The Special Interest Group – Management of Services Portfolio (SIG-MSP) met on the 5th of March in Nicosia, Cyprus, hosted by CyNet (Cyprus NREN). The meeting took place at the beautiful new University Library ‘Stelios Ioannou’, a very impressive building equipped with the latest technology. 18 participants from across Europe embarked on a longer-than-usual journey to attend the meeting and 13 joined remotely.

Cyprus University Library – Stelios Ioannou

The meeting kicked-off with an introduction to CyNet and its services by CyNet Managing Director, George Konnis, whose words “eduroam kept us alive!” highlighted that eduroam was one of CyNet’s first services.

Annabel Grant (GÉANT), on Data Transfer Enhancing Services, the meeting’s first theme, stressed the importance of data transfer in the context of the European Open Science Cloud and more widely in the Open Science policy national initiatives. Tim Chown (Jisc, UK) presented GÉANT’s plans for new products and services in the area of network (within the GN4-3 project) with a specific focus on data transfer. The meeting also featured an overview of best practices at a global level with presentations from AARnet (Australia) and SANReN (South Africa). Further views on data transfer technologies, products, processes and architectural changes at a European level were presented by Jisc, RedIRIS (Spain) and DFN (Germany).

Some NRENs, in line with the meeting’s second theme, focused on the essence and the role of SIG-MSP, gave perspectives on lessons learnt along the way of their Services Lifecycle management and shared views on service portfolio choices and implementation experiences.

In addition, we learnt that cloud, cybersecurity, digitalisation projects, machine learning and AI services are key areas of growth for ASNET-AM’s (Armenian NREN) service portfolio. CyNet continued by re-iterating the importance of a broad services portfolio for NRENs seeking to ensure students and researchers are well supported, and highlighted that GEANT services are an importance element of their overall portfolio. Both innovation and “market-push” feed the SURF-portfolio inspired by the principle “to make the right choices at the right moment in the interaction with the right stakeholders”. RedIRIS presented its 2020 Strategic Plan and a study on network performance which conclusively demonstrates that NRENs provide better performance to our user base than commercial networks.

The SIG-MSP closed with a space Odyssey. “Let’s expand R&E networks to the final frontier: space, and bring this to the next level”, said Lars Kierkegaard presenting DeiC plans to launch Satcom services for researchers in remote areas. DeiC announced the launch of an open call for collaboration to investigate the use of satellite communications to support researchers around the globe.

Odyssey edition available in 22 EU languages

This SIG-MSP meeting was worth the long journey – we left sunny Cyprus with wonderful memories, great ideas for collaborations in our ongoing journey supporting research and education networking. The Cyrpus experience was crowned by the celebrations, held at the University Library, for the launch of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey translation in the EU’s 24 languages.

Our most heartfelt thanks go to George, Elena and the CyNet team for their outstanding hospitality. Σας ευχαριστώ και σας βλέπω!

Additional info:

• Click here for the meeting’s agenda and presentations
• Contact Lars Fabricius Kierkegaard for info on DeiC’s open call for the launch of Satcom services for researchers in remote areas
• The next SIG-MSP meeting will take place will take place on 18/19 September 2019 in a central European location.