Cloud Connection Services

Connecting R&E Institutions and networks to the cloud can sometimes be complicated by the need to manage performance and costs. Often this uncertainty can restrict take-up of services. GÉANT has been working with leading clouds suppliers to minimise the costs and maximise the opportunities for cloud connectivity.

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoutes

The GÉANT network offers Microsoft Azure ExpressRoutes in order to extend NREN networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection facilitated by a GÉANT as a connectivity provider. With ExpressRoute, users can establish connections to Microsoft cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online. Connectivity can be from an any-to-any (IP VPN) network, a point-to-point Ethernet network, or a virtual cross-connection through a connectivity provider at a co-location facility.

ExpressRoute connections do not go over the public Internet. This allows ExpressRoute connections to offer more reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies, and higher security than typical connections over the Internet.

Data Egress Charge Waiver for Amazon Web Services

Cloud computing – on-demand delivery of IT resources on a pay-as-you-go basis – offers huge opportunity for millions of users. Its benefits include reduced capital investment, economies of scale, faster setup and improved agility, and the ability to reach global audiences quickly and easily.

So why the hesitation from research and education in adopting cloud services more widely? One concern is that the payment structures offered by cloud providers are too unpredictable, leading to fear of large bills particularly from ‘data egress’ – the cost of data coming off cloud provider services onto the internet. Given the vast – and growing – amount of data being moved around by research and education users, this large variable cost is a genuine concern – particularly when financial models are often dictated by funding rounds.

​Therefore the decision of Amazon Web Services, following extensive consultation with Jisc and GÉANT, to waive data egress charges represents what could be an important step towards widespread adoption by the R&E community of cloud services in Europe. Find out more.