Like in all other fields, the volume of data in science is also increasing inexorably as a part of digitization. There is also the added factor of a greater risk of hacking of infrastructures at research institutes and universities. There are repeatedly security incidents and related burdens on systems, resulting in a serious impairment to normal processes. Cloud users in research and education therefore need an environment for scientific computing which ensures maximum data protection, is available at all times, even when peak loads have to be handled, meets all legal requirements and also does not mean the institute is dependent on one provider for a long period of time.
Tried-and-tested infrastructure for education and research
In April 2016 CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, tested the Open Telekom Cloud from T-Systems for calculations in particle physics experiments as part of a proof of concept. 1,000 virtual machines and 500 terabytes of data memory were available to the organization for this high performance computing (HPC) project over a period of three months. The European Space Agency (ESA) also sets store by T-Systems: It is already using the Open Telekom Cloud successfully for its scientific computing projects.
Private HPC Cloud
Cloud-based, high-performance computing from T-Systems is 6,000 times faster than a conventional PC, and capable of crunching enormous volumes of data for complex calculations.
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Helix Nebula is embarking on phase 2 at the CERN nuclear research center: T-Systems’ tried-and-tested European research cloud is being further developed there. Read more
Tailored solutions are often necessary to fulfill highly specific needs. To this end, T-Systems develops made-to-measure services for various research fields.
In the Helix Nebula project, which is funded by the European Commission, the scientific and business communities are raising cloud computing to a new level: Thanks to the Science Cloud, scientific institutes throughout Europe will benefit from gigantic virtual computing capacities. Computers boasting the very highest performance are vital to simulate complex processes. Apart from the ICT infrastructure, T-Systems offers in particular the necessary know-how as a long-standing partner to leading scientific organizations and research-based companies.
CERN, EMBL and ESA set store by Helix Nebula
In the meantime, Helix Nebula has proven itself to be a reliable platform for scientific computing and HPC. The research cloud is being further developed at the CERN nuclear research center so that it is available in future to many European institutes as an IaaS offering. Such an innovative solution approach is urgently needed, since the quantity of data generated at CERN alone is growing by some 50 petabytes a year. Particularly powerful ICT is required to process such volumes quickly and reliably. That is where Helix Nebula comes in: More than 10,000 virtual machines can be provided at short notice over the Science Cloud.
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (EMBL) uses the cross-site infrastructure for genome analysis, for example. That is the basis for obtaining a better understanding of the genome and developing new ways of treating hereditary diseases or cancer.
The European Space Agency (ESA) uses scientific computing to analyze satellite images – several terabytes of them every day. Moreover, the agency is networked with other research institutes all over the world thanks to services from the Science Cloud developed specifically for science so that they can warn each other about natural disasters.
Collaboration and independence in research and teaching
Apart from the numerous application areas – from scientific programing, software engineering to grid computing –, Helix Nebula offers an additional advantage: Cooperation between all the institutions involved is actively promoted by a marketplace where research institutes can make their new, innovative services available to the community. As a result, all the parties benefit from networking and the Science Cloud fosters sustainable research, as well as speeding up progress. Thanks to the OpenStack platform, users are protected against the feared vendor lock-in at all times and always have the freedom to change vendor if necessary.