Europe plans high-performance 'science cloud'

Europe plans high-performance 'science cloud'

Summary: CERN, the European Space Agency and European Molecular Biology Laboratory have partnered up to launch a joint cloud computing platform called Helix Nebula.The 'science cloud' is designed for the large-scale data-crunching that Europe's scientists need to do.

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CERN, the European Space Agency and European Molecular Biology Laboratory have partnered up to launch a joint cloud computing platform called Helix Nebula.

The 'science cloud' is designed for the large-scale data-crunching that Europe's scientists need to do. According to a CERN statement, a two-year pilot phase will also be followed by the resources' availability to governmental organisations and industry.

Helix Nebula was announced on Thursday by the three major research centres and firms such as Orange Business Services, Thales and T-Systems, as well as the Cloud Security Alliance and European Grid Infrastructure.

"CERN's computing capacity needs to keep up with the enormous amount of data coming from the Large Hadron Collider and we see Helix Nebula-the Science Cloud as a great way of working with industry to meet this challenge," CERN IT chief Frédéric Hemmer said in the statement.

Apart from CERN's quest to find the Higgs boson, the European Space Agency (ESA) wants to use Helix Nebula to support an "Earth observation platform" that will be used to research seismic activity across the planet.

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), meanwhile, wants the computational power for analysing genomes.

"The quantities of genomic sequence data are vast and the needs for high performance computing infrastructures and bioinformatics expertise to analyse these data pose a challenge for many laboratories," Rupert Lueck, head of IT services at EMBL, said.

The companies that are working with those European agencies on the secure science cloud are: Atos, Capgemini, CloudSigma, Interoute, Logica, Orange Business Services, SAP, SixSq, Telefonica, Terradue, Thales, The Server Labs and T-Systems.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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