Cloud Computing

New EU Cloud Computing Marketplace Targets Scientific Community

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The Helix Nebula Initiative (HNX) is a collaboration between the European scientific community and businesses to provide a sustainable cloud. Its new cloud marketplace is designed specifically to serve the needs of data intensive science and will begin operations this month.

Cloud marketplaces are becoming quite popular. The WHIR recently covered the Massachusetts Open Cloud, IBM, Ingram Micro and ComputeNext marketplaces.

HNX will be operated by CGI. There are several entities involved in the initiative including CERN, which is the home of the Large Hadron Collider and the largest particle physics lab in the world. Others partners include Atos, CGI, CloudSigma, CNES, CNR-IREA, Cloud Security Alliance, DANTE, DLR,, EMBL, ESA, Indra, Interoute, MEMSET, SAP, SixSq, SWITCH, T-Systems, The Server Labs and Ultimum Technologies.

The new marketplace will be demonstrated May 14th at CERN in Geneva at a Helix Nebula public event.

CERN experiments require a large scale computing system to handle the amount of data generated by the Hadron Collider experiments.  Frédéric Hemmer, head of CERN’s IT department said,  “…we see Helix Nebula- the Science Cloud as a great way of working with industry to meet this challenge.”

This marketplace will be unique in that it’s designed to specifically address the concerns of the European scientific community and deal with EU data and privacy standards. This could be a challenge for many companies since only one percent of cloud services currently used by European enterprises actually meet EU Data residency requirements.

According to a HNX report, “Helix Nebula – the Science Cloud – is the catalyst for major changes in the way the European research community uses IT services, including a self-financing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for cloud services. It addresses a key strategic interest for the European economy; to ensure accessible, sustainable, competitive and secure infrastructure, not only for the scientific community but throughout industry and society.”

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