The legacy approach of research and education networks – that is, what got us here – may not be financially sustainable. The total cost of ownership of legacy hardware and software is not declining in price fast enough to meet our expected growth. Owned infrastructure requires space and power whose costs will continue to increase, likely in larger increments than to date given consolidation in the telecommunications industry.
Security, in particular, resiliency, and reliability (for some of the world’s most complex and diverse networks), are tremendous burdens to sustain organizationally, operationally, and economically. At the same time, the R&E community still can’t get, or afford to buy, what we need from telecommunication companies. We remain in a “pre-commercial” space to support leading-edge research and the diverse needs of the largest R&E communities in the world. That’s not likely to change. And the demands on our networks are at an all-time high. We are victims of our own success. Other R&E networks are facing the same challenges — and we are all working together. The commercial clouds and dot-coms are confronting many of the same problems. We are learning with and from them. The panelists, representing some of the most significant R&E networks in the United States, will discuss what each part of the R&E ecosystem should be doing — separately and collectively — from each of their vantage points.National