SURF Network Day

The SURF Network Day is the event that connects network technology and innovation and where you will be updated on trends in wired and wireless networking. The next edition will take place in 2025.

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The five key insights from SURF Network Day 2023

'The bottom on top': with this theme, SURF organised the Networkday for the networking community in education and research on 20 June 2023. Some 220 visitors discussed trends in network technology, saw examples from practice and attended inspiring sessions. We list the highlights for you.

1. Be alert to failing hardware and innovate only for a better customer experience

Many failures at ProRail are caused by failing hardware that is 'just not broken enough'. "The broken components then do not report that they are broken, when they should. If you then inspect these parts, they turn out to be dysfunctional and indeed the cause of the failure," says keynote speaker Arjen Boersma, ICT/CIO of ProRail. That's where you have to be extra vigilant.

Arjen is very clear about innovation within the ICT department. His department does not invent innovations itself. "Because innovations in such a complex environment as ProRail's only get off the ground if user requirements are the driver in such a process." And if you take part in an innovation project, then the approach is: active collaboration, make sure you are out in the field a lot, look very precisely and go for the best solution together with your partners."

2. Artificial Intelligence won't replace your job, but someone using AI will

Marco van der Werf, thought leader at BIT: "AI has a long history, so it is not new. It started with Alan Turing and in recent years machines have learned all kinds of things: playing, talking, watching, driving and reasoning. "AI is getting smarter than us, it is going to help us solve difficult issues and there is going to be a point in the development of artificial intelligence that we don't know what is coming now. Be aware of this and explore how AI can assist and move you forward."

View the slides from Marco van der Werf's presentation.

3. Make sure you have an exit strategy and work with your supplier in this

The IT outsourcing market is constantly changing and it is always interesting to keep an eye on new opportunities. Thymen Trip of the Hogelschool Utrecht "Although exit plans are not easy to find on the internet, it is essential that you have a strategy as an organisation."

The basic design of a good exit plan should be immediately applicable and generic. You can then delete the non-relevant elements from the document for each service and keep the core. It is also important that the supplier is involved in accepting an exit plan. "Focus here on the benefits for both parties, such as avoiding unexpected costs and large time investments in case of a conflict or urgent exit," Thymen concludes.

4. Quantum internet gives researchers unprecedented new opportunities for their research

Quantum communication and quantum computing are fast-growing areas, and SURF is closely involved in the quantum ecosystem because of its huge impact on education and research.

Rob Smets, architect optical and quantum networks at SURF, is working with Dutch research parties on a testbed for quantum key distribution. This is an application where quantum information is used for additional security of information. This forms the basis for future quantum networks, which will give researchers an unprecedented number of new possibilities for designing their research. "The ICT systems we know today will not be able to be used for this in the future," he says. Important developments that we as SURF are closely involved in".

5. What event WiFi has in common with educational WiFi networks

Raymond Hendrix of WiFi Wise International talks about the exciting world of event wifi during the F1 Dutch GP in Zandvoort. "Both on the road and on the network, extreme speeds are then reached. For an event WiFi network, which is only active for a few days, an ad hoc approach is of great importance. Traditional procedures such as ITIL and Prince 2 do not apply here." Nevertheless, event wifi bears similarities to educational wifi networks and you can apply the following principles for both, according to Raymond:.

  • Make sure you get maps with the main Wi-Fi zones in time.
  • The design should always be based on LCMI (Least Capable Most Important Client).
  • Know which devices are mainly going to be on the network and take that into account.
  • Ensure thorough checks and verification, because measuring is knowing.
  • Always keep in mind that problems can also be caused by something other than the Wi-Fi network.

View the slides from Raymond Hendrixs' presentation.

See and read more? Find a list of all presentations from Network Day 2023 here.

Good luck with all the take-aways and see you at the next SURF Network Day in 2025!