HELSINKI, Finland, May 21 — 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.
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.
Over 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), or consulting the instructions at http://www.egi.eu/how- to/use_the_federated_Cloud.html.