GÉANT has signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft to act as network connectivity provider for Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoutes service. This will help accelerate open research and education in Europe.

The agreement connects Microsoft’s cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online, directly to Europe’s vital research and education community, and represents further growth in the portfolio of above-the-net services offered by GÉANT and its National Research and Education Network (NREN) partners to over 50 million users at 10,000 institutions.

Reducing connectivity costs

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoutes enables institutions to extend their on-premises network into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection, provided by the organizations that already provide them with their network connectivity – GÉANT and its NREN partners. The partnership agreement is part of the GÉANT Project’s cloud activity, and means that for high quality and secure network connections into the Microsoft cloud, European research and education institutions do not need to deal with third parties, thus reducing connectivity costs and increasing cloud adoption. UNINETT is now looking into how this will be done for Norwegian institutions.

Through this partnership with Microsoft, GÉANT is providing the high speed connectivity and federated access to ‘above-the-net’ services that create a cross-border and multi-disciplinary open environment for research, knowledge sharing and innovation that will drive scientific advances and a stronger European economy.

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