Towards Pan-European Cloud Services

Cloud services really make users choosers. They empower users to select and use the services they want, in an easy and often economically attractive manner. Research and education organizations can become more agile and provide their users with a wider range of relevant IT services. Cloud services offer great potential but also pose challenges. Research and education institutions as a rule need to know that their data are secure. Procurement regulations and billing are factors that complicate the use of commercial cloud services as well as the growth of “shadow IT” where the IT department is bypassed by users.

European NRENs have recognized the need for a common, systematic approach to cloud services, and have joined forces in the GÉANT4 Clouds activity. The NRENs are working together to aggregate demand and work with vendors in a community effort to bring cloud services to European research and higher education. The goal is ambitious; to deliver cloud services that meet the requirements of the sector to institutions across Europe, and to establish a delivery ecosystem for such services that can keep feeding new services to the community in the years to come.

The first area of cloud services to be handled by the activity is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Six of the NRENs, including Ireland’s HEAnet, are working specifically to do a European tender for IaaS services that will make the procurement of cloud services easier for institutions. Major international IaaS providers have been approached and have expressed their interest. NRENs and universities can expect to benefit from the results from June 2016.

The presentation gives an overview of the challenges and possibilities associated with cloud services in research and education, and how the European NREN community is responding to these. It outlines the results of the NREN effort though GÉANT so far, and the plans for the near future. The presentation specifically addresses the IaaS tender and its implications and benefits for Irish research and higher education institutions.

All talks:

If you require information about any aspect of the conference please contact: Fi Coyle: / +353 1 6609040