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2008 INTERNET2 STRATEGIC PLANNING

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While the adoption of the new Strategic Plan by the Internet2 Board was a major accomplishment, it also is only a milestone toward the reinvention of Internet2.

To guide how Internet2 members and staff execute the plan, Internet2's governance formed the Strategic Plan Execution Committee ("SPEC"), composed of Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the four Internet2 Advisory Councils and the Governance & Nominations Committee, along with additional Board appointees.

The SPEC developed a framework for implementing the Strategic Plan developed by the Internet2 community and adopted by the Internet2 Board. Based on community feedback, the SPEC adjusted that framework to manage its implementation efforts more directly through the four Councils and the Governance and Nominations Committee, rather than creating a new set of committees [MidCourseCorrection.pdf].

In both the original framework and the newly modified version there is a focus on actively engaging working groups, special interest groups, and other working entities. To provide structure to the implementation process, the SPEC has linked each Internet2 Council to tasks in the strategic plan, and each working group, special interest group and advisory group has been linked to a Council. A CHART [ACs Tasks.Groups.pdf] has been developed to show these linkages. On 25 September 2008, the Internet2 Council Chairs and GNC Chair reached out to the working groups, special interest groups and advisory groups seeking their input into the implementation process [20080925 Letter to WGs-final.pdf]. Their input will be complied by the SPEC and used to inform discussions at the upcoming Fall Member Meeting in New Orleans, where there will be a number of opportunities for sharing additional information.

The Internet2 Board and the SPEC recognize that the new Strategic Plan is aspirational beyond our current capacity. It is critical that the organization align our resources with the strategic priorities of the membership. To this end, the SPEC has formed a Budget Advisory Group composed of the Vice Chairs and additional members from all Advisory Councils. The Budget Advisory Group will work with Internet2 management and staff to develop and monitor the 2009 Internet2 budget.

During the Internet2 2008 Fall Member Meeting in New Orleans, the SPEC conducted focus groups sessions in an effort to obtain further community feedback on the implementation plan. The focus groups were structured in a way to allow for attendees to meet with the council(s) associated with a specific strategy and tasks. The 20081014PublicSPFocusTasks.pdf provides that association. More information on the outcome of these focus groups will be provided soon.

You can continue to monitor the progress of our collaborative activities to implement the new Strategic Plan in this space.

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  1. Jan 26, 2008

    I received the following by email from a corporate member from a networking gear company.  Interesting suggestion that we should take on  major challenges that impact the Internet-at-large in a big way but may not be related to typical "network  research or high-performance capabilities.
    david

    It's great to hear to Internet2 is taking a fresh look at it's role in leading networking advances.

    I think Internet2 should consider addressing these areas, which industry has not addressed and which are real problems for the continued growth and use of the Internet:

    1) Spam e-mail.  There are individual filters, but they are far from ideal. 90% of e-mail traffic is now spam. Something MUST be done. Perhaps protocol changes so sources can't be spoofed, or better use of existing techologoies. Or a different role for backbones.  But this should be addressed so e-mail doesn' collapse.

    2) Wireless security.
    Security can be turned on, but it should be on by default. One shouldn't be able to sit in the Best Buy parking lot and pick up credit card numbers. Universities and the I2 community are certainly experts in wireless, and could take leadership here.

    Also worthy of consideration:

    3) Power efficiency / cooling efficiency. Best practices for efficient utilization of servers, storage, computing power and networking. Use of virtualization for efficient use of resources.

    4) Making people less gullible - ok, this will be hard. Perhaps this should be described as educating people on how the internet works, how to critically evaluate information that is presented on the internet, how not to be fooled by websites or e-mail cons, etc.

    5) Internet privacy. Setting standards for search engines (e.g. Google) to protect and delete info on what individual search for, establishing standards which will be adopted to keep private information private and not have all info which touches the internet be considered public.

    I realize these aren't areas on which Internet2 has traditionally focused, but I think these are very important issues.

     

  2. Feb 11, 2008

    I was glad to read the Internet2 Vision Statement, and to see the opportunity to have a discussion about that vision through the associated wiki.

    In recent weeks, I've spoken with a few of the active members of what I'll call the "Real Time Communications community" within the Internet2 membership and they encouraged me to provide some RTC input to Internet2.

    In the fall of 2006, the Internet2 Applications Strategy Council asked Tyler Johnson of UNC to convene leadership from the Internet2 real time communications community to produce a set of documents recommending a way forward in the real time communications space. The Real Time Communications Advisory Group (RTC-AG) was made up of work group chairs and a few other active participants who got together in person and over conference calls to put structure around the discussion, and to try to provide input back to the I2 App Strategy Council. In December of 2006, we delivered a final report. (please see <http://www.internet2.edu/rtc/>)

    In that final report, RTC-AG developed a set of recommendations to restructure existing working groups, develop new ones, and identify strategic actions that Internet2 could take to promote the development of a cohesive RTC infrastructure across the Internet2 fabric. We also recommended creation of a standing Real Time Communications Steering Committee.

    Through the process of creating that report, it became clear to all of us participating that we had an active and engaged community. A very positive environment in which knowledgeable and motivated members of the community were sharing information and producing usable tools. It also became clear that our work in RTC very often involved thoughtful handling of middleware issues (including but not limited to identity), and security issues (including but not limited to the protection of signaling info and of communications payload). With this in mind, an RTC group organized like and sharing information with groups such as MACE and SALSA made the most sense to me.

    To date, few of the recommendations of the RTC-AG have been acted upon by Internet2 to my knowledge. More troubling, numerous Internet2 staff resources involved in the RTC area have been leaving the Internet2 organization. Over time, the level of support from Internet2 to RTC groups actively working through the volunteer efforts of members has been becoming unclear.

    We are at a moment in time when campuses are bootstrapping their own Instant Messaging and Presence services. The PIC working group is uniquely positioned to coordinate, to give the Internet2 community the best chance for well-understood and interoperable deployments. Similarly, campuses are designing and deploying VoIP systems. Here again, the RTC area is a natural point of coordination for sharing lessons learned, for helping to assure security and privacy and service continuity, and perhaps for leading the way for the rest of the Internet.

    I'm asking that Internet2 please make its level of RTC interest and support clear as soon as possible, to avoid losing the interest of an engaged community. For modest investments in support and infrastructure, Internet2 can tap into the expertise of real time communications expertise on our campuses towards achieving broad communications and collaboration goals. Failing to support these efforts adequately will most likely lead to these campus experts dropping back into the isolated activities of their own campuses, which in turn will result in a lost opportunity to realize the advantages of coordinated communications and collaboration within our Internet2 community of institutions.

    In summary, I believe that the RTC community is doing work that is strongly aligned with the Internet2 Mission and Goals as described at the wiki linked from <http://www.internet2.edu/strategicplanning/>. Modest investment and encouragement, and some coordination within the security and middleware communities, could well result in significant new communications and collaborations capabilities for the Internet2 membership.

    Thanks very much for considering these ideas. I would be glad to be a part of the discussion as it moves forward.

    Respectfully,

    Deke Kassabian, Senior Technology Director
    Information Systems and Computing
    University of Pennsylvania and the MAGPI GigaPoP
    Jabber/XMPP: deke@upenn.edu

  3. Apr 18, 2008

    The latest draft of the Strategic Plan is very good.  It is encouraging to see this outcome of the planning process to date, and indicative of the care, attention and fine work of the people directly involved  --  thank you!

    A concern I have is that attention be paid, at some level, to the relative importance of the various elements of the strategic plan.  While it would be ideal for Internet2 to make a contribution in every type of manner described in the Plan, it is unreasonable to think that this is practical.  Some priorities must be set.  Indeed, without the setting of priorities, Internet2 could find itself in much the same situation it is now working so hard to recover from and avoid in the future.

    Perhaps priorities are better left to a "management workplan", described against the framework of the Strategic Plan and provided at intervals (annual?) by the management and staff of Internet2 and approved by its governance. 

     - Dave Gift, Vice Provost, Michigan State University

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