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HNSciCloud at EGI Conference 2017 and Indigo Summit 2017, 10 May 2017, Catania, Italy

Commercial cloud services are gaining traction in the public research sector. While many user communities are considering commercial cloud services as means of supporting their needs, they are often unsure about how they can be procured in today’s public sector environment. This was the topic of the session: Procuring cloud services – where are we now? at the EGI Conference 2017 and Indigo Summit 2017, 10th May 2017, Catania, Italy, chaired by Bob Jones, CERN & HNSciCloud Coordinator. In the session, a number of existing initiatives that have hands-on experience of procuring commercial cloud services for research communities have been presented. Over 40 representatives from publicly funded research organisations across Europe and from Canada and Taiwan, attended the session to discuss how the procurement best practices identified so far, could be combined to create a procurement model for the European Open Science Cloud.

The experience of HNSciCloud raised a lot of interest in the audience: participants were really interested in seeing the results of the design phase (a 'public' version of the design documents will be prepared and distributed) and there were some requests to expand the current group of procurers. At the end of the session, Jurry de la Mar, T-Systems, congratulated HNSciCloud for the ability to turn words into action: "The PCP is a complex legal instrument and it was the first time that we were able to sign a contract within one week from the adjudication. I really would like to congratulate HNSciCloud for the speed of execution! I strongly believe that the PCP is a good instrument to bring together demand and supply in co-development".

Additionally, HNSciCloud was also highlighted as an example of good reuse of outcomes of projects in the panel "European Open Science Cloud implementation - scenarios for EOSC architecture and impact on governance aspects" by Silvana Muscella (CEO of TRUST-IT Services).

During its two-year pilot phase (2012-2014) the Helix Nebula Initiative (HNI) has shown that cloud services are suitable for scientific workloads performed by public research organisations who are now prepared to consider procuring cloud services on a significant scale. However while technology service options continue to evolve, procurement processes and policies of these organisations have remained firmly rooted in historical practices that are no longer effective. In order for public research organisations of all sizes to take advantage of the best solutions that the market has to offer nowadays, a more flexible and agile procurement process must be created and implemented. PICSE (2014-2016) therefore run an analysis of the most suitable procurement models for cloud computing resources that public sector organisations could adopt. The result of PICSE was the HNSciCloud Pre-Commercial Procurement action. All the recommendations and lessons learnt coming out from the PICSE roadmap were taken into consideration while writing the HNSciCloud tender. The HNSciCloud tender material has been recently re-used by different European projects for the preparation of their PCP tenders (one example is the SELECT for Cities project). This is clearly an important achievement and a step towards a flexible common European framework of best practices to achieve a trusted digital single market for cloud services in Europe.

Moreover, the HNSciCloud poster “Taking the Helix Nebula Science Cloud to Prototype Phase” was showcased at the Conference and the new HNSciCloud booklet “HNSciCloud – Bridging cloud computing innovation & Open Science – updates and major achievements” was distributed.

To learn more about the HNSciCloud procurement session at EGI Conference 2017, click here

Who's behind HNSciCloud?

HNSciCloud Pre-Commercial Procurement is driven by ten leading research organisations from across Europe.