SURF (2011)

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SURF (2011) Into the cloud with SURF - Cloud computing and cloud services in higher education and research. SURFnet/Kennisnet. Innovation Programme. (accessed 26-Jul-2012)

SURF (Netherlands) Position paper

This paper distinguishes between three cloud environments from which services can be acquired:

1. The public cloud is the location where generic services can be acquired. These services are not intended specifically for higher education and research, and are provided by suppliers such as Google (Google Apps) and Microsoft (Live@Edu, now Office365).

2. The community cloud provides shared, specific cloud services for higher education and research.

3. A private cloud, an organisation’s data centre is made virtual and/or contracted out within the organisation.

Alongside these three types of cloud there are also three types of services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Benefits of cloud computing

1. Cloud services make it possible to provide high quality ICT services that meet the requirements of students, instructors, researchers, and other staff. Institutions can also keep pace and rapidly adopt new facilities

2. The cloud makes it possible to provide services 'at any time', 'at any place', and 'on any device'

3. Cloud services produce a significant increase in flexibility, accompanied by cost reduction/control

4. Cloud services can make a contribution to reducing energy consumption

SURF strategy is based on the following beliefs:

1. Reduce the burden on the institutions so that they can focus on education and research.

2. Using commodity services from the cloud offers greater functionality for less money.

3. Acting jointly offers advantages in purchasing power, contract management, quality assurance, imposing standards, security/privacy, and knowledge sharing.

4. When no public cloud services are available, it is beneficial to create and work within a community cloud.

5. Institutions would only need to develop private solutions if no suitable public or community cloud services were available or could be developed.

6. Existing private solutions, platforms, and infrastructures will be located as far as possible within a shared platform.

7. The cloud strategy demands a different ICT infrastructure.

8. Students, instructors, or researchers can choose what devices and applications they wish to use.

End users can choose between public cloud providers. A good infrastructure means that it does not matter which they choose.