Project Coordinator (EU) :CERN
Organisation Type :Research
Project participants :
Personnel from the EU team involved:
- João Fernandes, senior member of staff of CERN IT Department, currently the director of H2020 EOSC ARCHIVERproject. Role: project leader.
- Gerhard Deiters, Attorney at Law Partner BHO Legal, specializes in IT, data protection and international contract law as well as the security and defense sector, currently the data protection officer of KLEO Connect GmbH and GrapeCheck GmbH as well as the Chief Privacy Officer of the FUCHS Group. Role: responsible for the legal and contractual analysis of the CloudBank model.
- Joshua Davison, manager of procurement activities for the IT department, the SCOAP3 open access publishing initiative, and several pre-commercial procurements (PCP) including the ARCHIVER project. Role: Assessment of the contractual analysis produced by BHO Legal.
- Dr. Robert Jones, senior member of the CERN IT Department management and director of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Association. Role: responsible for the interaction with the EOSC governance and CERN management.
- Dr. Sofia Vallecorsa, CERN physicist with extensive experience on software development in the High Energy Physics domain and member of CERN openlab. Role: Overseeing the deployment of scientific workloads in the domains of Quantum Computing, Machine Learning and Quantum Machine Learning, in the context of the CloudBank EU NGI experiment.
- Anna Manou, project management officer at CERN IT External Projects unit. Role: Assistant on all the project management and interactions with NGI Atlantic.eu.
- Marion Devouassoux, CERN project analyst. Role: Responsible for the estimated cost analysis of the use cases being deployed in the scope of the CloudBank EU NGI experiment.
- Inês Cruz, software engineer at CERN experienced in designing, developing, testing and maintaining high quality software. Role: Developer of an agnostic open-source billing and cost tracking solution to enhance the CloudBank portal capabilities.
- Lucie Pocha, member of the CERN Legal Service. Role: Responsible for the legal activity for the NGI contract, CloudBank EU NGI consortium agreement and CERN/UCSD MoU.
Personnel from the US team involved:
- Dr. Vince Kellen, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the University of California, member of the Chancellor's Cabinet, and vice chancellor and chief financial officer's senior management team. Role: Holding public webinarson CloudBank for research sector organisations.
- Shava Smallen, co-chair of the PRAGMA Steering Committee for the University of California and a major contributor to the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. Role: Oversee the technical operations.
State of US partner :California
Starting date :
CloudBank EU NGI
The CloudBank EU NGI experiment will accelerate the adoption of public cloud services in Europe’s public funded research sector. The experiment's transatlantic existence would promote collaboration between the US and EU research communities in their adoption of public cloud services. The legal and contractual analysis of the CloudBank model in relation to European legislation will foster trust among procurement offices of public sector research organizations such as CERN, resulting in the simplification of their in-house cloud service procurement processes and expanding the model's applicability in a broader setting in Europe. The experiment will help to create a secure, sovereign and federated European business cloud infrastructure for research users based on Interoperability, open source software and open standards, and will help to identify synergies with EU commercial data infrastructure initiatives.
The experiment CloudBank EU NGI is to extend CloudBank through the GEANT Network and EduGAIN service to the European research organizations, thereby paving the way for the introduction of European cloud service providers and the transatlantic infrastructure resulting from it to be used. There are 15 use cases that cover most phases of the research data processing workflow that have been selected for deployment from various administrative frameworks within CERN, including LHC studies, the LHC accelerator, Theory, and IT Departments. Priority has been given to use cases that allow the NGI experiment to cover a wide range of applications while limiting procurement investment and reducing any additional support effort required for CERN IT operations personnel.
The experiment will be a successful development for researchers. This alignment would encourage stronger technical collaboration between the public research sector and the private sector across Europe in a “European way” as part of a global research activity. The CloudBank EU NGI experiment will report publicly on its progress toward its objectives, lessons learned, and a recommendation on whether there is a case for expanding the model to a wider audience, as well as a proposed timeframe.
Impact 1: Enhanced EU – US cooperation in Next Generation Internet, including policy cooperation.
The CloudBank EU NGI experiment is fostering transatlantic cooperation and existing US-EU cooperation on networking and AAI where policy aspects are key for global transatlantic research. Examples of these impacts are the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between UCSD and CERN on the 23rd of March 2021 to establish a collaboration for cooperative development of UCSD’s existing Cloudbank software with the objective of developing future versions of CloudBank that are general-purpose, fully configurable, and open source to be used at both sites and potentially other sites. Another example is the current already working integration of CloudBank with the CERN IdP service for Authentication and Authorization and foreseen integrations with EduGAIN Federated AAI services.
Impact 2: Reinforced collaboration and increased synergies between the Next Generation Internet and the Tomorrow's Internet programmes.
Thanks to the CloudBank EU experiment, the CloudBank model can now be proposed as an experimental platform in the NGI portfolio and made available to US and European users. This experiment represents a milestone with wide impact to launch the expansion of CloudBank usage across Europe’s research community by engaging other research performing organisations. An example of this impact is the current preparation at CERN for the introduction of European cloud service providers into the CloudBank model where agreements are being discussed with European cloud providers that have expressed interest in integrating CloudBank EU. The objective is now to invite other research performing organizations to also participate as procurers (a few already expressed interest in probing CloudBank to manage their recently signed cloud contracts).
Impact 3: Developing interoperable solutions and joint demonstrators, contributions to standards.
The experiment will contribute to the establishment of a safe, sovereign and federated European commercial cloud infrastructure for research users, based on interoperability, open source software and open standards as measures for vendor lock-in prevention, in order to identify synergies with recent initiatives such as Gaia-X. This alignment will stimulate closer technological cooperation, in a “European way” as a part of a global research activity, between the public research sector and the private sector across Europe. A good example of this impact is the plan to integrate the EOSC test suite developed by CERN with CloudBank, to validate research requirements as wide as possible and provide researchers with working examples of deployments on different cloud environments.
Impact 4: An EU - US ecosystem of top researchers, hi-tech start-ups / SMEs and Internet-related communities collaborating on the evolution of the Internet
This NGI experiment will accelerate the adoption of public cloud services in Europe’s public funded research sector. The transatlantic nature of the experiment will increase cooperation between US and EU research communities in their uptake of public cloud services. The HNSciCloud Pre-Commercial Procurement action has shown the appetite for researchers and public cloud service providers to work together, and this experiment established a platform where they can collaborate to develop innovative solutions.
CloudBank EU NGI has successfully achieved the following results:
• Piloted usage of commercial clouds by multiple research teams and organizational
• Provided structured, central access to multiple cloud providers with billing and data
processing terms understood.
• Determined a cloud contracting model compatible with European’s procurement pro-
cess, protecting European research organisations financial interests.
• Promoted the cost-effective use of cloud services with risks managed and increased
impact to European research use cases.
•Verified the billing control capabilities of a financial cloud broker, using it as an addi-
tional source of data for cost verification and prediction.
• Assessed the quality of user support of the piloted cloud vendors.
• Benefited from training tutorials provided directly by cloud architects and support
lines provided by cloud providers.
• Raised awareness about the benefits and potential of commercial cloud services for
research, providing working examples of research workload deployments.
• Determined if the model can be expanded beyond a single organisation (CERN) and
scaled in Europe to other research organizations either by enabling new cloud con-
tracts or allowing organisations to “bring their own cloud contract”.
Future Plan :
CloudBank will not replace on-site resource provisioning. Instead, it will supplement on-site resources with unmet needs. It will enable research organisations to centrally manage multiple cloud vendors, validate and differentiate cloud service providers' capabilities, and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Major technology breakthroughs usually occur every 4-5 years. This alignment as a central cloud vendor management framework helps researchers optimise cloud service usage for their research needs by providing working deployment examples and expert cloud architect support.
The model is ready for multiple scientific domains and procuring organisations in European research. The European Open Science Cloud may use the "multiple buyer / multiple cloud" procurement model if it works. These developments may also lay the groundwork for extending CloudBank to European cloud providers, aligning it with European digital sovereignty and data self-determination for publicly funded European research. CloudBank simplifies public research sector cloud service procurement, integrates them into a hybrid computing model, and eases the transition to a modern and heterogeneous cloud infrastructure.