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Project Moonshot is a Janet-led initiative, in partnership with the GÉANT project and others, to develop a single unifying technology for extending the benefits of federated identity to a broad range of non-Web services, including Cloud infrastructures, High Performance Computing & Grid infrastructures and other commonly deployed services including mail, file store, remote access and instant messaging. The goal of the technology is to enable the management of access to a broad range of services and applications, using a single technology and infrastructure. This is expected to significantly improve the delivery of these services by providing users with a common single sign-on, for both internal and external services. Service providers will be able to more easily offer their services to users from other organisations using a single common authentication mechanism. This will enhance the user’s experience, and reduce costs for those organisations supporting users, and delivering services to them. This group is for community of Moonshot users, whether you're new to the technology, you're currently evaluating and getting to grips with it, or you've deployed it. For the list of guidance available about Moonshot within this group, see the Start Here wiki page. Jisc Assent, the production service underpinned by the Moonshot technology, went live on 25th March 2015. For information on, or to join the Jisc Assent service, please visit

Moonshot in GÉANT GN3plus

6 September 2013 at 5:06pm

Since 2010, Janet, working with partners in GÉANT, has been developing Moonshot Technology to provide authentication to non-web services and systems. Moonshot Technology is now at a level where it is being tested in multiple organisations across many different countries and there is a desire to formally develop and pilot a pan-European service within eduGAIN in GN3plus.

Project Aims

Moonshot is a subtask of the GÉANT GN3+ SA5 Task 3: eduGAIN, with the following objective:

  • Driven by requirements from user communities, develop a pilot for the unified SSO case investigating options for non-Web support.

This subtask builds on previous work led by Janet and developed in part by GN3. The aim is to pilot a GÉANT service based on Moonshot to provide identified use cases with solutions beyond web SSO, thus allowing user communities to implement group-based single sign on for non-web services.

The project will assist NRENs in implementing and testing Moonshot Technology within their communities and across country borders to demonstrate non-web SSO interoperability between NREN infrastructures. Scalability testing, monitoring and debugging will also be undertaken.

Project Objectives

The objective of this project is to implement an eduGAIN pilot service to:

  • investigate the peering requirements between different NREN Trust Router infrastructures;
  • prove interoperability between different NREN Trust Router and eduroam infrastructures;
  • promote uptake of a standard non-web SSO solution across eduGAIN members;
  • implement non-web SSO for specific user-defined problems;
  • establish a policy framework within eduGAIN for pilot Communities of Interest.

Project Scope

The main focus of the project is to deliver a working pilot within a 2-year timescale that solves existing community use cases.

Approach to the Project

Coordinated by John Chapman (Janet), this project will consist of 3 concurrent phases:

  1. Phase 1: Initial infrastructure – This phase will encourage/facilitate participant NRENs in implementing a Trust Router architecture or enhancing existing eduroam architecture including the scaling up of international eduroam infrastructure.
  2. Phase 2: Policies and wider roll out - This phase will develop the required Moonshot policies and technical peering requirements to facilitate non-web SSO interfederation. It will also include the development of advice and guidance for NRENs in what is required to implement an NREN-wide Moonshot infrastructure.
  3. Phase 3: Use Case implementation – This phase will facilitate the Moonshooting of specific community required services and applications. For example, Moonshooting distributed file systems to support the GRID community.


GÉANT is the high speed European communication network dedicated to research and education. In combination with its NREN partners, GÉANT creates a secure, high-speed research infrastructure that serves 40 million users in over 8,000 institutions across 40 European countries. Building on the success of its predecessors, GÉANT has been created around the needs of users, providing flexible, end-to-end services that transform the way that researchers collaborate. GÉANT is at the heart of global research networking through wide ranging connections with other world regions, underpinning vital projects that bridge the digital divide and benefit society as a whole.

Co-funded by the European Union under the EU's 7th Research and Development Framework Programme, GÉANT is the e-Infrastructure at the heart of the EU's European Research Area and contributes to the development of emerging Internet technologies. The project partners are 32 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), TERENA and DANTE. GÉANT is operated by DANTE on behalf of Europe's NRENs. For more information, visit


DANTE is a non-profit organisation, coordinator of GÉANT, co-funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to plan, build and operate advanced networks for research and education. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT, which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in the other regions to one another and to GÉANT.

DANTE currently manages projects focussed on the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, TEIN, ORIENTplus, AfricaConnect and CAREN projects respectively. For more information, visit