UCAR Point of Presence (UPoP)
NETS undertook the development and construction of a new entity called the UCAR Point of Presence (UPoP). The UPoP is a consortium of universities, K-20s, non-profit corporations, and government agencies that cooperate in an aggregation point (the UPoP) to share Wide Area Networking (WAN) services, access to the commodity Internet, access to the Abilene (I2) research network, and access to the National LambdaRail (NLR). The current members include:
- Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC)
- Boulder Valley School District (BVSD)
- Centennial Board of Cooperative Educational Services (CBOCES)
- City of Boulder
- City and County of Denver
- Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (CARL)
- Colorado Mountain College (CMC)
- Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA)
- Educational Support Services (ESS)
- San Luis
- Craig Memorial-AHEC
- SW Health Hospital
- Pueblo CC
- Metropolitan State College of Denver (MSCD)
- St. Mary's Academy
Pending members at end-FY2007 include:
- Regis High School
- Colorado Springs K-12s
- Continuing expansion of CBOCES
This project required the vision to see a role for UCAR, the approval of UCAR to proceed, the development of policies, procedures, agreements, invoicing techniques, then undertaking the education of the users as well as encouraging their commitment to the new enterprise.
There are a number of advantages gained by sharing services through such a consortium. Costs for WAN services are reduced for each partner, expertise among partners can be shared, a higher level of services can be purchased than individual institutions could afford, there is more buying power among a consortium, and there are great economies of scale. All of this leads to much better wide area networking than what individual members could provide to their users on their own. NCAR/UCAR has agreed to provide the engineering, administrative, and NOC support for the UPoP. The service costs incurred by NCAR/UCAR are shared by all members. NETS believes that the greater service and bandwidth provided through the UPoP are important enough for NCAR/UCAR to both participate and provide the engineering, administrative, and NOC services.
From the early stages of planning the UPoP, the administrative team has been involved in determining the appropriateness of NCAR/UCAR's involvement in administering this effort. Once it was deemed appropriate for NCAR/UCAR to administer the UPoP, it required many hours of meetings with the UPoP members to finalize the agreement details, and still more hours settling the financial specifics. Setting up the agreements, the financial spreadsheets, and the accounting system were all major efforts that required extensive time, commitment, and expertise.
The UPoP is expected to continue to grow with new members in FY2008. NETS also plans to reconfigure the hardware to more current equipment.
The shared funding arrangement for the UPoP is indicated above and is managed through the UCAR Communications Pool indirect funds. This work supports NCAR's strategic priority of "Developing and providing advanced services and tools."