Chris Janson is a senior product manager in Ciena’s industry marketing group where he is presently focused on the needs of government, research and educational customers.

Over 800 people attended the meeting from across the globe, representing universities, colleges, public schools, scientific institutions, health care and government. As a strategic supplier to Internet2, Ciena was a sponsor of the meeting and supported discussions with many existing and potential network users. Ciena’s Rod Wilson participated in an industry panel that discussed bandwidth issues in the next era of Internet2.

But the meeting’s focus was on far more than bandwidth and connectivity. Included were panel sessions grouped into interest areas such as advanced services, global network reach, and emerging collaborations. Advanced services and global network reach sessions aimed to inform and encourage discussion among higher education, research and scientific network users from the traditional R&E user set.

Topics such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and implementations such as OpenFlow were discussed in several meetings. Other sessions sought to introduce expanded use of Internet2 through new cloud service partnerships that reach “above the network”. Termed Internet2 Net+, these cloud services aim to leverage Internet2's 100G network to help research, education, health care, public safety and government users address their unique needs.

Marc Lyonnais (left) and Jim Archuleta (right) man the Ciena booth (with our 100G card on display) at last week's Internet2 Spring Member Meeting.

Examples of thinking beyond connectivity and expanded collaboration were evident throughout the meeting. Case studies and architectural discussions outlined how Internet2 can empower members to deliver new applications such as next-gen 911, eText or health care information exchange.

On Thursday, a workshop assembled regional network representatives to hear about emerging uses of the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (US UCAN). Through Internet2’s upgraded 100G network, US UCAN aims to connect community anchor institutions across the country, including public safety, health care, education and media users. US UCAN and other new collaborations will ensure the ongoing vitality of Internet2 as a true innovation platform.

Moving beyond this week’s meeting, we expect to see increasing adoption of Internet2’s capabilities by a wider set of users. As the Ciena-powered 100G network upgrade reaches 8.8Tbps capacity, new applications and users will be attracted by services such as Internet2 Net+.