I’m in Cleveland for the next few days for the Internet2 Tech Exchange. This afternoon kicks off with a discussion of the future of cloud infrastructure and platform services. As I suppose is to be expected, the room is full of network and identity engineering professionals. I’m feeling a bit like a fish out of water as an application level guy, but it’s interesting to get this perspective on things.
One comment is that for Internet2 schools, bandwidth to cloud providers is no longer as much an issue as redundancy and latency. Shel observes that for non-I2 schools bandwidth is still a huge issue. The level of networking these schools don’t have is frightening.
The cloud conversation was followed by a TIER (Trusted Identity in Education and Research) investors meeting. There are 50 schools who have invested in TIER now. This is a multi-year project, with a goal of producing a permanently sustainable structure for keeping the work going. A lot of the work so far has been to gather requirements and build use cases. Internet2 has committed to keeping the funding for Shibboleth and Grouper going as part of the TIER funding. The technical work will be done by a dedicated team at Internet2.
The initial TIER release (baseline) will be a package that includes Shibboleth, Grouper, and COManage, brought together as a unified set, as well as setting the stage for Scalable Consent support. That release will happen in 2016. It will be a foundation for future (incremental) updates and enhancements. The API will be built for forward compatibility. Releases will be instrumented for continual feedback and improvement of the product.