The Special Interest Group on Management of Service Portfolios (SIG-MSP) promotes collaboration between R&E networking organisations in Europe and other regions on the topics of business, strategic and cooperative management of services.

The most recent SIG-MSP meeting took place on 3-4 October, kindly hosted by AMRES, in a beautiful venue in sunny Belgrade, where 35 participants representing 15 NRENs discussed best practices and new challenges in the areas of GDPR and Security.

All attendees agreed that compliance with GDPR has become a business as usual task for NRENs and is now part of their regular operations. Andrew Cormack (Jisc) highlighted the improvements to the overall services development cycle as a result of understanding GDPR, privacy, data capture and user requirements.

A growing concern, supported by a few NRENs, is to provide advice and guidance to their institutions. The NREN community is keen to draw on the significant amount of work already carried out by the GÉANT GDPR team for services shared at pan-European level.

Dr Milos Cvetanovic, CEO of AMRES, gave a warm welcome to the group, starting with an overview of developments in Serbia with a focus on on-campus service. SURFnet presented their procurement and vendor management services deployed for a campus programme to be deployed in 2019-2020.

Martin Bech from DeiC reminded the group about Campus Best Practices, a body of work in a previous iteration of the GÉANT project, and suggested that it would be useful to reignite this work for the new array of on-campus services being developed.

Anke Russell from GÉANT presented the new features of GEANT’s production-ready test bed service and explained what future iterations of the service could look like. A user-centric service development process is being followed and by seeking contributions from networking experts, it is on track to become a fully supported service during Q1 2019.

Brook Schofield from GÉANT gave an update on a trio of services focused on Trust and Identity: eduroam Managed Identity Provider, the research infrastructure focused authentication service (eduTEAMS) and Federation Service Catalogue evolution. These projects are now calling for expressions of interest from their respective communities.

Annabel Grant from GÉANT concluded the first day on Network Management as a Service (NMaaS) complementing the earlier on-campus presentations and detailing a new service that provides a range of modular tools to support network management needs for NRENs, small institutions and distributed research projects. Annabel also announced the return of Gyongyi Horvath to GÉANT, taking up a new role with focus on education to follow up on what the MSP group covered on this field in the past.

The focus of the second day was Security. Most organisations offered us an appetiser of their new security services, including GARR’s vulnerability scanner – SCARR 3.0, Jisc’s Penetration Testing Service; SURFnet Security Service Portfolio, DeiC’s latest three security services and HEAnet’s growing challenges in its security landscape.

David Kvatadze, representing the Georgian Ministry of Justice and its Data Exchange Agency, spoke about the interaction of CERT-GOV-GE with a wide range of their constituency, including R&E, banks, ISPs, hosting providers, government agencies and the international CSIRT community.

Sigita Jurkynaitė from GÉANT then provided information on the new cyber security work package kicking off in January 2019 within the new GN4-3 project, with the focus on new services to be developed within GÉANT: the work package will be jointly led by Sigita Jurkynaite (GÉANT) and Alf Moens (SURFnet) and will consist of three core tasks focusing on business continuity, security baselining and products & services. The meeting closed with an update on how NRENs can provide additional granularity to the currently available Service Matrix: this will be part of the wider Compendium work with the aim to have a detailed list of each NREN’s services available in country and will also enable NRENs to share services more easily, and where appropriate, open their services up to researchers using the European Open Science Cloud portal.

To view the presentations all click here

The next SIG-MSP meeting will take place on 5th of March 2019 at CYNET’s new offices in Nicosia, Cyprus. The main topics will be: new services in and around data transfer and service portfolio management.