The NEAAR Collaboration: Developing Strategies for International End-User Engagement
The Networks for European, American, and African Research (NEAAR) collaboration, led by Indiana University and GEANT in partnership with the UbuntuNet Alliance, WACREN, ASREN, SANReN, and TENET, is building a dynamic platform for connecting researchers in the US with their counterparts in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. By providing bandwidth, targeted education and training, and pro-active end-user engagement, NEAAR, funded by the US National Science Foundation, is significantly improving connectivity for existing science collaborations while also enabling new collaborations to take advantage of the growing global research and education networking infrastructure.
Since launching in late 2016, the NEAAR project partners have made significant progress towards achieving the project’s year 1 goals. A 100 GB circuit between New York City and London has been installed, adding 100GB of transatlantic connectivity and increased resiliency to the Advanced North Atlantic (ANA) collaboration. The NEAAR partners have also started working to deploy an Open Exchange Point in West Africa that will enable additional peering and resilience for connecting RENs. Finally, the NEAAR partners have begun working on a human capacity building program that is supporting regional perfSONAR workshops, one-on-one consultations, and other targeted training opportunities for NRENs and campus staff. This presentation will begin with an update on these NEAAR year 1 developments and provide a brief look into what to expect in year 2. The talk will then explore and discuss how the NEAAR partners can work more closely with the WACREN community on user engagement to increase network utilization and improve user performance. The presentation will look at examples of international collaborations currently using R and E networking resources in the region and address questions such as: Of these known users, who is having trouble moving data? Why? Who is not using the link who could benefit from additional network resources? Of the identified collaborators not using the link, who do we target first for outreach? How do international partners work together to develop a collaborative support strategy?