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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.

European Commission awards its first Cloud contracts

The award decision for the first Call for Tender for Cloud Services (CLOUD I) was signed. The tender is the first decisive step for the European Commission towards the use of the Cloud for its own systems.
 
The Cloud will enable the Commission to follow the ceaseless pace of today's technological race among infrastructure providers where costs of storage, bandwidth and computing power are decreasing day by day while enabling at the same time innovative solutions for new challenges such as Big Data.

In the first Call for Tender for Cloud Services (CLOUD I) the European Commission received 20 offers from 12 tenderers: 7 offers for Lot one, 9 offers for Lot two and 4 offers for Lot three.

The call for tender generated a significant interest, with more than 3000 downloads of the specifications and more than 450 questions asked by potential bidders.
 
Contracts have been awarded to:

  • Lot 1: Private Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - BT Limited Belgian Branch;
  • Lot 2: Public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - BT Limited Belgian Branch, IBM Belgium, Accenture, Cloud Team Alliance, ATOS;
  • Lot 3: Public Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Telecom Italia, Accenture, ATOS Belgium, IBM Belgium.

More here.

 

Private Cloud
Established datacentre providers answered this lot (4 EU companies and 3 US companies). All technological stacks provided are technologies coming from US companies exclusively. This Lot introduced a significant constraint to have dedicated link between the customer and the provider, which explains the significant presence of Telecom operators that are also datacentre providers. No hyperscale providers (almost fully automated with a huge installed base of servers) made a bid for Lot 1, the size of the award being too small for such operators. The received offers for Lot 1 were technologically comparable; therefore the winner was the provider offering the best price.
 
Public Cloud
Layers of services were required in the tender. Such services are not available in the catalogue of hyperscale providers. Thus the offers received were joint bids between hyperscale and other market players able to provide more differentiated services. The re-opening of competition mechanism for each specific contract did not prevent participation in Lot 2 (IaaS). Awards for this Lot have been driven by the quality of the offers instead of the prices.

Only hyperscale providers with partner companies participated in Lot 3, which shows that the PaaS market does not appear as mature as the IaaS market.

 

HELIX NEBULA PARTNERSHIP

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.