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Over 18 million students and staff to benefit from faster, more secure cloud-computing

Over 18 million students and staff to benefit from faster, more secure cloud-computing

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As part of our on-going commitment to add value to the education community we serve, we are thrilled to be working with Janet to provide additional support and services to their user base.

Janet provides and develops a network infrastructure to support world-class research and education to over 18 million end users and helps academic institutions to better communicate, collaborate and co-operate, globally.

With the Janet network now peered with the our datacentre, both Microsoft and Janet can build on this strong and unique foundation to add additional services that reduce costs and help make the community more competitive.

With the Cloud Services for Education agreement service already helping institutions, such as Goldsmiths, save in excess of £20,000 in legal due diligence, we are excited about the next stage in the evolution of our work with Janet which is focused around Azure.

The press release from Janet below covers these exciting developments in more detail, but in essence, with our joint dedication to the sector, Janet and Microsoft is able to offer improved access to infrastructure and application services such as websites, virtual learning environments and research projects.

A launch event for the strategic agreement, where a formal signing of the agreement will take place, is scheduled for the 21st May at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the full press release from Janet is shown below.

We look forward to sharing additional updates and successes associated with our work with Janet on the blog over the coming weeks and months.

Over 18 million students and staff to benefit from faster, more secure cloud-computing

More than 18 million students, staff and researchers at institutions across the UK could start to benefit from a faster and more secure connection when using their institution’s cloud-based IT services, thanks to a new peering arrangement between Microsoft and Janet, the UK’s research and education network.

This new agreement enables improved access to infrastructure and application services such as websites, virtual learning environments and research projects. Janet has recently become part of the Jisc group, the UK’s champion for digital technology in research and education.

Connecting the networks privately eliminates the need to traverse data over the public internet. This enables a high bandwidth connection for students and staff to use Windows Azure. Bandwidth is managed, ensuring high-speed delivery with no delay or latency.

The move to peer the Microsoft Windows Azure data centre to the Janet network comes as part of a new strategic alliance between the two organisations, being signed at Goldsmiths, University of London on Tuesday 21 May (press welcome to attend by prior arrangement).

Professor Anne Trefethen, Chief Information Officer, University of Oxford: “In the UK, higher education institutions are fortunate to have high speed network services as provided by Janet. The capability afforded by Janet’s peering with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud with high-bandwidth secure connections creates new opportunities for researchers and the University community as a whole.”

Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle University Paul Watson comments: “Cloud computing has the potential to revolutionise research by offering vast compute resources on-demand. At Newcastle University, we already have over £20M of research projects that are supported by the cloud. However, one of the major barriers holding back further cloud adoption is the time it takes to transfer large datasets from the lab to the cloud for analysis. This new link between Janet and the Azure Cloud removes this barrier, and will allow a far greater range of research projects to fully exploit the benefits of cloud computing.”

The alliance agreement also means any UK education institution can benefit from standard terms and conditions on Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity software suite Office 365, negotiated by Janet.

An early beneficiary of this arrangement is Goldsmiths, which is also one of a select group of institutions responsible for initiating work on the alliance. Basem El-Haddadeh, Director of IT Services at Goldsmiths said: “The work on Office 365 will save the sector considerable time and money in legal due diligence and speed up adoption of Office 365. We’re really pleased with the roll-out at Goldsmiths and our staff and students are already enjoying using the new system. I’m looking forward to the benefits the strategic alliance can bring.”

“Through the peering and strategic alliance, we are demonstrating our commitment to UK research and education institutes’ increasing desire to access cloud technologies and we are complementing our world class fibre network with Microsoft’s leading technologies to support the sector,” said Dan Perry, Director of Product and Marketing at Janet.

Steve Beswick, Director of Education, Microsoft Ltd said: “We are delighted to be working with Janet to provide additional value-added products and services to the research and education community. We have a long-standing relationship with this sector and are looking forward to more collaborative working with Janet to grow our offering.”

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