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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 cloud security hinges on federated identity management

Head office of CERN’s IT department Bob Jones talks about how Helix Nebula cloud security hinges on federated identity management.

The partnership with Helix Nebula succesfully moved part of a major research project for CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to the cloud.
Specifically, CERN migrated the flagship application of its Atlas experiment, which helped discover the Higgs boson particle or "God particle" in the summer of 2012, to the Helix Nebula cloud. The application, which runs complex simulations, has "massive computing power requirements," said Bob Jones of CERN's IT department head office, and represented a major proof-of-concept for the cloud platform.

Building a proper security architecture was an essential key for the project. And because of the sheer volume of the cloud platform and number of parties involved, identity and access management was at the top of the priority list.

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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.