Research and education infrastructures are becoming global and at the same time heterogeneous. Global research groups share data flexibly, and they use a mix of local, institution-specific, national, and international resources to store data and perform scientific computation. Increasingly, storage and compute resources offered by commercial, market-driven actors are part of the mix.
This poses several chalenge for infrastructure proividers. We must ensure that heterogeneous resources can be integrated. We must ensure that access control, group management, and privacy control are available across a diverse set of resources and domain. And we must ensure that networks enable data movement and resource exploitation by anyone, anywhere, any time.
We must also take care to procure commercial resources in a way that allow us to integrate the resources flexibly with other e-infrastructures, for use in the environments of the research and educations community.
Erik-Jan Bos, Josva Kleist, Lars Fischer (all NORDUnet), and David Foster (CERN) have produced an overview of best practice for cloud provider connectivity for the R&E community. The paper recommends specific next steps for procurement of cloud resources for research and education.