Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides virtualized computing resources over the cloud.
NRENs can act as brokers for third-party providers that host hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure components on behalf of users. Or NRENs may decide to build infrastructure and make it available over the cloud to users.
IaaS platforms offer highly scalable resources that can be adjusted on-demand and ideal for academic research characterised by workloads that are temporary, experimental or subject to unexpected change.
Benefits of the IaaS Delivery and Adoption Framework Agreements
GÉANT has established framework agreements with suppliers of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions on behalf of NRENs and member institutions in order to enable R&E institutes to adopt and use a portfolio of IaaS cloud solutions in an easy, safe, predictable and controlled way. Services are connected to the GÉANT and NREN networks and are compatible with the community’s Identity Management capabilities. The IaaS Framework portfolio of services provides standardized contract terms for use by the NRENs to bring to their client institutions, without the need to open individual tenders.
By delivering a Single Digital Market across the European NREN community, institutions are ensured best value IaaS services. Institutions will see that they can obtain favourable discounted rates that meet the specific technical requirements of educational institutions. For NRENs, a Single Digital Market ensures an equal playing field within the community, and saves time and resources on negotiating the labyrinth of legal terms and conditions. In addition, a wide and diverse offering of such vital services serves to strengthen the relationship between NRENs and constituent institutions.
- Financial and Legal Benefits
Through the collective pan-European Tender in GÉANT, the European Research and Education institutions have a stronger negotiating position: with aggregated purchasing power of 10,000 institutions across Europe. GÉANT applied the EC Procurement Directive (2014/24/EU) which enables cross-border procurement through a Centralised Purchasing Body.
- Federated login & AAI Services
IaaS Framework services support authentication provided by eduGAIN, the pan-European standard and SAML-based authentication and authorisation infrastructure for single-sign on/off. This identity management infrastructure significantly reduces the costs, complexity and security risks of the online services and the data is handled safely.
- Direct Network Peering for Lower Costs
Direct peering between the NRENs, institutions and IaaS Framework Suppliers eliminates data transport-related costs. Direct peering over GÉANT’s high capacity and low latency network backbone and national NREN network, users rare ensured secure, high capacity and low latency network access to 10,000 institutions across Europe.
IaaS Framework Agreement Providers:
- Amazon – through resellers: Arcus, Comparex, TI Sparkle
- Dimension Data
- Microsoft – through resellers: Atea, Cacttus, Comparex, Dom-Daniel, Infosoft, Micromail, Nextsense, Novabase, SoftwareOne, Span, Ymens
- TI Sparkle
To get an overview of the services and their capabilities, see the IaaS service matrix (requires login).
~okeanos is an Infrastructure as a Service platform is developed and operated by GRNET (Greek NREN). It is powered by an open source software stack called Synnefo (http://www.synnefo.org), which implements an OpenStack-compatible API on top of the Google Ganeti cluster management system (http://code.google.com/p/ganeti). In operation for several years, ~okeanos has spawned over 500,000 VMs with more than 5,000 active on any given day. Its main users are students, researchers and academics in Greece, while users from across the globe have downloaded and installed Synnefo on their premises.
~okeanos is under constant development. In 2016 the team developed a PaaS solution called Orka that offers Hadoop and Spark clusters on demand on top of ~okeanos for users who wish to handle big data without having to deal with details of Hadoop installations.
~okeanos is available via federated login to the global R&E community.