More than 275 leaders and technologists gathered April 1–3, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Center City in Philadelphia, to attend KINBERCON 2019, the eighth annual conference of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER). The annual event highlights KINBER’s key role as a catalyst for the innovative use of digital technologies, and is the leading Pennsylvania conference convening people from across the commonwealth to learn about and discuss research, education and community network technologies, applications, strategies and collaborations in the region and nationwide.
Showcasing advanced technologies and their uses is a hallmark of the conference, and attendees had several opportunities over the course of the event. One of several standing-room-only sessions was an e-sports panel featuring Bill Thomas, chair of the PA E-Sports Coalition; Chad Smeltz, director of E-Sports at Harrisburg University; and Dave Karr, manager of technology services at Lackawanna College. The panel discussed the current state of e-sports in Pennsylvania, including an overview of colleges and universities with e-sports programs. During the panel, KINBER announced its new E-Sports Direct Connect (KESDX) service, available as a pilot for interested organizations, aimed at meeting the significant bandwidth and performance requirements for e-sports programs that can be uniquely served by KINBER’s PennREN network.
The conference featured 24 breakout sessions covering four tracks: general technology, research, broadband and security. KINBERCON 2019 also offered 11 technical training workshops, including IPv6, Introduction to Network Automation, Network/Security Risk Analysis and Strategic Planning, Toward Gigabit Libraries in Pennsylvania, and several others.
This year’s conference also marked the 10-year anniversary of KINBER and featured ample opportunities to reflect on the accomplishments and successes of Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education and community network throughout the event. Wendy Huntoon, president and CEO, gave attendees a glimpse of KINBER’s future impact and offerings in her closing session, titled “KINBER PennREN Network: The Next 10 Years.”
National speakers enriched the dialogue, with presentations by representatives from Internet2; the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB); and the Indiana University Global NOC. Attendees joined from fellow research and education networks and the broader research and education network community across the region, including NJEdge (New Jersey), NYSERNet (New York), OARnet (Ohio) and3ROX (Pennsylvania), as well as Rutgers University, Penn State University and others who shared their expertise around initiatives such as the Eastern Regional Network (ERN) and Campus Cyberinfrastructure initiatives.
A conference highlight was the presentation of the inaugural KINBER Broadband Champion Award to the Hon. Pam Snyder, as part of this year’s closing session. Rep. Snyder was honored with this award for her work to bring modern, high-speed internet to areas of the state that currently lack services deemed critical to continued economic growth and development in the region. Rep. Snyder provided the closing keynote session prior to receiving the KINBER Broadband Champion Award.
KINBER thanks the following sponsors for their support of this year’s conference and looks forward to KINBERCON 2020 in Pittsburgh:
• Platinum Sponsors – Integration Partners, Juniper Networks
• Gold Sponsors – Trend Micro, Cisco, Akamai, Splunk, BAI, Carahsoft, VMware, Fortinet
• Silver Sponsors –Network Utility Force, Netrality Data Centers, Apogee
• Bronze Sponsors – Celerity, DVL, OPTIV, Ekinops, Juniper Networks, Sun Management, Amazon Web Services, Foresite, Okta, Precision Optical Transceivers, Unisys
The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) is Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education and community network. The nonprofit membership organization is comprised of education, health care, economic development, libraries, public media, government and other nonprofit organizations devoted to fostering collaboration through technology. Established in 2010, through a $99.6 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, KINBER provides network connectivity and services to more than 130 organizations in Pennsylvania. KINBER is committed to delivering equitable, reliable and affordable digital infrastructure and tools to inspire tomorrow’s scientific discoveries, enable the exchange of ideas and culture among diverse populations, educate the next generation of citizens, and revitalize Pennsylvania’s economy. For more information, visit KINBER.org or follow @KINBER on Twitter.