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CommEX24 Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with ESnet’s Edward Balas 



Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

By Apryl Motley – InCommon Communications Lead

“I like helping the R&E community gain insights into the networks we provide and how they are positively impacting our communities and broader society,” said Ed Balas when asked what he likes most about his job as measurement and analysis group lead at ESnet, which provides scientists with access to unique Department of Energy research facilities and computing resources.

Balas will share some of those insights at the 2024 Internet2 Community Exchange (CommEX), March 4 – 7, in Chicago. His session, “Introducing MetrANOVA: A neutral, trusted, and open consortium for Advancing Network Observation and Analysis,” will be part of the identity and access management track at CommEX.

Ed Balas smiling for a photo.
Ed Balas

“Though much of my talk will be unrelated to IAM as it’s all about measuring networks, the hardest part is often understanding where the boundaries of trust are and having mechanisms that facilitate properly authenticated and controlled sharing of data with those who would benefit from the data,” Balas explained. “Data sharing often breaks down in the absence of such controls.”

He submitted a session on this topic to highlight the new consortium that ESnet, GEANT,  Indiana University, Texas Advanced Computing Center, and Internet2 are starting that aspires to benefit the broader R&E community. MetrANOVA’s primary goal is to advance the state of research and education networking (REN) measurement and analysis by developing and socializing technical capabilities. 

Here’s more on how attendees will benefit from his session and CommEX overall.

Why is your topic an important one to address?

Balas: Advanced network analytic systems often have a high barrier to entry to acquire commercially and, more so, to develop independently. The consortium will collaboratively leverage recent advances to provide sustainable community-centric technical abilities, software, and insights. Ultimately we hope these capabilities will be useful to both larger and smaller scale community members.

What do you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?

Balas: The basics about the consortium, how it will benefit them, and if they are so motivated, how they can participate.

In your experience, how has attending Community Exchange been beneficial or helpful to you?

Balas: It helps me stay current on the broader community and how various challenges and opportunities evolve. It’s also a great place to catch up with colleagues and often make tangible progress without resorting to a zoom meeting.

2024 Internet2 Community Exchange logo

Interested in attending Ed’s presentation or the many other educational sessions at CommEX? Please visit the registration page to get details. 

Check out more sessions in the IAM track.