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Internet2 Names Clemson CIO 'Inaugural Presidential Fellow'

Jim Bottum, CIO and vice provost for CIT at Clemson University
Jim Bottum, CIO and vice provost for CIT at Clemson University

Internet2, an advanced networking consortium of higher education and research organizations, has named its first "Presidential Fellow," whose job it will be to bring community members together to solve the challenges of moving to innovative technologies. Jim Bottum will retain his titles as CIO and vice provost for computing and information technology at Clemson University; but in his new role, he'll dedicate a portion of time to working with Internet2's leadership team on promoting the adoption of the Internet2 Innovation Platform.

Before joining Clemson in 2006, Bottum was executive director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and then CIO of Purdue University. He has also led National Science Foundation (NSF) advisory committees for cyber infrastructure and the Government Performance and Results Act. He served on the Internet2 board of trustees for four years.

Bottum's outreach will include university administrators, CIOs, regional networks, government agencies, national laboratories, and the NSF's Project Office for the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). He also will help obtain grants to continue the work of Internet2 programs.

"The overall direction that Internet2 is taking is very exciting and really speaks to the changing needs of our community," said Bottum. "I look forward to working with Internet2 on these initiatives and bringing key members of each community to the forefront and in a common collaborative space to advance our collective missions in tackling common challenges."

The Internet2 Innovation Platform is a high performance combination of networking technologies and services that delivers massive amounts of bandwidth through a 100 gigabit Ethernet transport network, implements a "Science DMZ," and introduces "software defined networking" for supporting development and deployment of new applications that exploit the environment.

Science DMZs, which derive from a model developed by the Department of Energy, would address some common issues such as big data transfer walls and network bottlenecks that limit the abilities of scientists to do the kind of end-to-end networking required for their intensive research. This "buffer," consisting of dedicated networking gear, would exist outside of the traditional campus security border while still connecting to it as well as at least one other major research lab or innovation center and would provide end-to-end performance diagnosis and verification.

Software defined networking is the term used by Internet2 to describe the virtualizing capacity and "programmability" of the new platform. As those capabilities are introduced, community members will be able to request a "network slice" to install their own software. That in turn will require software development to support the virtualization and required programming interfaces.

Currently, Internet2 is wooing its member institutions and research centers to participate in implementing components of the Innovation Platform as part of a multi-year pilot program.

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