From the President

As I assume the responsibility of President and CEO of IRON, I am pleased to report that in October 2014, IRON celebrated its sixth year of operation. Coincidentally, we also completed an upgrade to the network backbone which provides for statewide, 10 Gbps connectivity between Coeur d’Alene, Pullman/Moscow, Clarkston/Lewiston, Boise, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls, in addition to interstate links into Salt Lake City and Spokane. This was made possible by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and those who support IRON. With this substantial increase in bandwidth and connectivity, IRON’s ability to enable collaboration in many new and exciting research projects with our Charter Associates will be materially enhanced, our end-users access to the internet will be accelerated, and IRON’s expansion into distance education services had been made possible, with many new services being provisioned and made available to our Associates and their end-users. IRON is a proven facilitator of advanced network capability and stability in our state and region. I look forward to continuing this tradition while working with the IRON team to bring more bandwidth to more Idaho communities.

Howard Grimes
Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Idaho State University
IRON President and CEO for 2014-2015

Joe Taylor appointed as Treasurer of IRON

IRON is pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Taylor as Treasurer of the Idaho Regional Optical Network. Joe is Chief Information Officer for BYU-Idaho where an expanding on-line program is providing opportunities to use technology as a vehicle for education across the world.

Joe began his professional career at the Thiokol Corporation, a leading developer of solid rocket propulsion systems including those used by NASA on the Space Shuttle. At Thiokol, he played a key role in the management and development of the Computer Integrated Enterprise Initiative, which required the use of multiple computing and data platforms to integrate the company’s design, manufacturing, safety and quality control functions into a seamless whole.

After Thiokol, Joe spent 20 years at the University of Utah as Executive Director of IT University Support Services. He was responsible for all planning, design, development, deployment, and maintenance of administrative information systems for the University. In addition he was responsible for data management, governance, and administration for the University campus, IT project and portfolio management, and vendor and contract management for University IT.

Joe became CIO at BYU-Idaho in January 2014 where he reports to the University President on all IT related issues at Idaho’s largest private university. BYU-Idaho offers 10 online bachelor’s degrees and 4 online associate degrees through a portfolio of over 100 online courses distributed around the world.

Joe Taylor has a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Economics from the University of Utah and an MBA and Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Boston University.

IRON continues partnership with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL)

Our standard of living is dependent on complex industrial control systems. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has pioneered the development of “resilient” control systems that are more resistant to interruption from natural or man-made disasters. Complex control systems with enhanced resilience maintain safe levels of operations in response to natural disasters or man-made, malicious threats.

The challenge for the next generation of researchers is to address our need for robust and adaptable systems. IRON is partnering with INL, University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University to produce a distance learning course in resilient control systems. Other contributors and participants from around the region are engaged in this “first of” course held in the United States. Comprehensive perspectives on power system operation and the impacts of their failure from security compromise and human error are presented through a combination of lectures and interactive video sessions that include real world equipment and scenarios.

Promising research solutions will preface a mentored project for college students to propose their own unique resilience strategies.

NNU expands broadband access to students, faculty and staff

The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) and Northwest Nazarene University announce a partnership to expand the University’s broadband access and collaboration with Idaho Colleges and Universities, the Idaho Education Network (IEN), and Internet2.

Nampa, ID, February 5, 2014 – Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) recently completed expansion of its broadband communications infrastructure for enhanced broadband network services to better serve its students, faculty, and administrators, and increase its distance education service offerings throughout the state. Expanded access to IRON’s high-speed fiber optic network is contributing to this effort by providing NNU with access to IRON and the Internet at speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. When NNU joined IRON this past fall, it joined the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State University, Brigham-Young University-Idaho, Washington State University, Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College, the Idaho Hospital Association, the state of Idaho, the Idaho Education Network (IEN), and the Idaho National Laboratory as active research and education partners and users of the broadband network services provided by IRON.

Northwest Nazarene University, a nonprofit Christian university, offers over 60 areas of study, master’s degree programs in eleven disciplines, accelerated degree programs, concurrent credit for high school students, and a variety of continuing education credits.

Sal Simili, Director of Information Technology for NNU, commented, “NNU has been very pleased with the connectivity quality and the service we receive through IRON. We look forward to the opportunities that the new connectivity will provide in reaching many of the under-served areas of Idaho, with the ability to present a live, in-class environment right to the local school, as well as the future collaboration opportunities with our peer universities.

Chartered in late 2007, IRON (www.ironforidaho.net) is a non-profit, cooperative effort between five universities located in the Northwest region of the United States, the State of Idaho, the Idaho Hospital Association, and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to establish a high-performance Regional Optical Network (RON) within the State of Idaho. IRON is owned, operated and managed by its Charter Associates.

Today, only five years after its inception, IRON provides low-cost, high-speed bandwidth to more than 175,000 students, teachers, administrators, researchers, and health care professionals across the state of Idaho.

Organizations eligible to participate in IRON include those engaged in research, public and private education, health care, and economic development; as well as libraries, museums, and local, state, and federal government agencies. IRON, like 40 similar Regional Optical Network organizations operating in other states across the country, provides access and connectivity at speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second, to the Internet and to both of the nation’s advanced research and education broadband networks, Internet2 (www.internet2.org), and the National Lambda Rail (www.nlr.net).

Learn more here!

IRON announces office slate for 2014

The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) today named its slate of incoming officers for calendar 2014.

Boise, ID, January 20, 2014 – The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) is pleased to announce its 2014 slate of officers. IRON officers and board of directors are chosen from the organization’s Charter and General Associates which include representatives and members at large of the state’s education, health care, research, state and local government, and economic development organizations.

For 2014:

• President and Chief Executive Officer, Viji Murali, Vice President for Information Services and Chief Information Officer for Washington State University in Pullman, WA.
• Vice President, Howard Grimes, Vice President of Research and Economic Development for Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID.
• Treasurer, Daniel Ewart, Chief Information Officer for the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID.
• Secretary, Allen Schmoock, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Information Technology for Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID.
• Immediate Past President, Stacey Carson, Vice President of Operations for the Idaho Hospital Association in Boise, ID.

The board wishes to express their gratitude to the outgoing IRON officers including:

• Incumbent President and Chief Executive Officer Stacey Carson, Idaho Hospital Association
• Incumbent Vice President Viji Murali, Washington State University
• Incumbent Secretary, Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University
• Incumbent Treasurer, Spalding Jugganaikloo, Brigham Young University-Idaho
• Incumbent Immediate Past President, Brent Stacey, Idaho National Laboratory

(Editor Note: IRON’s President and Vice President are elected by the IRON Board of Directors, and typically serve a one year term. IRON’s Secretary and Treasurer are appointed by the President/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for indefinite terms and serve at the pleasure of the President and CEO.)

Stacey Carson, Vice President, Operations for Idaho Hospital Association

”IRON has connected more than 80 thousand students, researchers and healthcare professionals to a national and international community. IRON’s Associates are connected via a network that they own and operate for the betterment of their institutions, their communities and for everyone in the State of Idaho.

IRON’s officers and directors are committed to the continued long-term fulfillment and success of the IRON vision and we are in good hands with incoming President and CEO.”

Viji Murali, Vice President for Information Services and Chief Information Officer for Washington State University

“IRON is poised to take advantage of the many opportunities presented by the changing technologies through a solid vision developed by our associates for education, research and healthcare to become the entity of choice for cost-effective solutions for our organizations. Washington state university is a multicampus, research, land grant institution, and connections to local, national and international networks would not have been possible without IRON.”

Howard Grimes, Vice President of Research and Economic Development for Idaho State University

“Through partnerships with our sister institutions, healthcare providers, and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), IRON has advanced the availability and cost-effective access to the Internet, Internet2, National Lambda Rail, and other resources not previously available to ISU. IRON has enabled research, education, advancements in healthcare collaboration, and fostered collaboration effectively with other counterparts within Idaho, as well as nationally and internationally. Perhaps most importantly, by working in this collaborative manner we, and the state of Idaho, has acquired critical resources in an extremely cost-effective manner.”

Daniel Ewart, Chief Information Officer, University of Idaho

“Our partnership in IRON has done so much more than provide a robust, cost-effective connection to the Internet. It has allowed us to connect many of our locations together, enabling teaching, learning, research and communication. Our participation also allows us to further our mission as the land grant, outreach-focused higher education institution in the state while providing opportunities for collaboration with local, state and federal agencies across Idaho. We remain proud to be a charter member of IRON and looking forward to participating in IRON continued growth and success.”

Allen Schmoock, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Information Technology for Lewis-Clark State College

“Unlike a research institution, Lewis-Clark State College’s (LCSC) specialty is teaching and learning, and it places a premium on communication between students and instructors. In today’s higher education environment, instruction and communication often occur online. During the last semester of 2013, over two-thirds of LCSC’s students took at least one online course. The college depends on IRON’s bandwidth and dependability to serve local and world-wide online constituents. For five years IRON has carried LCSC’s online courses efficiently and reliably.”

Chartered in late 2007, “IRON” (www.ironforidaho.net) is a cooperative effort between five universities located in the Northwest region of the United States, the State of Idaho, the Idaho Hospital Association, and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to establish a high-performance regional optical network within the State of Idaho. IRON is owned, operated and managed by these Charter and General Associates.

Today, five years after its inception, IRON provides low-cost, high-speed bandwidth to more than 175,000 students, teachers, administrators, researchers, and health care professionals across the state of Idaho.

Organizations eligible to participate in the Idaho Regional Optical Network, Inc. (IRON), a not-for-profit Idaho corporation, include those engaged in research, public and private education, health care, and economic development; as well as libraries, museums, and local, state, and federal government agencies. IRON, like 40 similar Regional Optical Network organizations operating in other states across the country, provides access and connectivity, at speeds of up to 10 gigabits, to the Internet, and to both of the nation’s advanced research and education broadband networks, Internet2 (www.internet2.org), and the National Lambda Rail (www.nlr.net).

Learn more here!