LKNOG to fill needs of growing netops community

By on 14 Nov 2017

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In 2015, Sri Lanka celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Internet. This is an amazing accomplishment given the challenges the country has experienced in this time, as well as the limited resources available.

Read LKSeries: Pioneering past helps foster Sri Lanka’s budding Internet industry

One of the key factors to this network growth has been establishing in-country capacity development as well as attracting international network operational events and workshops, including last year’s APNIC 42.

Although such events and workshops have played an important role in sharing knowledge and operational best practices, they have been too few and far between to properly meet the growing demand. Acting on this demand, a team of enthusiastic Sri Lankan networking professionals recently launched the Lanka Network Operators Group (LKNOG).

LKNOG is a non-commercial, community-based initiative that aims to provide a local and regional platform to bring together network operators and networking professionals in Sri Lanka to share educational and operational best practices. It also provides a platform to discuss local and regional operational issues and technologies, as well as to unearth local talent keen to contribute towards capacity building and knowledge sharing activities.

The inaugural LKNOG committee (left to right): Asela Galappattige (Ex-Co), Ziyam Abdeen (Activity Coordinator), Champika Wijayatunga (President), Srimal Rajapakse (Ex-Co), Sagarika Wickramasekera and Rajeewa Abeygunarathna (Co-Vice Presidents), Pubudu Jayasinghe (Ex-Co), and Thilina Pathirana (Treasurer). Absent: Maheeshwara Kirindigoda (Secretary).

Over 100 attend inaugural LKNOG event

The inaugural LKNOG Conference was held in Colombo on 20 October 2017 at the Galle Face Hotel. Over 100 network operations professionals representing ISPs, telecommunication service providers, universities, and public and private sector organizations attended the event.

The comprehensive program covered topics including cybersecurity, IPv6, network monitoring and measurements, DNS security, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), cloud technology, next-generation wireless technology, the Internet of Things, and number resources and policies.

The keynote speakers were two pioneers of Sri Lanka’s Internet, Professor Gihan Dias from the University of Moratuwa and Rohith Udalagama, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Lanka Communications Services (LankaCom), who spoke about securing operator and customer networks and the evolution of the commercial Internet in Sri Lanka respectively.

Other speakers included Asela Galappattige (SLT), Thilina Pathirana (LEARN), Harsha Wijayawardhana (University of Colombo School of Computing – UCSC), Srimal Rajapaksha (D-Tech), Pubudu Jayasinghe (APNIC), Thushara Jayawardana (SLT) and myself (ICANN).

Among the many highlights was a panel session on cloud technology, during which panellists from the University of Peradeniya, Microsoft and Mobitel discussed cloud adoption in today’s data centres, challenges with network automation in private clouds, open source virtualization technology, security, scalability, and application performance.

After a series of very fruitful discussions and knowledge sharing sessions, attendees voiced their appreciation and support for more LKNOG activities in the future. The LKNOG committee encourages Sri Lankan network operational community members, women in ICT, and students to contribute and be engaged in these capacity building activities.

Finally, on behalf of the LKNOG committee, I’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped organize and run the event as well the event sponsors ParaQum Technologies (Principal Sponsor), Lanka Education and Research Network (Supporting Partner), APNIC, ICANN, .LK Domain Registry, Sri Lanka Telecom, Peo TV and Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter.

Champika is ICANN’s Regional Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) Engagement Manager for the Asia Pacific and President of LKNOG.

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