New Internet2 partnerships bolster campus research efforts

University research efforts will be aided by partnerships with major tech companies.

Sixteen partnerships among universities and technology companies will deliver discounted cloud services to those participating campuses who are members of Internet2, a high-powered, research-intensive network consortium.

The new initiative, known as Internet2 NET+, offers “above the network” services to Internet2 member organizations and aims to cut down on the costs often associated with high-powered research and networking needs.

Internet2 counts among its members institutions of higher education, companies, laboratories, and other education and research networks.

The “next-generation network has capacities substantially larger than anything we’ve ever seen before,” said Shelton Waggener, associate vice chancellor and CIO at the University of California Berkeley and incoming Internet2 senior vice president.

“It’s about enabling things that make the world a very small place very quickly. … To do that, you need services that run on top of the network,” he said, noting that one of the initiative’s goals is to support seamless engagement and collaboration from institution to institution.

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Internet2 bringing more cloud computing programs to campus

Creating custom services for higher education will help reduce the cost of the traditional sales cycle, including administrative costs and overhead, while speeding the adoption of the services to encourage instant use among students and faculty.

Jerry Grochow, interim vice president of Internet2 NET+ Services, said the initiative consists of several important phases designed to identify how a specific technology company can best meet the needs of Internet2 member universities. The initiative will help both sides explore ways in which existing or future products in the cloud might be of value to the university community.

A “service validation stage” concerns products or services that exist now, but must be fine-tuned to meet the specific needs of the university community. Companies in this category will develop a business model appropriate for the university environment, Grochow said.

Laura Ascione