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May 22, 2014

Open source cloud hosting environment built in Swiss data centre

Major R&D centre develops cloud hosting framework

By Ben Sullivan

A research lab at Zurich’s University of Applied Science has helped a data centre provider to create a new open source cloud hosting environment for its European research and development program.

Equinix, whose ZH4 data centre in Zurich offers connectivity to the Swiss stock exchange and Switzerland’s two largest Internet exchanges, is pushing forward with the EU Future of the Internet program (FI-PPP) by collaborating with the university to create the open source platform.

The university research came from ICCLab, a research lab within the Institute of Applied Information Technology (InIT), which is a department of Zurich University of Applied Science (ZHAW).

The new ICCLab cloud environment has been designed for FI-WARE, the technology foundation phase of the of the European Commission’s €600 million FI-PPP. This is the first joint project for the initiative, which is aiming to accelerate the development and adoption of future internet technologies in Europe for smarter infrastructures and to increase the effectiveness of European business processes.

Thomas Bohnert, head of the ICCLab, said: "Equinix allows the ICCLab to operate in an advanced, network-rich infrastructure environment designed for high-performance cloud applications with access to leading cloud providers and enterprises for testing applications and forming subsequent partnerships."

The FI-WARE platform claims to be open, scalable, standardised and secure, and could enable future applications by providing service-driven IaaS and PaaS functionalities and extending the reach of cloud infrastructure to the edge of the networks, much closer to end users. Equinix said that it will be the cornerstone for large scale pan-European trials of future Internet technologies for business and governments in the areas of eHealth, logistics, energy, mobility and smart cities.

Sam Johnston, director of Cloud & IT Services at Equinix, said: "The fact that Equinix is providing the venue for a critical part of the ICCLab FI-WARE cloud hosting environment is testament to our ongoing commitment to furthering the development and standardization of cloud services, fostering commercial cloud applications and promoting the broadest possible adoption of innovative IT services across Europe."

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Equinix is a global data centre provider, with data centres in 32 markets across 15 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific

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