What we do

What we do

We want to help you. Whether you’re an established NOG who would love a bit of help with the dull administrative side of things, you’re just starting and need some support to get off the ground with a new NOG, or you’re a lone network operator who wants to find your tribe, the Global NOG Alliance is a not-​for-​profit organisation which is about giving anyone who needs it the right kind of assistance to make their NOG what they need it to be, for the good of the internet. We offer our assistance and resources to NOGs and tech communities completely free of charge.

We’ve only just started, so we are keeping our immediate goals and costs modest. We’re using an agile approach: taking small steps with demonstrable results, and learning from each step. That way we will make sure that we spend our funds and efforts as efficiently as possible.

Current activities

Task Forces

As a pilot project, we are collecting equipment and donations for network operators in Ukraine. If successful, we hope to create a model that we can use in the future to help Network Engineers in disaster zones. See our Keep Ukraine Connected task force for details on what we are currently looking for, or to make a donation.

Web, mail & mailing list hosting

We offer website, mail and mailing list hosting for NOGs and tech communities around the world. We have learned that many NOGs find keeping servers and software packages like WordPress up-​to-​date a burden, time that could better used organising and running events.

This is something that we can help with. We offer this as a free service to NOGs and budding tech communities around the world. Contact us if you want us to host your website!

Encouraging cooperation

Many NOGs are in places where it is difficult for members to travel or for others to come to their events. This isolates them, wasting their time with reinventing the wheel. Let’s work together!

We have started a Facebook discussion group which anyone can join. The RIPE region has it’s own well-​established NOG mailing list, and they have agreed to allow NOGs from around the world to join it and benefit from their experience. Contact us to be introduced and set up on the RIPE mailing list!

Planned activities

Programme tool development

Organising a NOG event is hard work. Putting an interesting programme together is an important part of that. RIPE NCC has developed a Programme Committee Submission System (PCSS) for managing talk submissions and agenda planning that they have made open source WordPress plugin.  We want to offer this as a hosted service to all NOGs.

There is some work to be done though. The open source version of PCSS is still very rough and needs some polishing. Once we have some funding available we want to contribute to PCSS and help with its development, either by outsourcing some work to professional WordPress developers, or by financially supporting volunteers who work on it.

Finding speakers

The other important part about putting together a programme is to find good speakers. We want to create a list of speakers that NOGs can contact. That list will be composed by and for NOGs. When you have had a great speaker recommend them and we’ll add them to the list!

This is a planned activity, so we haven’t started yet, but if you have good experiences with a speaker feel free to put them in touch with us! With a bit of help this planned activity can be implemented quickly!

Provide legal structure

Many NOGs are not-​for-​profit events that are completely run by volunteers. Some NOGs are established as foundations or associations, but many don’t even exist as legal entities. They are run by a handful of volunteers organising everything using their personal bank accounts.

This can be a problem for sponsors who would rather not transfer money to a person, but also for setting up contracts when hiring venues.

While GNA will not become a global event organiser itself, we can provide a legal structure for NOGs that need it.

Future goals

Best practices

There are many differences in how networks are operated around the globe. The constraints on building networks can differ quite a lot, and with different constraints come different solutions.

We want to collect all the experiences with those solutions and share them around the world to let network operators learn from each other. Based on those experiences we can document what the best practices are, both in general and for specific circumstances.

Support open source

The internet is built using lots of open source software and hardware. There are many tools that are very valuable to network operators that are developed in people’s spare time or as side projects inside companies.

We want to support those open source projects that are important to the internet, network operators and NOGs but have little or no funding, so that their continued existence and development can be ensured.

Fund travel

Not all NOGs have the ability to fund travel expenses for good speakers. Some speakers are funded by their employers. While this makes it possible for NOGs to get great talks, it can also create a bias in the content of those talks.

We want to cover travel expenses to good speakers who would otherwise not be able to go to speak at the more difficult to reach NOGs. The focus would be on funding speakers on open source and community related topics.

Provide fellowships

Just as some NOGs cannot fund speakers, there are many NOG participants that cannot afford to travel to other events to broaden their horizon. This can be because of financial reasons, but also because of travel and visa restrictions between countries.

GNA would like to provide fellowships to help network operators to travel and learn from each other. The focus would be on participants from countries which suffer the most from political and financial isolation.

Training courses

Many NOGs organise training courses before or after their main event. We would like to help by providing training material on relevant topics that can be used freely by NOGs

Such training sessions often also require technical support, for example for running lab environments. We would like to offer such environments as an online service for NOG participants, network operators and other people interested in network technology.

As an extension of this goal we would like to be able to send small computers (Raspberry Pi, Intel NUC etc.) to NOGs that don’t have enough internet capacity to use the online version as well.

How to influence these activities

As we said in the beginning: we are using an agile approach. If you want to make a difference please give us feedback! And many of the potential activities depend on available funds. Help makes these activities possible by sponsoring GNA. The highest level sponsorship packages even let you attach your name to one or more of these activities.