Cloud computing, and cloud services in particular, offer the Research and Education sector huge opportunities to both maximise effectiveness and reduce the capital investment and development time for projects.
They offer the R&E community a number of key benefits
- Reduced capital costs
- Reduced support costs
- The ability to leverage purchasing power across the community
- Easier remote access for collaborative projects and users
By utilising shared and off-the-shelf services for commodity activities, the R&E community can refocus its design, development and support resources into those fields that cannot be easily provided by the commercial sector.
However together with these benefits there are risks associated with security, data integrity and reliability which need to be addressed when selecting and purchasing cloud services.
To help NRENs achieve the benefits of cloud services and address these risks, GÉANT has launched a new team that will focus on the following five areas:
Cloud strategy: Developing a common strategy, based on community requirements, shared principles and values; knowledge dissemination and information exchange.
Cloud standards and interoperability: creating policies, rules and best-practices to establish standards and help ensure interoperability and effectiveness
Cloud brokerage and vendor management: By aggregating demand across the community and negotiating integrated brokerage and service delivery (framework contracts, terms and conditions of use) NRENs will be able to get the best possible value from cloud services
Cloud integration: Cloud services radically change the data requirements of users and NRENs and so technical integration with GÉANT’s and NRENs capabilities will ensure consistent performance and reliability
Mobile data service: The combination of Mobile access and cloud services offer huge opportunities and so the activity will have a task targeted at providing mobile data network capabilities to GÉANT and NRENs, which suit the needs of education and research.
The GÉANT Cloud Services Team have published a white paper and presentation detailing the Cloud Services Strategy.
Over the next few months the Cloud Services Team will be delivering a wide range of Cloud initiatives to the R&E community.