15 April 2016 | Cambridge, UK
GÉANT, Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure for research and education, has signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft to act as network connectivity provider for Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoutes service. This will connect Microsoft’s cloud services directly to Europe’s vital research and education community, and represents further growth in the portfolio of above-the-net services offered by GÉANT and its National Research and Education Network (NREN) partners to over 50 million users at 10,000 institutions.
Microsoft Azure ExpressRoutes enables institutions to extend their on-premises network into the Microsoft cloud (Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online) over a dedicated private connection. The partnership agreement was established as part of the GÉANT (GN4-1) Project’s cloud activity, led by Andres Steijaert of Dutch NREN SURFnet, who explains further: “This agreement means that for high quality and secure network connections into the Microsoft cloud, European research and education institutions do not need to deal with third parties, but can go direct to the organisations that already provide them with their network connectivity – GÉANT and its NREN partners – thereby reducing connectivity costs and increasing cloud adoption.”
GÉANT CEO Steve Cotter expands, “Through this partnership with Microsoft, GÉANT is providing the high speed connectivity and federated access to 'above-the-net’ services that create a cross-border and multi-disciplinary open environment for research, knowledge sharing and innovation that will drive scientific advances and a stronger European economy. Today’s announcement demonstrates the continued commitment of GÉANT and our NREN partners to deliver innovative cloud-based services to research and education institutions and their users.”
Anthony Salcito, Microsoft Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector – Education: “We welcome GÉANT as an ExpressRoute partner. National Research and Education Networks across Europe can provide education and research facilities with private network access to Microsoft cloud services including Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online while using their existing network carriers. This is an important milestone in our relationship with GÉANT and we look forward to working together to bring hyper scale public cloud services to our shared customers.”
GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related e-infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness. The organisation develops, delivers and promotes advanced network and associated e-infrastructure services, and supports innovation and knowledge-sharing amongst its members, partners and the wider research and education networking community.