TF-IAM attendees at APAN45

As Identity federations have become a central part of the NREN landscape over the last 10 years, with over 70 known identity federations and almost 90 eduroam deployments across the globe serving this sector the Asia/Pacific region has been largely underrepresented in this space.

To bridge the gap the APAN Task Force on Identity and Access Management (TF-IAM), spear headed by Terry Smith of the Australian Access Federation has been holding a series of training events and task force meetings aligned with the Asia Pacific Advanced Network meeting series.

There is a set of the community that isn’t able to attend these meetings due to a range of factors (geographic, financing and organisational priorities being just three) and as such they as they continually miss out on the training and knowledge sharing opportunities available at APAN events.

Asi@Connect beneficiaries in RED

To support the beneficiaries of the Asi@Connect project in developing an identity federation, participating in eduGAIN, eduroam deployment and access to e-infrastructure services BACKFIRE was one of 17 successful work packages in the 2nd Asi@Connect project open call.

backfire /bakˈfʌɪə/ 2. (of a plan or action) have an opposite and undesirable effect to what was intended. "overzealous publicity backfired on her"

backfire definition

While the acronym for the Broadening Asi@Connect Knowledge on Federated Identity, Roaming and E-infrastructure project can have a negative interpretation, it serves to remind the coordinators to not just impose our own deployment mindset onto the target territories but to understand that their specific situation.

Significant time on first day of the training and meeting focused on understanding the current situation, priorities and goals of the 12 beneficiaries in attendance (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Thailand, The Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam) as well as a presentation from Papua New Guinea (not a beneficiary of Asi@Connect but membership of TF-IAM is open to one and all).  Each of the beneficiaries produced an action report on the status of development for eduroam and identity federation within their countries.

The second day focused on the wider task force members with updates on their eduroam and identity federation deployments. This also included a presentation of the Asi@Connect XeAP (eXtending eduroam in the Asia Pacific) project co-ordinated by Paul Hii from AARNet and how that is working with TF-IAM and BACKFIRE to support eduroam deployments. Justin Knight from the Shibboleth Consortium also presented the benefits of supporting this important development effort and how campus’, NRENs, federations and commercial organisations can participate.

In total 47 participants from 35 organisations covering 25 economies (22 in the Asia/Pacific region) attended the two-days of this event.

This is the first part in a four event series for BACKFIRE with the next training and meeting taking place at APAN46 in August in Auckland, New Zealand.

Everyone was given “homework” to complete which will be used to determine the evolving focus of the event. Subscribe to the TF-IAM mailing list to participate or receive updates on this and other work within identity and access management in the Asia/Pacific region.