AARNet is among a cohort of research networks, universities and research organisations worldwide participating in in ownCloud Inc.’s OpenCloudMesh project, a joint international initiative under the umbrella of the pan-European research network’ GÉANT Association. The aim of the project is to tie together researchers and universities in the Americas, Europe and Asia via a series of interconnected, secure private clouds.
OpenCloudMesh is built on ownCloud’s open Federated Cloud sharing application programming interface (API) taking Universal File Access beyond the borders of individual Clouds and into a globally interconnected mesh of research clouds — without sacrificing any of the advantages in privacy, control and security an on-premises cloud provides.
“Increasingly researchers are collaborating globally and sharing large volumes of data so this is a very interesting development,” says Guido Aben, AARNet’s Director eResearch.
He says it’s also a great example of research networks and research organisations talking to a vendor about extending a platform to better meet the needs of the research community.
OpenCloudMesh provides a common file access layer across an organization and across globally interconnected organizations, whether the data resides on internal servers, on object storage, in applications like SharePoint or Jive, other ownClouds, or even external cloud systems such as Dropbox and Google (syncing them to desktops or mobile apps, making them available offline).
“Research labs and universities are by nature social institutions – collaborating, communicating and testing — but at the same time these same institutions must be very protective of their students, researchers and research. This often puts them at the cutting edge of technology,” said Frank Karlitschek, CTO, and co-founder, ownCloud.
“OpenCloudMesh gives each organization private cloud file sync and share, while Federated Cloud sharing, also known as server-to-server sharing, enables safe sharing between those clouds. The possibilities are unlimited not just for researchers and universities, but for enterprises large and small as well.”
“We are at a critical juncture in cloud computing,” said Peter Szegedi, Project Development Officer, Management Team, GÉANT Association. “There is no longer a need to choose between privacy and security and collaboration and ease of use. We believe OpenCloudMesh will redefine the way people use the cloud to share their important files.”
This open API ensures secure yet transparent connections between remote on-premises cloud installations. A first draft of this OpenCloudMesh API specification will be published early this year and participation in developing and refining the API is open to all.
The organisations participating include:
For more information, or for researchers and universities interested in getting involved please visit: https://owncloud.com/opencloudmesh/.
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