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Diving into the risks and challenges for NRENs – SIG-MSP meets in Copenhagen

The Special Interest Group on Management of Service Portfolios (SIG-MSP) had their spring meeting on 13 March hosted by DeiC in Copenhagen, Denmark. They discussed NREN risks and challenges in 2024 and covered topics such as service sharing, cost modelling, and NREN strategies.

Martin Bech from the Danish NREN DeiC welcomed everyone warmly to the beautiful venue of Diakonissestiflelsen (‘the Deaconess Foundation’). He continued with an update on DeiC’s projects, including their new initiatives in cybersecurity, and showcased how they calculate their SLA – a topic of interest to the group. An important challenge highlighted was the emerging physical threats to infrastructure and ensuring vulnerability assessments are regularly in place.

PSNC, represented by Raimundas Tuminauskas, continued by presenting the current status of the foresight study on risks and challenges from the view of multiple NRENs. They highlighted the challenges identified which will occur until 2030, their impact, prioritisation, analysis and finding solutions for the future. After this, a passionate round table discussion took place on the biggest challenges the participants faced and next steps.

Next on the agenda, Harri Kuusisto from CSC discussed experiences with GÉANT’s TCS certificate service, after which Garvan McFeeley from HEAnet gave an OCRE 2024 cloud tender update. He presented some impressive growth analytics, such as having 950 institutions from 28 countries using the 2016 and 2020 IaaS Frameworks in 2023. OCRE’s 2024 scope and next steps were also highlighted.

An interactive session followed which was led by Leonie Schaefer from DFN discussing business models and value propositions in an NREN context. The participants had to think about this topic hands-on through creating their own business models and having an insightful round table discussion on the main service sharing challenges and what elements to look into further to improve it. The length of the discussion reflected the significant interest from all the participants on this topic, and a future workshop on this topic was requested.

Next, a new face – Patrik Zorica from SURF, shared a SURFspot update and looked into collaboration possibilities on purchase and delivery of software and hardware in Europe. After this, a delicious lunch was served where attendees could reconnect and discuss topics of interest further.

The second part of the meeting kicked off by looking into building a cost model for NREN services with presentations by DFN, Jisc and Switch, with a roundtable discussion on this topic afterwards. Annabel Grant from GÉANT then presented the new Compendium website, and Nadelina Sandu from GÉANT shared some GÉANT Community Programme updates to the group.

The meeting finished with a presentation from Jan Meijer from Sikt and Jakob Tendel from DFN discussing the community developed research data on infrastructure services. They specifically looked into the GN5-2 Above-the-Net Services investment proposal development.

It was nice to see participants come together to dive into the risks and challenges NRENs face on a daily basis, to share lessons learned, and plan for the future of NREN services. Thank you to all those who joined both in-person and online, and a special thanks to our colleagues at DeiC who made all of this possible. The meeting concluded with potential agenda items for future meetings. Next time, SIG-MSP will meet face-to-face in mid-autumn in 2024.

The slides of the presentations can be downloaded from the wiki page.

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SIG-MSP meetings promote collaboration between Research and Education Networking organisations in Europe and other regions on the topics of strategic, business and cooperative management of services. For more information visit the dedicated page on the GÉANT community website:

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