET+:

  •  Ensure InCommon support (71% rate of mention)
  • Sound contractual terms, especially around security and compliance (46%)
  • Predictable pricing; constraining abrupt provider changes (45%)
  • Network peering for best network service performance (44%)
  • Speed up or otherwise ease procurement (43%)
  • Assistance facilitating service benchmarking and peer collaboration (43%)
  • Best-in-class pricing (34%)
  • Opportunity for higher education community to engage deeply with service providers to understand and influence products and roadmaps (28%)

Internet2’s Evolving Cloud Strategy

In case you missed it, George Loftus, Sara Jeans, and Sean O’Brien presented on Internet2’s cross-divisional cloud strategy. A webcast and meeting materials from this session are available. 

NET+ Staffing Announcement

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sean O’Brien to the role of Lead Program Manager in the NET+ program. In this new role, Sean will lead the program management team, its operations and budget, and work with service providers, other partners, NET+ PAG, and the community to manage the quality of the service portfolio and to develop current and future opportunities. Sean will work closely with me as I continue in my role as the executive sponsor for the NET+ program.

Stay Engaged With Us

There are several opportunities for Internet2 members and NET+ program participants to stay engaged around the latest happens in the cloud. Stay tuned to the Internet2 blog, social media, and Speed Read for more content and announcements. Visit the Internet2 Email Preferences Center to manage your email subscriptions for Cloud News, and consider subscribing to other news of interest.