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European Cloud service providers, Atos through Canopy its Cloud company, CGI, CloudSigma, EGI, Interoute, SixSq, The Server Labs and T-Systems, have agreed to support a new European Cloud Marketplace. The Helix Nebula Marketplace service will begin operations in May 2014. It builds on Helix Nebula – the Science Cloud Initiative, a pioneering partnership between big science and big business in Europe fostered by the European Commission and its Digital Agenda that charts the course towards the sustainable provision of cloud computing for science. The Helix Nebula Marketplace offers a European Cloud Marketplace service that is compliant with EU regulations and legislation through collaboration between commercial providers and public e-Infrastructures, including EGI and GÉANT.
The Cloud Marketplace will be operated by CGI and branded as the Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX). HNX grows out of the Helix Nebula Initiative, which followed the Helix Nebula FP7 project funded by the European Commission and led by CERN. HNX intends to deliver easy access to a range of commercial Cloud Services through the innovative broker technology deployed within the Helix Nebula Initiative over the last two years and tested with flagship applications from CERN, EMBL and ESA. By federating public sector data centre resources from within the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) HNX will enable EGI’s research communities to use HNX services within a hybrid cloud model and following a joint validation programme, GÉANT is to support the development of HNX. Several cloud providers from various EU Member States have joined the Helix Nebula Initiative. HNX will be open to new cloud providers that are able to participate competitively in line with European regulations and with a suitable quality of service.
The Cloud services are offered to the global research community, for both publicly-funded and commercial Research and Technology Organisations of diverse sectors, including healthcare, oil and gas, financial, high-tech, and manufacturing. This scope will enable large-scale and High Performance Computing deployments from the start.
Beginning in May 2014, customers will be able to use HNX to choose between various suppliers or combinations of suppliers offering independent Cloud services, and to buy, use and manage such Cloud services seamlessly. The providers are also determined to build on from an initial series of operational offerings to extend HNX with Information-as-a-Service offerings, making open research data and algorithms from various research and technology projects and organizations available to the public in a pre-configured processing environment. Eventually, HNX will lead to a Digital Energy Marketplace, where users will have easy access to a wide range of services including digital infrastructure, tools, information and applications.
Helix Nebula and the Marketplace will be presented and demonstrated at the forthcoming Helix Nebula Public Event to be held at CERN in Geneva on 14 May.
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