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Helix Nebula Marketplace Starts Commercial Operations Under New Management Where Big Science Meets Federated Cloud

SixSq, a cloud solution provider headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has announced it is taking over the operation, support and management of the innovative Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX) service, building on the Helix Nebula the Science Cloud initiative.

Geneva, Switzerland, March 13, 2015 --( The Helix Nebula project was established by public and private organisations to build a multidisciplinary cloud platform for data intensive science. Part of the initiative is the Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX), which delivers seamless, on-demand and large-scale access to a range of commercial cloud services. This innovative broker technology has been successfully tested over the last two years with flagship applications from CERN, EMBL and ESA. CERN is currently using it for the first time under commercial terms.

HNX includes a growing number of European IaaS cloud providers, including Atos, Exoscale, T-Systems and Ultimum. Furthermore, added value services, including an Amazon EC2 bridge provided by The Server Labs, is also part of the HNX core service.

Federation of public sector data centre resources from within the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) with HNX also enables EGI’s research communities to use HNX services within a hybrid cloud model. The GEANT network, managed by Dante, provides fast interconnections between the HNX cloud providers and connected client organisations.

The HNX broker is based on SlipStream®, an innovative product from SixSq. Through the SlipStream service catalogue, HNX users can evaluate the offers from the Helix Nebula Marketplace cloud providers and select resources most appropriate to their needs. SlipStream, however, is not just a broker; it also operates as a multi cloud management platform. Through SlipStream, users can deploy complex multi-node and multi-cloud applications, independently of the cloud being used. Users can also define and manage their own applications and share them with others in the SlipStream App Store. SlipStream is released under an open source license and includes a flexible and extensible cloud connector architecture.

SixSq has now taken over the hosting, management and support of HNX, previously operated by Atos. This friendly handover means that each partner can better focus on its main interest in Helix Nebula.

SixSq CTO, Charles Loomis said, “We are very excited that our technology continues being used in challenging services like HNX. And we welcome the opportunity to further develop the unique HNX service with great partners from the Helix Nebula initiative.”

The service will continue to evolve beyond the Infrastructure-as-a-Service with planned extensions to include Platform-as-a-Service and Information-as-a-Service offerings, making open research, data and algorithms from various research and technology projects and organisations available to the public in a pre-configured processing environment.

The basic HNX service is free at the point of delivery. Users only pay for their cloud usage. The marketplace is funded via a simple and transparent revenue share.

SixSq CEO, Marc-Elian Bégin said, “HNX being free at the point of delivery means that we are together providing access to large scale federated cloud resources at an unprecedented level of simplicity. This ultimately means easier access to data and processing for a larger part of the science and research community in Europe.”

The Helix Nebula Marketplace will be presented and demonstrated at the Cloud Expo Europe (booth 300), 11-12 March 2015 in London and during CloudScape VII 9-10 March 2015 in Brussels.
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Louise Merifield

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