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European Commission to use cloud-based infrastructure to host its systems

Out-Law News | 09 Feb 2016 | 5:18 pm | 1 min. read

The European Commission has awarded contracts to a number of suppliers of cloud-based services ahead of moving some of its systems to the cloud later this year.

BT, IBM, Accenture, Cloud Team Alliance, ATOS and Telecom Italia were awarded the contracts which were divided into three different lots. The Commission said the contracts cover both public and private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud-based services.

The suppliers could share more than €34 million in performing their contracts over a four year period, the Commission said. The Commission is one of 57 institutions that will be able to take up cloud-based services under the terms of the contracts, it said.

"The tender is the first decisive step for the European Commission towards the use of the cloud for its own systems," the Commission said. "The call for tender will allow the deployment of a first set of IT services in the cloud during 2016. A series of use cases are studied and should be deployed in the coming months."

According to the Commission, the private IaaS services it has procured concern "compute and storage facilities" that will be hosted by BT Limited Belgian Branch which will be connected to the Commission's data centres through "a dedicated private network link".

The public IaaS contract it has awarded will see BT Limited Belgian Branch, IBM Belgium, Accenture, Cloud Team Alliance and ATOS deliver "compute and storage facilities … over the public internet", it said.

Telecom Italia, Accenture, ATOS Belgium and IBM Belgium will offer "more than just storage and compute facilities" through the PaaS contracts. The suppliers will also provide "operating systems and/or database services built upon cloud infrastructure" under this lot, the Commission said.

Under the cloud contracts, the suppliers are obliged to ensure that data and infrastructure is located exclusively within EU territory. This is for "essential security and data protection reasons and to be compliant with EU data handling requirements", the Commission said.

"The cloud will enable the Commission to follow the ceaseless pace of today's technological race among infrastructure providers where costs of storage, bandwidth and computing power are decreasing day by day while enabling at the same time innovative solutions for new challenges such as big data," it said.