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3 February 2015
Join the OpenCloudMesh initiative!

GÉANT Association is proud to announce an ambitious project that for the first time links together researchers and universities in Europe, the Americas and Asia via a series of interconnected, secure private clouds. OpenCloudMesh, a joint international initiative under the umbrella of the GÉANT Association, is built on ownCloud’s open server-to-server sharing application programming interface (API). It delivers universal file access through a globally interconnected mesh of research clouds, without sacrificing any of the advantages in privacy, control and security an on-premises cloud provides. Leading research organisations from all over the world have joined the initiative and more participants are welcome.

The ownCloud software provides a common file access layer across an organisation and across globally interconnected organisations, 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. OpenCloudMesh syncs data to desktops or mobile apps, making everything available offline, regardless of the source that is being used.

"We are at an important juncture in cloud-based services," said Peter Szegedi, Project Development Officer at GÉANT Association Amsterdam. "There is no longer a need to choose between strict privacy and security and open collaboration and ease of use. I believe OpenCloudMesh will redefine the way people use the cloud to share their important files in a standardised and trusted manner across all platforms."

Organisations have already joined

OwnCloud's 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. To-date, several organisations have signed up to participate including CERN, SWITCH, SURF, GARR, University of Vienna, Aarnet, the Max Planck Institute, Sciebo (NRW), University of Florida, DESY Research, ETH Zürich, the University of Saskatchewan and Texas A&M.

Frank Karlitschek, CTO and co-founder of ownCloud said, "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. OpenCloudMesh gives each organisation private cloud file sync-and-share, while 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."

OpenCloudMesh is not the first collaboration that GÉANT Association has had with ownCloud. At the end of 2013, GÉANT Association's Amsterdam office (at that time TERENA) secured a discounted price on ownCloud software licenses for its members. These licenses enable institutions to host their own file sync-and-share, giving IT complete control of their data whether using on-premises or cloud storage. It has more than a million users worldwide. ownCloud was also participating in the association's Trusted Cloud Drive pilot project.

More information

For more information please visit the OpenCloudMesh information page, where you can fill in a form to find out more about how to join in this initiative.

Please visit the ownCloud website.