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Europe’s Leading Public-Private Partnership for Cloud

The Helix Nebula Initiative is a partnership between industry, space and science to establish a dynamic ecosystem, benefiting from open cloud services for the seamless integration of science into a business environment. Today, the partnership counts over 40 public and private partners.

Helix Nebula @ EU Cloudscape, 24-25 February 2014, Brussels

Helix Nebula was presented at the EU Cloudscape VI in Brussels in 24-25 February 2014.

Cloudscape series has become an annual date for funding agencies, service providers, end-users, IT analysts and information security experts to debate on the Cloud computing landscape, covering benefits and challenges for research, enterprise, and government with practical use cases, success stories from Europe’s R&D landscape and  ample networking opportunities.

With the tagline ‘cloud for a smart economy and smart society’, Cloudscape VI featured keynotes by some of the top experts globally: Simon Wardley, CSC - Leading Edge Forum, Joe Weinmann, author of Cloudonomics and IEEE Intercloud Testbed executive committee, and Kuan Hon, Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London. There was much discussion on the policy aspects of cloud computing, as well as the potential benefits of cloud computing for both business and scientific research.

The Best Position Paper Prize went to Helix Nebula and its production platform, which will be launched in the coming weeks. Representatives that were present picked up a new book, Cloud Computing Law (ed.Christopher Millard with chapters authored by Kuan Hon).

Bob Jones, Head of CERN Openlab, presented the benefits of the Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX), which is supported by European cloud providers with trusted cloud services and compliance with European regulations and legislation. “It integrates with existing e-infrastructures to form a hybrid cloud marketplace and will reach out to Europe’s research communities,” says Jones. “It will take a hybrid approach to building on public and commercial assets to cover the entire scientific workflow, and will provide researchers with access to world class resources through a dynamic and sustainable marketplace, offering a broad range of services that are free at the point of use.”

A demo on the Helix Nebula Cloud ran over the two days, attracting much interest. The Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX) will deliver easy and large-scale access to a range of commercial cloud services through the innovative broker technology deployed within the Helix Nebula initiative over the last two years and tested with flagship applications from CERN, EMBL and ESA. Federation of public sector data center resources from within EGI, with the Helix Nebula Marketplace will also enable EGI’s research communities to use the Helix Nebula Marketplace services through a hybrid cloud model. “We aim to drive convergence between existing e-infrastructure providers and use market mechanisms to attract new service providers and consumers to the marketplace,” explains Jones. “The Helix Nebula Marketplace is a step towards ‘infrastructure as a service’,” adds Steven James of CGI, one of the several partner companies working in Helix Nebula. “We want to create an ecosystem where we bring science and industry together for the benefit of Europe.”

For more information Cloudscape VI, please visit here.


Helix Nebula is a new, pioneering partnership between leading IT providers and four of Europe’s biggest research centres, CERN, EMBL, ESA and PIC, charting a course towards sustainable cloud services for the research communities - the Science Cloud.