The team working on the Pan-European procurement of IaaS services for European NRENs and their institutions met in Trondheim 25 & 26 January. Experts from seven different NRENs are part of the team. Through this collective tender we expect to establish good conditions of use, including data security, pricing, purchase models, AAI and network connections.

The IaaS procurement is part of the GÈANT Clouds activity, and will be published in April this year. The aim is to attract all major IaaS providers interested in delivering IaaS services to the European research and education community.

So far more than 30 providers have expressed interest. The tender will establish framework agreements with suppliers of IaaS solutions, resulting in a portfolio of services for the community to consume. The tender will not have a ‘winner takes all’ approach, but instead, involves framework agreements with all IaaS providers who qualify as a result of this tender. This will allow NRENs the flexibility to adopt those frameworks which best fit the needs of their connected institutions and users.

Three possible service delivery models

The procurement team has identified 3 possible service delivery approaches for NRENs to be able to provide services to their users/institutions in a way that suits them: either as a referrer (institutions buy directly from the provider), a reseller (the NREN is involved in some/all of the contracting and billing) or an underwriter (the NREN purchases from providers and distributes to its community).

Time to get on board

Any NREN that wants to use the IaaS cloud services to become available through this tender, will need to be explicitly listed beforehand, in the tender documentation: the NREN name and a reference to the NREN’s user base / connected institutions that may buy or receive the cloud services. All NRENs will be contacted by e-mail regarding this. Being listed does not commit the NREN to any cloud service purchase, but will ensure that it will be able to benefit from the framework agreements in the future if it so chooses. Also, the more NRENs are listed, the stronger our case becomes towards providers, which will result in better offers.

More details and further documents on the tender and approach are available here.