Industry heavies unite to float 'The Science Cloud'

Helix Nebula has arrived

More than a dozen international IT firms have partnered to create Helix Nebula - The Science Cloud, which will be used by European researchers to provide cloud-based computing support for scientific discoveries.

Industry players such as SAP, Capgemini and the recently announced Atos - which is a joint venture backed by EMC and VMware - along with others including CloudSigma, Interoute, Logica, and Telfonica, have partnered to create the cloud, which will include an infrastructure as a service offering aimed specifically at researchers.

Related: Are community cloud services the next hot thing? 

The cloud will be used by some of the leading scientific organizations in Europe, including CERN, which is a European particle physics laboratory, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and the European Space Agency. CERN is hoping to use the compute power delivered by the cloud to support its research on the Higgs Particle, which scientists believe could provide clues to explain why elementary particles, such as electrons, have mass. The ESA is hoping to research volcanic and earthquake activity using the new cloud offering. The Helix Nebula is a two-year pilot program announced today.

Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social media. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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