Helix Nebula Science Cloud Moves On to Prototype Phase

The vision of a European Science Cloud is closer to becoming a reality. The Helix Nebula Science Cloud (HNSciCloud) Pre-Commercial Procurement has officially entered its prototype phase after an award ceremony taking place at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, during which the project announced the three consortia moving on to the next phase.

HNSciCloud introduces the first hybrid model that brings together public research organisations and e‐Infrastructures with commercial suppliers to offer Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Europe’s research communities. This will help them to cost-effectively manage the expected growth in both data and processing requirements.

“The HNSciCloud will provide the European research institutions with a versatile platform fulfilling an increasing need for cloud computing resources and easier access to data-driven science, simulation, modelling and statistical analysis in areas from high-energy physics, bio-informatics, and climate change to life sciences, art and linguistics. All these scientific disciplines will see incredible growth and accelerated breakthroughs due to unprecedented access to data and the computational ability to process it,” says Claudio Gizzi, RHEA Group’s Project Manager.

The winning bids for the prototyping phase include consortia integrated by RHEA Group, T-Systems, Exoscale, and SixSq; IBM; and consortia integrated by T-Systems, Huawei, Cyfronet, and Divia. They will now begin building the prototypes, which will be ready by the end of the year.

Prototype Phase Winners

“The award is another important recognition from a worldwide institution of our capability to deliver high profile services and engineering solutions. The Phase 2 win, in competition with consortia led by major international companies, marks an important milestone for the growth of our capabilities in the cloud engineering and big data domains, which will be applied to other big-data projects,” added Mr Gizzi.

To implement the first European hybrid cloud platform, HNSciCloud launched a €5.3 million Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) tender for the establishment of a European hybrid cloud platform to support the deployment of high-performance computing and big-data capabilities for scientific research. It covers the procurement of research and development services for the design, prototype development and pilot use of innovative cloud services.

The HNSciCloud will provide the European research institutions with a versatile platform fulfilling an increasing need for cloud resources and easier access to data-driven sciences, simulation, modelling and statistical analysis.
Claudio Gizzi
RHEA Group's Project Manager

Watch the event presentations

During the award ceremony, each consortium presented its plans to build the prototype of the hybrid cloud platform and important insights on the project, and its next steps have been given. The presentations of the event are available here.

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