European Grid Infrastructure launches academic cloud for the European Research Area

European Grid Infrastructure launches academic cloud for the European Research Area

The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) today launched the Federated Cloud - a cloud service tailored for European researchers. The announcement was made at the annual EGI Community Forum, in Helsinki.

The Oxford e-Research Centre has been a prime participant in the activity with firstly Dr Matteo Turilli and now Dr David Wallom as chairs of the task force within the EGI-Inspire project. Dr Wallom said "I am delighted to be able to announce that after so much hard work from everyone involved we now have a research orientated cloud platform based on open standards that is ready to support every researcher in Europe. This is an important milestone for all areas of research in Europe."

Built on the experience of supporting scientists’ IT needs for over ten years, EGI’s Federated Cloud provides researchers with a flexible, scalable, standards-based cloud infrastructure. The service includes support and expertise provided by EGI and its partners to ensure researchers benefit fully from the infrastructure.

The Federated Cloud pools resources and services provided by various partners, both public and private, and offers them through a single point of contact. This unique set up has allowed EGI to create a cloud that offers researchers:

  • Access to advanced compute capabilities for their research
  • Virtualised resources to run any environment they choose
  • Support services to ensure applications run as efficiently as possible

The Federated Cloud has been built to support development and innovation within the European Research Area. The infrastructure has been designed in collaboration with communities across Europe and supports all fields of research. All researchers working within the EU may use the Federated Cloud to manage, disseminate and process their data flexibly, quickly and efficiently.

Work on the Federated Cloud started back in 2011 to address the need to provide community-specific cloud services through open standards. This quickly grew into creating a federation of resource providers/cloud services that would provide the scalability and flexibility that modern research needs.

This interpretation of the cloud paradigm and its application to the European academic sector introduces unprecedented versatility in delivering an e-Infrastructure tailored to the European Research Area.

Dr David Wallom presenting his keynote at the EGI Community Forum In HelsinkiOver the last three years EGI has worked with many research communities to provide requirements for, advise on and test many aspects of the infrastructure. The communities involved are the WeNMR project (structural biology), the European Space Agency (satellite image processing), Peachnote (musicology), BioVeL (biodiversity), CHAIN-REDS (promoting international collaborations) and EISCAT-3D (geospace).

At its launch, the Federated Cloud pools resources and the expertise of 19 countries around Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, the Republic of Macedonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom. There are many countries outside Europe also involved helping make this a truly global activity.

Any European researcher can start using the Federated Cloud today by contacting EGI (support@egi.eu), or consulting the instructions at http://www.egi.eu/how-to/use_the_federated_Cloud.html.

About EGI

The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) is a pan-European federation of publicly funded computing, storage and data resources to support excellent science, research and innovation in Europe. Building on over a decade of investment by national governments and the European Commission, EGI pools together resources from more than 40 countries and supports more than 22,000 researchers across many scientific fields with solutions such as high-throughput data analysis, federated cloud, federated operations and community-driven innovation and support. EGI is coordinated by EGI.eu, a not-for-profit foundation, supported by the EGI-InSPIRE project and governed by the National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and international research communities.

For further information, please contact press@egi.eu or visit www.egi.eu