The following outlines staff recommendations on clarifying the definition of and putting in place a process for identifying "Secondary" Abilene users as defined by the CoU. With one minor exception, there are no proposed changes to the CoU itself.


The outline results from staff discussions held in response to the action item that came out of the 1 July NPPAC meeting to consider ways in which UCAID can respond to needs that have been expressed by Internet2 gigapops and campuses with respect to expansion of infrastructure services beyond traditional Internet2 membership.




KEY OUTCOME: decided to define "Secondary" notion in Abilene CoU as a first logical step in seeing if we can meet some of expressed needs of our membership with a currently available mechanism . We recognize that it may not meet all of the expressed needs.


KEY ISSUES: within the broad outline of the policy/process, there are a number of key issues that will have to be decided and we present recommendations on those issues below for NPPAC SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION AND ISSUES:


The driving issues revolved around a couple of key threads:


- applications results as measure of success for the project

- needing diversity of participants/users/resources to enable applications results

- figuring out who would be part of that diversified participants/users/resources


another thread along the lines of:


- economics of physical connectivity to campuses, gigapops

- needing to satisfy this for business decision-makers if they are to justify Abilene connectivity

- diverting attention from the core Internet2 goals and losing attractiveness to corporations who made cheap connectivity possible in first place


We decided that our first response should focus on the only specific mechanism available to us - Abilene secondaries. The intention was to see how well that addressed the issues.


Principle: Place responsibility for bringing in Secondaries in the hands of those institutions who have need/desire to see additional organizations participate in Abilene.


Proposal: retain basic current definition of Secondary as in CoU (note issue 1 below for possible minor modification.)




-Any Regular Member Primary (see note on issue 2 below) can notify (see note 3) Abilene that it is sponsoring a Secondary user to attach to Abilene by sending a note to Abilene staff that explains: a) what institution is being sponsored, b) what the expected time period for attachment is and c) what justifies their participation.


-Abilene staff will review and file, only responding to such notifications when c) seems particularly lacking


- A yearly renewal of a secondary by its sponsoring Primary is required and should be an affirmation that the relationship has been successful


-Bottom line: onus of complying with broad policies and goals is on the Primary who designates a Secondary.




- keep baseline case that secondary to secondary traffic not permitted


- if two secondaries are designated by a Primary, Primary should indicate whether secondary to secondary over Abilene traffic will be required


- secondary to secondary traffic would be permitted on such a case-by-case basis


- otherwise, action only taken if abuses are seen


- see issue #4 for core vs. all traffic issue


Other stuff:


- no membership policy is associated with being a Secondary and therefore no membership fees, including no listings, no meetings, no "I am connected using Internet2"

- it will be the responsibility of the sponsoring Primary to act to enforce conformance to the COU by its sponsored Secondaries. Abilene will treat the IP addresses of each Secondary as if they are governed by the Participation Agreement with the Sponsoring Primary. Additionally the sponsory Primary Participant will organize through which Participant or Connector the Secondary will connect


Abilene cost-recovery fees


- no Abilene participation fee will be charged to Secondaries


- whether a Secondary pays some share of a Abilene connection fee is up to the Connector who connects the Secondary


- a Secondary will not be allowed to directly connect to Abilene. An institution that has enough money to directly connect to Abilene should be committing to full Internet2 membership and Abilene participation as a Primary




1. In the only anticipated modification to the CoU, we suggest changing the wording of existing CoU in the definition of "Secondary" to allow for-profits to be designated as Secondaries without having to go to Board for special permission. With this change, for-profit organizations would be treated the same as not-for-profit organizations.


2. We suggest that only Regular Member Primaries can designate a Secondary. We considered whether all Abilene Primaries should be allowed to designate Secondaries and decided that a) to date, we've heard no desire on the part of Affiliate or Corporate collaboration sites who are Primaries to do this, and b) allowing corporate collaboration sites to designate secondaries could open us up to some undesirable situations.


3. We suggest a "designate/notify" model rather than a "register" model that would imply an approval process. In keeping with our basic principle, we wanted to retain responsibility/control for complying with the goals/outline of the policy in the hands of the sponsoring Primary. We also believe that keeping the administrative process minimal on this allows us to keep from charging Secondaries an Abilene participation fee.


4. We recognize that a lot of the same technical difficulties will be present in enforcing only "core" traffic between Secondaries and Primaries, but suggest leaving that restriction as a statement of policy.


Approach to publication of concept


There could be two different approaches to putting this out there:


1. Low-profile approach: approach this as clarification of existing policy; don't do elaborate interpretations; this is logical next step now that Abilene is up and running.


This approach might let us in a way "float a trial balloon" figuring out if enough of the pressure can be relieved to let us get on with things and contemplate more extensive measures in a longer timeframe. It was noted in our discussions that there is sometimes a tendency in our membership to assume the most restrictive interpretation of policies, so good examples would be useful.


The other advantage to a low-profile approach is to keep commerical providers from blowing this move out of proportion. Based on MCI's reaction to our "collaboration site" poicy, it's likely they will see this as a countermove to vBNS+ service. We have a better chance of diffusing this if we are able to say that the policy was there all along and we're just putting a process in place so people can take advantage of it.


The downside of this approach is that it may be seen as a "too little, too late" measure by some who are pushing the edges of the envelope.


2. High-profile approach: Explain to our members (and commercial ISPs) exactly the pressures we're up against from our own membership and the distraction that it has caused and could continue to cause if not dealt with swiftly and highlight this as a first logical step to meeting some of those expressed needs. We might take the attitude that given all the mixed signals and not quite clear articulation of the problems, we didn't think we should go with the most extensive solution at first, but try and see what needs could be met with the first logical step - a policy that existed, but just needed to be implemented. And that we'd need more member input to take next steps beyond this if they thought we needed to.


In either of these solutions, we will need to present our members with the pros/cons of some of these issues.


Heather Boyles

Director, Government and International Relations Internet2

office: 202.331.5342

mobile: 202.255.5581




Heather Boyles

Director, Government and International Relations Internet2

office: 202.331.5342

mobile: 202.255.5581