European labs set sights on continent-wide computing cloud, article on Nature
Giant public–private computing network would fulfil the European Commission’s vision of an open-research platform.
From astronomy to genomics, scientists are increasingly storing and studying their data sets on shared remote ‘cloud’ computing servers, accessed through the Internet. Three of Europe’s biggest research labs now want to help academics by working with commercial firms to create a continent-wide cloud-computing portal — and they are hoping to get backing from the European Commission.
Many researchers find cloud computing to be more flexible and efficient than buying expensive hardware — they can rent servers from firms such as Amazon and Google when they need a burst of power for an intensive computation, for example (see Nature 522, 115–116; 2015). Despite the advantages, some academics are concerned about security and reliability when storing their data on outside servers, says Bob Jones, a computer scientist at CERN, Europe’s particle-physics lab near Geneva, Switzerland.
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