The newest iteration of GÉANT’s Trusted Certificate Service (formerly known as the TERENA Certificate Service) geared up for action with a workshop at this year’s networking conference, TNC15, in Porto on 16 June. With almost 30 participants and live testing, the event provided useful insights into the new version of TCS that is set to launch on 1 July 2015.
For around nine years, TCS has been helping to increase security in online transactions by facilitating the deployment of digital certificates. TCS takes advantage of a bulk purchasing arrangement whereby participating national research and education network (NREN) organisations may issue close to unlimited numbers of certificates provided by a commercial Certification Authority (CA) at a significantly reduced price.
The GÉANT clouds session at this year's networking conference, TNC15, gathered more than a hundred interested participants from cloud providers and national research and education network (NREN) organisations. Presentations from the GÉANT clouds team outlined the scope and goals of the GÉANT clouds activity, including the cloud services catalogue, NREN adoption support and the ongoing IaaS (infrastructure as a service) tender process.
REFEDS - the Research and Education Federations group - marked it’s 10th anniversary at a meeting at the annual networking conference, TNC15, in Porto on 14 June. With birthday cake for all participants, REFEDS celebrated this milestone and a brand new website. With 93 participants registered, this was the the largest refeds meeting to date.
Managed by GÉANT, which provides secretariat support for the group, REFEDS has grown from a talking shop of interested parties sharing ideas to a sponsored initiative delivering an annual plan of work to improve interoperability between identity federations.
GÉANT means community collaboration extending beyond the European borders. When GÉANT identified a need to financially assist attendees from far afield to come to Europe’s leading research and education networking conference, TNC, the GÉANT community stepped up to sponsor engineers from emerging national research and education network (NREN) organisations. As a result, 8 participants are attending this year’s conference, TNC15, in Porto, Portugal.
Several European NRENs kindly contributed funding, and representatives from geographic regions including South and East Africa; West and Central Africa; Asia-Pacific; Central and South America; Central Asia; Caribbean; the Balkan; and the Middle East. Each region nominated attendees who could benefit from the GÉANT community support.
This year’s networking conference, TNC15, closed on Thursday 17 May with an invitation for attendees to visit TNC16 in Prague, Czech Republic. Jan Gruntorád from CESNET, the Czech research and education network, presented a short film highlighting the city’s attractions, and participants of TNC15 received a USB key with an image of Prague, the “mother of cities” as a reminder of the invitation to next year's event.
The keynote presenter, João Paulo Cunha from the University of Porto, gave a presentation about the city of Porto, which has developed a Future Internet (FI) living lab at a city scale. He presented the concept of this unique excercise and discussed the future of this project, highlighting new trends and FI services as they are envisioned by the multidisciplinary and multi-institutional project team.
A number of sessions at this year’s networking conference, TNC15, have shone a spotlight on the under-representation and role of women in our research and education networking community and in the technology sector in general; areas in which men still predominate. On Monday, a panel discussion and a lightning talk brought attention to some personal experiences and issues, and on Wednesday Avis Yates Rivers addressed the matter during her plenary speech ‘Unconscious Biases: Addressing Stealth Barriers to Innovation & Productivity’.
The key makes securing your online activities a breeze by offering strong encryption and authentication methods.
The key supports one-time password and FIDO U2F, for plug and play use with a broad range of applications, including remote access and VPN, password managers, computer login, Gmail login, content management systems, popular online services, and much more.
Kent Engström (SUNET and Linköping University, Sweden) has received this year's research and education networking Community Award. Kent was honoured for his contributions to the Trusted Certificate Service (TCS – formerly known as TERENA Certificate Service), which helps to increase security in online transactions by facilitating the deployment of digital certificates. Kent had developed and maintained the ‘Djangora’ software that was a vital part of the service for around six years. The selection was made after open nominations and deliberation by a panel of judges. The prize was presented during the closing plenary session of this year’s networking conference, TNC15, in Porto, Portugal.
The award was presented on behalf of the judges by João Nuno Ferreira, who is a director of the TNC15 host organisation, FCT|FCCN. He said: "Kent was instrumental in putting together Djangora and the means for delivering thousands of certificates across Europe. This work was voluntary and that’s an outstanding contribution."
Almost 700 members of the research and education networking community raised a toast to the new GÉANT organisation and brand during the opening reception of the 2015 networking conference, TNC15. In doing so, they were celebrating a new phase in the community collaboration that is key to the new brand meaning.
Between boat rides and riverside conversation, participants viewed two short videos as part of a short speech by chair of the GÉANT board of directors, Pierre Bruyère.
TNC15 has begun on Monday 15 June, in Porto, Portugal, with live streaming of the opening plenary session. GÉANT’s chair of the board of directors, Pierre Bruyère, introduced the conference before a series of welcoming speeches and the keynote presentation by John Day of Boston University, in which he examines the foundations of the Internet and gives his insights into how it should develop for the future.