The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) hosted its biannual Member Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in hybrid format at its Columbus headquarters and online. The meeting featured a range of special guests and topics, taking place in conjunction with OARsec and OARtech meetings focused on security and technology, respectively.
In all, more than 30 participants attended in person, joined by more than 40 individuals online. Attendees reported valuing the opportunity to learn from invited guests, OARnet experts and each other and to see the big picture of how OARnet’s services are evolving to stay ahead of the needs of its member institutions.
In the Member Meeting, OARnet Executive Director Pankaj Shah highlighted the network’s partnerships with BroadbandOhio and InnovateOhio in addition to major initiatives underway to upgrade infrastructure, including:
- the continuing efforts to upgrade the statewide fiber-optic backbone and Internet2 connections to 400 Gigabits per second (Gbps),
- GEER-funded upgrades to 10 Gbps and expanded security initiatives for 42 colleges and universities,
- and ongoing work with MCOECN to upgrade the Information Technology Centers that serve PreK-12 districts across the state to 100 Gbps with the help of funds from ESSER.
A range of guest speakers provided Member Meeting attendees with updates on a variety of topics:
- OhioLINK Executive Director Amy Pawlowski and Associate Director of Discovery and Delivery Theda Schwing discussed the impacts of the pending replacement of the OhioLINK Integrated Library System.
- Peter Voderberg, chief of BroadbandOhio, provided an update on statewide efforts to improve broadband access for underserved areas of Ohio.
- A panel consisting of Case Western Reserve University Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Miro Humer, Sinclair Community College CIO Scott McCollum and The Ohio State University Chief Relationship Officer Bill Phillips explored the challenges and opportunities of recruitment, retention, onboarding and communication in the era of remote and hybrid work.
- Dr. Katrina Adkins of SHI shared insight on the role broadband service plays in the ever-developing world of eSports.
In the OARsec session, OARnet Cybersecurity Architect Faaress Parham highlighted the ways the network has increased its focus on cybersecurity services including ongoing services, pilot projects and an exploratory survey to understand the needs of OARnet member institutions. Kirk Herath, cybersecurity strategic advisor for the Office of Ohio Governor Mike Dewine, added an update on current State of Ohio cybersecurity initiatives and Internet2 Director of Routing Integrity Steven Wallace presented about Internet2’s Routing Integrity Initiative and how to adopt the ARIN routing security service.
In the OARtech session, Mark Fullmer, OARnet chief technology officer, delivered a report on upgrades to OARnet’s network infrastructure. Guests Steve Gruetter and Jim Gehring from Columbus-based Expedient shared best practices for establishing cloud and multi-cloud environments, and Linda Roos, senior director of state and regional networks at Internet2, spoke about the Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) initiative to upgrade Internet2 connections across the country.
The next OARnet Member Meeting will be hosted in conjunction with the 2023 Ohio Higher Education Computing Council Conference, which runs May 10-12, 2023, at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Exact date and time of the Member Meeting are to be announced.
Since 1987, OARnet has delivered technology-based solutions that reduce costs, increase productivity and improve customer service. As a division of the Ohio Department of Higher Education(link sends e-mail)'s Ohio Technology Consortium(link sends e-mail) (OH-TECH), OARnet serves Ohio's education, health care, public broadcasting and government communities. Other members of the consortium include the Ohio Supercomputer Center(link sends e-mail) (OSC) and the Ohio Library and Information Network(link sends e-mail) (OhioLINK).