ACCESS Operations is provided by the CONECT project. CONECT (COre National Ecosystem for CyberinfrasTructure) delivers innovative integrations across the NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure ecosystem in the areas of operations, data and networking, and cybersecurity. CONECT uses agile mechanisms to integrate the rapidly diversifying set of non-traditional resources that previously have been left on the fringes of the national cyberinfrastructure. CONECT builds upon the successes of its predecessors and moves toward a more agile, dynamic, and inclusive ecosystem.
CONECT introduces and coordinates a framework-based approach to ecosystem-wide integration using step-by-step integration roadmaps and modular concepts that enable entirely new kinds of cyberinfrastructure resources to fully participate in the coordinated national cyberinfrastructure. Integral to this new approach is the Information Sharing Platform for sharing cyberinfrastructure integration and operations information between people, while also enabling cyberinfrastructure components to discover and securely access integrated resources and other components; increased network reliability enabled by expanded metrics insights and availability; opportunities for more control over data transfer such as transfer scheduling and network programmability; new Cybersecurity Governance Council and coordination groups; modern authentication strategies and technologies; and focus on broad protection of ACCESS resources through the sharing of cybersecurity threat intelligence.
To further community engagement, education, and training efforts, CONECT hosts the Student Training and Engagement Program (STEP) that provides students with training on marketable skills in the areas of operations, data and networking, and cybersecurity. CONECT STEP will promote the development of a diverse, competitive STEM workforce by providing opportunities to students, with a focus on recruiting and enrolling students from underrepresented groups. Through these shared efforts, CONECT will democratize participation in the cyberinfrastructure ecosystem, deliver more value at all layers of the service and support stack, and enable the entire ACCESS program to achieve success in advancing cyberinfrastructure that adopts new thinking and transformative discoveries in all areas of science and engineering research and education.