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CACTI Call of 14-April-2020 



  • Tom Jordan, University of Wisc - Madison (chair)
  • Marina Adomeit, SUNET 
  • Rob Carter, Duke 
  • Nathan Dors, U Washington  
  • Matthew Economou, InCommon TAC Representative to CACTI 
  • Michael Grady, Unicon 
  • Karen Herrington, Virginia Tech 
  • Christos Kanellopoulos, GEANT 
  • Les LaCroix, Carleton College 
  • Chris Phillips, CANARIE 
  • Bill Thompson, Lafayette College 


  • Kevin Morooney 
  • Ann West 
  • Steve Zoppi 
  • Nick Roy  
  • Jessica Fink 
  • Emily Eisbruch    
  • Mike Zawacki 


  • Jill Gemmill, Clemson  (vice chair)
  • Margaret Cullen, Painless Security  




Status check on everyone's situation, plans, etc. 

  • U Wisconsin - completed change to online instruction, settling in , looking at what this means in longer term, including future financial situation, which major initiatives should go forward , looking at financial implications
  • Virginia Tech - online instruction has settled down, is the norm now, summer classes will be online,  budget issues being looked at
  • Lafayette - classes online, looking at budget issues, looking at options for fall
  • Duke - looking at options for fall,  Duke has many students at remote locations overseas and that is being closely tracked.
  • Carleton - over 10% of student body needed to stay on campus, but transitioned to remote teaching, using pass/fail grading for this term, commencement and reunion cancelled
  • GEANT -  supporting institutions moving to online teaching and learning, load has increased,  with expected economic impact in the future
  • SUNET - increased load and stress on the network. Much effort to ensure things are operating at high level.  Some development work may be delayed
  • CANARIE - essential service as a telecom provider, functioning as normal but working from home since March 14, 2020.  
    • CANARIE was operationally well equipped for work from home.
    • Do daily business continuity check ins.
    • Eduroam traffic has plummeted with so many people working/learning at home. 
    • What is utility for eduroam for mobile users?
    • How do we get connectivity to the have-not cohort out there, such as in rural areas?
    • Broadcast eduroam at a municipal level?
    • What sort of infrastructure for that? 
    • Chris doing research on eduVPN, a solution that allows profiles to be delivered to devices for federated single sign on.  
    • Ask ChrisP if you are interested in more info on eduVPN.
    • Thinking about the pan-institutional story.
    • Preparing for possible scenarios to come in Sept 2020
    • Talking w Azure and Microsoft on what it means to be a good multilateral federation friendly service.
  • Nick: InCommon has seen downstream effects of things going on line. Institutions fetching metadata frequently, InCommon moving discovery service to different machines. Moved metadata signing online recently. Acceleration in looking at infrastructure as a service.
    Push to get the community to support REFEDs R&S is yielding good results
  • Testing on eduroam dissemination has gone well

Other Comments

  • Hiring and/or salary freezes at several academic institutions
  • Much going on with Zoom
    • Net+ Service Advisory Board is hosting a Zoom discussion later today and expecting large attendance.

  EARN IT Act in the US Senate (Kevin)

    •  Possible Threat to end to end encryption. 
    •   EARN IT Act in the US Senate?  Are our non-US colleagues tracking it?  worried about it?
    • Sometimes organizations like Internet2, EDUCAUSE, AAU and other consortia can weigh in on major issues.
    • At some point in future Kevin may ask for CACTI’s help in working on a draft
    •  CACTI members should look  at what this might mean for our institutions
    • Vendors like Google and Microsoft may have a lot at risk here
    • Proposal impacts end to end encryption
    • Federal agencies would have ability to end encrypt in the middle

Thoughts about when to get back to more "regular" CACTI business

  • What to prioritize and where CACTI can add value
  • CACTI Work in progress included: 

  •  1) Value Proposition -   7 things for CIOs and CISOs to know
  • 2) CACTI was working w CSTAAC around cloud providers 
    • Important to be able to strengthen influence over those, as a community voice 
  • 3) Two planned new working groups
    • Hiring and Recruiting
    • Evaluation IAM Software

Proposed Hiring and Recruiting Working Group

    • The two new working groups may be relevant as campuses face hiring freezes and need to train staff for new roles, career progression and training sequences .
    • How to identity the skill sets to adapt existing staff. 
    • Essence of the WG on Hiring and Recruiting is still important in this new environment.   

      • May want to look at the IDPro body of knowledge recently released.
      •  Is this an accessible body of knowledge?  Recent release of IDPro TOC and first concepts . An issue is: How to move from an encyclopedic body of knowledge to a curriculum.

      • Put  out call to our community to work with IDPro on developing a curriculum?   
      • Issue of whether there will be paywalls in front of the IDPro content.
      • Also issue of speed at which IDPro can put out content.
      • AI TomJ will  engage HeatherF to learn more about IDPro plans
      •  Albert Wu and David Walker (of Internet2) are working on a better approach to Service Provider documentation than InCommon has had in the past

Proposed Evaluating IAM Software  Working Group

  • Jessica  developed charter for this Software Evaluation working grou
  • IDM EDUCAUSE list had recent thread on commercial offerings and ITAP and cost.
  • Lafayette did some analysis
  • Having concrete numbers would be helpful on cost to institutions of running the various options
  • AI TomJ will work w Jessica to see how much interest there is in the community and report back to CACTI

InCommon Communications

  • InCommon looking at where to focus communications, the community now looking more at long term issues.  Would be good to have communications around the new normal, for example, retraining in the face of hiring freezes. Perhaps the need to automate as much as possible. Trusted Access Platform in the new normal.  Containerization, and how to make it easier. 
  • Lafayette, sees niche software specific software as a service (SAS) offerings, LDAP for authentication, but single sign on mechanism overall  is poor, need to be able to onboard these types of software. Perhaps need a reinvigorated campaign to reach the Service Providers.  
  • Cloud services cookbook is helpful
  • Authentication around software for proctoring, wordpress,
  • Rapid integration is missing for using ITAP solutions 
  • Do pairing of cookbooks?
  • CSP (Collaborative Success Program)  knowledge harvesting  
  • Proxying that is not to the protocol spec can be needed to  address end user scenarios.
  • Usability is not just about making sure implementation is technically correct
    • Need infrastructure to enable us to rescue end users.
    • Be sure it fails gracefully so it leaves the user in a recoverable state so they can still get to application they want. 
    • Get rid of opaque error messages

Next CACTI Call: Tuesday, April 28th, 2020



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