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Merit Network Announces Upcoming Workshops on OpenFlow and Puppet

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Merit Network, Inc. today announced two upcoming workshops of interest to networking and infrastructure professionals. Both are held at Merit’s offices in Ann Arbor and offer special prices for attendees from Internet2 member organizations.

On December 13, “OpenFlow: A Practical Introduction” introduces elements of software-defined networking and the use of OpenFlow, a protocol for controlling the behavior of Ethernet switches. The powerful tool can separate switching hardware from the software used to define a range of features, including load balancing, firewalling, routing and access control. The workshop, led by engineers from the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at Indiana University, provides hands-on experience in building a virtualized OpenFlow network. Internet2 members may register for the reduced price of $445.

On January 21-23, 2014, “Puppet Fundamentals for System Administrators” introduces Puppet, an IT automation software product that gives system administrators the power to automate repetitive tasks, deploy critical applications, and manage infrastructure locally or in the cloud. IT automation software has gained importance in recent years as services have grown in complexity and resources have migrated to cloud-based systems. This course teaches a best practice approach to managing infrastructure tasks using Puppet. Internet2 members may register for the reduced price of $2,195.

Andy Rosenzweig, Merit’s Manager of Professional Learning, notes that the courses are relevant to the needs of many educational institutions. “OpenFlow and other techniques in software-defined networking enable experimentation and customization within campus networks, and have proven useful in the support of research and collaboration. Puppet has been widely adopted among organizations that are seeking to automate the management of complex networks and virtualized server environments. As colleges and universities revolutionize their infrastructure, both technologies are highly useful within management systems.”

The workshops are part of Merit’s ongoing Professional Learning program, which offers professional development opportunities of particular interest to IT professionals in education. A full calendar for 2013-2014, including online seminars, traditional classroom courses and special events, is available at

Elwood Downing, Vice President of Vice President, Member Relations, Communications, Services and Product Development at Merit, is pleased that Merit is able to offer these professional development opportunities for the research and education community nationwide. “We continue to seek out learning opportunities that are highly relevant to educational institutions and that are not widely available. Many national organizations have attended our training events and we look forward to welcoming more of our colleagues in this way.”

Registration and more information for all courses are available via the schedule at: