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The Quilt Support of the Regional Research & Educational Networks in the US Hud Croasdale Executive Director – The Quilt 4 th CEF Networks Workshop Praha, CZ 20 September 2007. What is The Quilt?.

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The QuiltSupport of the Regional Research & Educational Networks in the USHud CroasdaleExecutive Director – The Quilt4thCEF Networks Workshop Praha, CZ20 September 2007

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What is The Quilt?

  • A collaboration of 28 leading advanced regional networking organizations in the U.S. with 7 U.S. and international affiliate participants

  • Aim is to promote consistent, reliable, interoperable and efficient advanced networking services that extends to the broadest possible community

  • Established in 2001

  • Funding provided by participation fees with additional financial support from Internet2

  • Projects are volunteer led and self-supporting

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Quilt Membership

At the sole discretion of The Quilt Steering and Executive Committees, participation in The Quilt is open to:

  • (i) Non-profit regional network aggregators providing advanced network services in support of research and education, and/or

  • (ii) Organizations invited by The Quilt Steering Committee that demonstrate leadership and collaboration in advanced networking.

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Purpose and Objectives

  • Promote the delivery and geographical aggregation of advanced network services to the broadest possible research and educational community.

  • Promote end-to-end continuity, consistency, reliability interoperability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in the development and delivery of advanced network services by means which, at the same time, reflect the diversity of its participants and foster innovation; and

  • Represent the participants' common interests to national advanced research and educational networking organizations, backbone network service providers, industry, government, standard-setting organizations, and other organizations involved in or influencing the development and delivery of advanced network services.

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Guiding Principles

  • Maintain a member driven organization which is at the core of The Quilt principles. All Quilt projects undertaken are identified and led by member-affiliated volunteers

  • Focus on human networking and encourage the fostering of collaborative relationships.

  • Voice the interests of the regional R&E networks to network providers, industry partners, and government agencies

  • Promote a results-driven organization by focusing on topics and projects with timely interest to the Quilt members.

  • Evolve and advance networking technology through independent evaluation of technology trends, the education of regional R&E network members on these trends, and the delivery of innovative network technology and services to Quilt member constituents

  • Maintain The Quilt’s independence of thought and priorities.

  • Communicate openly, fully, and transparently.

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Current Participants

  • 3ROX Three Rivers Optical Exchange

  • CENIC Corporation for Education Network Initiative in California

  • FLR Florida LambdaRail

  • FRGP Front Range Gigapop

  • GPN Great Plains Network

  • Indiana Gigapop Indiana Gigapop

  • Intermountain Gigapop Intermountain Gigapop

  • KanREN Kansas Research and Education Network

  • LEARN Lone Star Education and Research Network

  • LONI Louisiana Optical Network Initiative

  • MAX Mid-Atlantic Crossroads

  • MAGPI Mid-Atlantic Gigapop in Philadelphia for Internet2

  • Merit Merit Network, Inc.

  • MREN Metropolitan Research and Education Network

  • MOREnet Missouri Research and Education Network

  • NCREN North Carolina Research and Education Network

  • NetWork Virginia NetWork Virginia

  • NorthernLights Northern Lights Gigapop

  • NoX Northern Crossroads


  • OARnet OARnet

  • OneNet OneNet

  • Oregon Gigapop Oregon Gigapop

  • OSHEAN Ocean State Higher Education Economic and Administrative Network

  • PNWGP Pacific Northwest Gigapop

  • SoX Southern Crossroads

  • SURA Southeastern Research Universities Association

  • WiscREN Wisconsin Research and Education Network

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Support For Regional Networks

  • The Quilt provides a forum for members and affiliates to cooperate and collaborate on matters of common interest.

    • Technology

    • Services

    • Vendors

    • Business Models

    • Relationships with national and international R&E networking community

  • Quilt members identify and support projects which;

    • Assist participants in providing a broad range of networking services to constituents

    • Facilitate innovative and successful technical projects

    • Promote end-to-end continuity and delivery of advanced network services

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Quilt Projects

  • Commodity Internet Services

    • Chair: Steve Petko, 3ROX

    • Project Members: 7

  • Regional Optical Network

    • Chair: Committee led

    • Project Members: 8

  • Network Facilities Project

    • Chair: Marla Meehl, Front Range Gigapop

    • Project Members: 14

  • Peering Project

    • Co-Chairs: Jan Eveleth, Pacific Northwest Gigapop & Dave Reese, CENIC

    • Project Members: 21

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Commodity Internet Services

Objective: Aggregate the buying power of the Quilt members and authorized buyers to get the best value and lowest pricing commodity internet services.

  • Concluded fourth RFP in spring 2006

  • Vendors are chosen on merit.

  • Currently six vendors participate in the program.

  • Next round planned for 2008

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Commodity Internet Services

Results for Quilt Participants in 2005:

  • Quilt participants collectively purchased 40Gbps of commodity networking services.

  • 70% are with Quilt CIS vendors.

  • Estimated annual savings is $13.9M. 

  • Since the project’s inception in 2002, Quilt Authorized Buyers have saved a cumulative total of $27.7M.

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Regional Optical Networks

Objective: In striving to serve The Quilt’s member and community needs, The Quilt has offered a series of workshops for members of the research and education community.

  • Five workshops to date.

  • Workshops focus on issues associated with building and managing metro or regional optical networking infrastructure with case studies and lessons-learned based presentations from other members of the community.

  • Workshops provide a forum for community members to gather and share optical networking experiences and best practices.

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Workshop Summary

  • 1st Optical Workshop – Summer 2004 : “So You Want to Buy Some Fiber…”

    Focused on providing detailed information on building, managing and connecting to Metro or Regional Optical Networking infrastructure. The Workshop concentrated on three main areas: strategy and procurement, fiber acquisition; and technical implementation.

  • 2nd Optical Workshop – December 2004: “So You Got Some Fiber, Now What?”

    Focused on issues associated building and managing metro or regional optical networking infrastructure. A true example topology was used as a case study, including presentations by vendors on how their equipment would be deployed over this topology. Presentations covered fiber types, optical testing, optical network equipment and RON’s and Backbones

  • 3rd Optical Workshop – Summer 2005: “So You Have Lit Your Fiber, Now What?”

    Focused on the activities and issues associated optical network testing; test equipment and testing services, optical network management tools, current trends in metro and regional networks and connecting to other optical networks.

  • 4th Optical Workshop - January 2006: “So You and Your Neighbor Both Have Lit Fiber, Now What?

    Dedicated to discussing key issues and developing technical, operational and economic guidelines for inter-connects. Also includes presenters from European regionals speaking on these topics.

  • 5th Optical Workshop – October 2006: Presented various topics with relation to managing an optical network including discussions on methods for delivering advanced network services to campus, common business model characteristics among RON’s, and capacity planning at layers 1 and 2.

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Network Facilities Project

Objective: In support of Quilt members, developing business agreements with vendors who have a comprehensive network delivery infrastructure and are able partner with The Quilt in the delivery and development of our research and education networks throughout the United States. 

  • Two different programs differentiated by types of business agreements:

    • Selected Vendor Partner Program – vendors awarded through the Quilt's RFP process

    • Vendor Affiliates Program - vendors not selected through an RFP process but provide products or services of interest to a majority if the Quilt community.

  • Collectively, these vendors meet Quilt member requirements for discounted purchasing, RFP process requirements and account support. 

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Peering Project

  • Objective: Educate The Quilt membership about all facets of peering including the fundamentals of peering, various types of peering, implementation, routing strategies, financial models, etc., and to function as a clearinghouse for information about current peering initiatives. 

  • Formed in the summer of 2006, the group plans to focus on activities which:

    • Engage community to help define national R&E peering strategies/directions

    • Identify, and report on, peering projects relevant to the R&E community     - provide links to information about these initiatives     - gather and report updates on these initiatives

    • Educate its membership about all facets of peering, from administrative to technical     - presentations     - website information repository     - workshops

    • Collect and report on peering-related data from The Quilt membership

    • Provide feedback to our members in the areas of technology, regulation, or marketplace in areas affecting peering or peering relationships

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2006 Quilt Accomplishments

  • Marked five year anniversary in 2006.

  • Quilt leadership reviewed organizational documents to ensure they reflected the current state of Quilt operations with member input and approval.

  • Advanced R&E Networking:

    • Distributed 4th CIS RFP.

    • Created Quilt Peering Project to educate and support Quilt members in peering decisions.

    • Designed two more workshops in the optical workshop series which included international presentations from Germany, Czech Republic and Poland on their experiences with RON inter-connects.

  • Grew membership with addition of MOREnet, WiscREN, LONI and KanREN.

  • Served as a voice for Quilt members to provide input to both national R&E networks as they develop their operational and strategic plans.

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2007 Focus

  • Develop The Quilt as a Peer Advisory Group fostering collaborate relationships among Quilt members and other organizations representing advanced R&E networking.

  • Foster relationships with international Quilt affiliates and other international R&E organizations.

  • Conduct Quilt workshops in spring 2007 and fall 2007.

  • Grow Quilt membership to increase Quilt member knowledge-base and expertise and support new projects.

  • Perform CIS market analysis and create recommendations for Quilt members in current CIS environment.

  • Migrate The Quilt to a fully independent organization (501c3) to provide an independent voice for the regional R&E networks

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Quilt Contact Information

Hud Croasdale

Executive Director

[email protected]