terena logo
22 November 2013
Like minds meet at TF-NOC and Network Architects workshop
TF-NOC participants discuss DDoS mitigation solutions and practices in Prague.

The 2nd TERENA Network Architects Workshop and the 9th TF-NOC (Task Force on Network Operation Centres) meeting came together on 13-15 November 2013, in Prague, Czech Republic, to inspire experts within the TERENA community and beyond. Organising these events back-to-back for the first time allowed participants to discuss the implications of novel network concepts and architectures for day-to-day operations.

Participants included staff from regional networks, campuses, commercial organisations and the G√ČANT (GN3plus) project as well as national research and education networking organisations (NRENs) and the user community. There was a global perspective too, with contributions from NORDUnet (the Nordic infrastructure for research and education), ESnet (Energy Sciences Network of the USA) and the NREN CEO Forum.

Network Architects workshop

Network architecture design, deployment and operations were the focus of the workshop. The event provided a forum for knowledge transfer from GÉANT Service Activities (SA) and Joint Research Activities (JRA) to community members who are not directly involved. Attendees heard updates on the Bandwidth on Demand production service, the new Multi-Domain Virtual Private Network service pilot, and the Testbed-as-a-Service initiative.

NRENs were given the opportunity to provide updates on their network life-cycle and to share ideas that could lead to GÉANT services in future. The Firewall-on-Demand initiative by GRNET (Greece) was presented and discussed as a potential GÉANT tool that could be used to improve the DDoS (distributed denial of service) mitigation service provided by DANTE to GN3plus project participants.

Cisco Systems and Level3 Inc. presented on the hot topics of Software Defined Networks and Content Delivery Networks, respectively. This provided not only a commercial but a global perspective, which was continued in an ESnet presentation about the Science DMZ (de-militarised zones) network architecture concept, and in a NORDUnet introduction to the CEO Forum's Global Network Architecture initiative.

Thirty-five participants attended the workshop, including representatives from AzScienceNet (Azerbaijan) and SANReN (South Africa) for the first time. Ntuthuko Sambo of SANReN, a relatively small NREN established in 2005, said: "we are actively looking for new services to be adopted in SANReN and we found the TERENA workshop really useful." Tim Kleefass, of the German regional network BelWü, said he had been interested in what services NREN and GEANT could provide: "the NREN updates were appreciated, and also that the regional networks are seriously taken into account".

TF-NOC meeting

The 9th TF-NOC meeting was the first to follow the re-chartering of the task force in October. Four flash talks delivered in Prague, by CESNET, AzScienceNet, SANReN and LightNet, added to the existing online collection of introductory talks, bringing the total number to 33 on the TERENA website. Commercial firms Team Cymru and Prolexic were invited to present professional DDoS mitigation solutions and practices. Participants then shared their experiences of the growing number of such incidents in research and education networks, and how to detect and mitigate these attacks. Internal and external NOC communications, and the potential use of social media as a secondary information channel, were also discussed.

DANTE presented the operational changes and enhancements resulting from the migration of the GÉANT network's optical platform to Infinera. Following the recent reorganisation of DANTE Operations and the resulting transformation of the GÉANT Access Port Managers group into a new GÉANT Service and Technology Forum, a commitment was made to ensure that DANTE and the GÉANT Operations Centre are represented at all future TF-NOC meetings. The next TF-NOC meeting will be hosted by DANTE in Cambridge, UK, in spring 2014.

Further information

More information about the workshop and the task force can be found on the Network Architects workshop and the TF-NOC webpages.