14-18 March 2016
Hotel Novotel
Africa/Dakar timezone
Enabling Virtual Research and Education Communities

An NREN in a national and global environment: value creation at SURFnet

17 Mar 2016, 11:00
Saly 1 (Hotel Novotel)

Saly 1

Hotel Novotel

Avenue Abdoulaye Fadiga, Dakar 18524, Senegal
NREN Business and Governance Models PLENARY SESSION I – Paper Presentations


Mr Bram Peeters (SURFnet)


**1. Introduction** National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) exist in most countries. They all provide services to – minimally - the higher educational sector, some provide services well beyond that. NRENs come in many different organisational models, from departments of a ministry to independent companies. All NRENs however are challenged to provide the right services to their constituency. They eventually need to do this sufficiently distinguishable (cost, quality or functionality) from services that can and will be provided by the market. In this paper we discuss show SURFnet – the Dutch NREN – tackles these challenges, and how this can only be done in a global context. ![picture with NRENs in the world as logged by TERENA][1] *NRENs in the world as included in TERENA compendium 2013* **2. How SURFnet tackles the challenge** SURFnet is the Dutch NREN. SURFnet’s vision is that access to innovative ICT and internet services is necessary for advanced and innovative education and research. Founded in the 1980s, it has been running networks ever since. In the past decade the scope has widened from providing netwerk connectivity to related ICT services such a identity federation, eduroam, personal storage and others. **Governance model** SURFnet is a Dutch BV, a limited liability company. It is one of three daughters of SURF that itself is a cooperation consisting of members (the individual institutions). The SURF cooperation owns all shares in SURFnet, SURFsara (the high performance computing centre) and SURFmarket (a centralized entity purchasing licensing, cloud services and digital content). ![SURF governance model][2] All three organisations provide services to the constituency and are therefore both supplier to and owned by the major stakeholders. This leads to feedback both through the ownership as well as the service delivery mechanism: ownership ensures that the strategic direction fits with the strategies of the universities in the long term, whereas service delivery feedback ensures that correct quality and relevant services are delivered now. **Funding** The funding has two different streams, one based on innovation that supports the long term projects that have a higher risk, and the second one the exploitation, where individual institutions contribute based on the services they receive. This is a second factor that creates a valuable tension between innovation and exploitation. **Services** To retain its relevance the services SURFnet delivers should ideally be - sufficiently distinguishable from what the market delivers, or - delivered in a way the market is not willing or able to do. SURFnet always strives to deliver the newest capacities and capabilities to its customers as production service early and at a reasonable price, to enable them to run and innovate their own ICT-based activitities. SURFnet preferably focuses on these services that have a strong communal characteristic, where the combined scale and the collaboration of the constituents make the service more relevant. *Services: Network* SURFnet has been building networks since 1988, delivering high-quality connections to universities . Every generation of the network incorporated new technologies and provided considerable bandwidth growth. *(expected: a new picture with different generations from 1Mbps to 100Gbps)* The services on the network have evolved from standard data connections to include private, on demand configurable networks that can be integrated in the institutions own network. *Services: Identity* SURFnet as a central entity provides the infrastructure to manage identity validation between institutions and suppliers. An NREN can be a unique trusted partner, that has no other interest than facilitating and optimizing the capabilities. Services such as eduroam, access to scientific libraries, access to cloud services and collaboration platforms rely on these systems. Global interfederations are the next step. **Global collaboration** Innovation and service renewal is not a solitary process, it can only be succesful when an NREN is well connected tot its peers, both in a very physical way as well as the human way. Currently a number of different platforms exist, for this paper we will focus on the network and discuss GLIF and the CEO Forum/GNA. Both are collaboration platforms with a global scope. The intent is to bring together resources and open these up to the community. The GNA is about defining a framework for R&E Networks and Exchange Points (GXPs) to participate in a global network interconnect. Connecting to networks like these and participating in the organisations leads to early access to ideas and concepts, but also to access to e-Infrastructure resources across the world. This is a unique approach to networking that only NRENs can be expected to execute and benefit from, for the benefit of their user base. ![GLIF connectivity Europe][3] *GLIF Connectivity to Europe* ![GNA Artist Impression][4] *Artist’s impression of a Global Network Architecture Network* [1]: http://i.imgur.com/IZ7nBOc.png [2]: http://i.imgur.com/GwSeHus.png [3]: http://i.imgur.com/9Vcy6ud.png [4]: http://i.imgur.com/5bg8PeD.png

Primary author

Mr Bram Peeters (SURFnet)

Presentation Materials