NTN-ND annual reports provide an update for each fiscal year on the operations and maintenance of NTN-ND, a state-level segment of the larger Northern Tier Network Consortium and part of the national research and education (R&E) network community.
The NTN-ND partnership consists of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota. The two Universities continue to sponsor Internet2 participation for the other nine public institutions, the five Tribal Colleges and public K-12 schools in North Dakota. On behalf of this partnership, NDSU continues to serve as the fiscal agent and supervises operations and maintenance activities.
Reports are intended to inform NTN-ND stakeholders across North Dakota, especially those beneficiaries of the exemplary resources that connection to this global community provides. These include students, faculty and staff located at higher education institutions and Tribal Colleges, and the K-12 community.
Northern Tier Network – North Dakota (NTN-ND) is North Dakota’s state-owned segment dedicated for use of research and academic activities only. NTN-ND plays a key role in the partnerships, collaborative planning and implementation of the regional NTNC, demonstrating the commitment to support our member institutions as they engage in current and emerging trends for research and academics.
The state connection to the national and global R&E network community depends upon North Dakota’s state government and education network (STAGEnet) to connect public higher education institutions, Tribal Colleges, and public K-12 schools. NTN-ND is an example of a state network segment contributing to the 43 regional R&E networks that are the foundation of Internet2. While Internet2 serves as the national R&E network backbone, it could not function without the operations and innovations realized across the collective local R&E community.
True to its original vision, NTN-ND has positioned itself to serve as an upper Midwest crossroads for R&E traffic, leveraging the capacity enabled through partnerships with neighboring states and regional networks.
Established in 2008, NTN-ND benefits from the engaged support of its partners: North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the University of North Dakota (UND). Collectively, the partners are responsible for oversight and visioning the future direction of this valuable resource. The two Universities continue to sponsor Internet2 participation for the other nine public institutions, the five Tribal Colleges and public K-12 schools in North Dakota. On behalf of this partnership, NDSU continues to serve as the fiscal agent and supervises operations and maintenance activities.
The Northern Tier Network Consortium (NTNC) serves as a primary regional R&E technology network in our region, partnering with other R&E networks and network providers to interconnect with each other and the national backbone of Internet2. The NTNC benefits from the continued growth and expansion of its members. A shared ideology across the membership aligns to the philosophy that what helps one, helps all. State, institutional and research entity memberships cover a 13-state region from Michigan to Alaska and includes public, private and Tribal Colleges and Universities, public and private K-12 school districts, research laboratories, libraries, municipalities, hospitals, and state networks across the NTNC footprint. Individual segments are owned and operated independently, abiding by their own state-specific laws and infrastructure requirements. Interconnections among neighboring networks serve to form the larger regional footprint.
For FY20, the annual budget for NTN-ND was balanced with a combination of funds remaining available for annual operations and management, along with revenue acquired through reimbursements from the state of South Dakota and the Pacific Northwest GigaPop. Since completing the full build for its segment in 2009, NTN-ND has remained fiscally healthy. No money is used to fund staff of NTN-ND partners UND or NDSU.
The FY20 report reflects a starting balance of $58,110 with total expenditures of $551,200. Reserved funds designated for Capital refresh and replacement and reimbursements totaling $575,000 were made available to support annual operating expenses. Reimbursements in the amount of $132,517 were received from the state of South Dakota for their portion of annual network and NOC expenses, and from the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) for their portion of annual network, telecommunications and hardware expenses. An additional one-time reimbursement of $24,229.02 was collected from PNWGP to reconcile accounts during a seven-month period following completion of the updated operating agreement between PNWGP and NTN-ND. In anticipation of work necessary for network upgrade activities, initial electrical upgrades were completed. NTN-ND funds remaining on balance at the end of FY20 will be used to cover expenses going forward into FY21.
Annual expenses of NTN-ND are incurred across five categories: equipment, fiber, network operations center, Internet2 and NTNC dues, and other operating. Funds expended on upgrade activities are identified in a separate category starting with this FY20 financial report. Additional expenses for depreciation and capital refresh and replacement typically transferred at the end of each fiscal year have not been deducted since FY17 due to statewide budget cuts and subsequent termination of state and University System funding support. NTN-ND partners have used existing account funds to support annual operations and maintenance since that time.
Equipment: Cost related to equipment acquisition and maintenance fees.
Fiber: Operations and maintenance fees on fiber, and rack and power required to house equipment in space provided by the vendor.
Internet2/NTNC dues and participation fees: Annual Internet2 participation and connectivity fees, NTNC membership dues, sponsored participant fees and costs for Internet2 to accept and route traffic to and from NTN-ND. Internet2 membership dues and fees continue to change as the organizational structure for Internet2 and their member community evolves to address the needs of current research and academics.
Network Operations Center (NOC): Management of network equipment, including troubleshooting and response coordination for unplanned outages.
Other operations: Includes insurance, minor supplies, printing and shipping costs. Beginning in FY18, NTN-ND partners covered all of their own travel and per diem expenses relevant to R&E activities.
NTN Upgrade: Includes one-time expenses related to fiber, hardware, software, electrical, equipment and installation. These expenses will be categorized separately until the upgrade project is fully completed.
Most notable as NTN-ND ends FY20 is the expected deployment in FY21 of the regional network upgrade planned for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Completion of this upgrade is anticipated to result in significant cost savings to NTN-ND in annual operations and maintenance, and just as critically, increase capability from 10Gbps waves to 100 Gbps waves. Agreements between the regional partners were completed by the end of FY20 and project completion is anticipated by the end of FY21. The improvements for NTN-ND will mark a transition in operational status of the network, moving from a business model of owned assets to a model where the majority of daily operations is achieved through procurement of services from other entities.
A variety of state, regional and national colleagues partner with NTN-ND to contribute to the collaborative environment where U.S. research and education organizations solve common technology challenges and develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions.
|Broadband Optical Research, Education and Sciences Network (BOREAS)||http://www.boreas.net/||Broadband Optical RBOREAS is a Regional Optical Network (RON) providing services to the advanced production and experimental network requirements of the research and education institutions in this region. BOREAS is a collaboration of four major research institutions in the upper Midwest: Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. BOREAS members are part of the NTNC.|
|Internet2||http://www.internet2.edu/||The primary provider and operator of the nation’s research and education network.|
|North Dakota Information Technology Department / Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education Network (STAGEnet)||http://www.nd.gov/itd,http://www.stagenet.nd.gov/||The statewide Wide Area Network provides gateway services to the public internet and to Internet2 for designated sites. STAGEnet is operated by the State Information Technology Department. ITD is a member of the NTNC.|
|North Dakota State University (NDSU)||http://www.ndsu.edu/||Along with the University of North Dakota, has been an Internet2 member for North Dakota since 1996. Together NDSU and UND provide Internet2 sponsorship for the other nine NDUS institutions, the ND Tribal Colleges and the public K-12 schools. NDSU is a member of the NTNC. Together, NDSU and UND comprise the partnership of NTN-ND.|
|Northern Lights Gigapop, University of Minnesota||https://it.umn.edu/services-technologies/resources/northern-lights-gigapop-introduction||Connects NTN-ND to Internet2. The University of Minnesota is a member of the NTNC.|
|Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP)||http://www.pnwgp.net/||Interconnect hub in Seattle, Wash., providing connections between the Northern Wave and other national and international R&E networks. PNWGP and the state of Washington are members of the NTNC|
|South Dakota High Speed Research, Education and Economic Development Network (SD REED) / South Dakota Board of Regents||http://www.sdstate.edu/information-technology/university-networking-and-research-computing,http://www.sdbor.edu/||Provides high speed connectivity for six SD public universities to Internet2 and regional networks and interconnects sites including the NTN, Great Planes Network, the Northern Lights Gigapop and ESnet. Several institutions and research centers in the state are members of the NTNC.|
|University of North Dakota (UND)||http://www.und.edu/||Along with NDSU, has been an Internet2 member for North Dakota since 1996. Together UND and NDSU provide Internet2 sponsorship for the other nine NDUS institutions, the ND Tribal Colleges and the public K-12 schools. UND is a member of NTNC. Together, NDSU and UND comprise the partnership of NTN-ND.|
|University of Wisconsin, Madison||http://www.wisc.edu/||Provides network operations center (NOC) services for NTN-ND and is a member of the NTNC.|