UK Universities to Get Speedy with Azure Cloud Computing

Microsoft and Janet, UK’s research and education network, signed a partnership deal that will result in secure and faster connection for universities throughout Britain through doubling of network capacity. This will facilitate compute intensive activities such as research in genetics and particle physics. In an interview to ZDNet, Dan Perry, Director of product and marketing at janet said that Azure will deliver better security and services with end to end connectivity for students without accessing public internet. The new and improved link from Azure to Janet will facilitate  transition of data analysis from the cloud since institutions can move datasets quicker.

Current and new research projects are expected to benefit from the speedy and secure cloud computing environment Azure offers. Universities in the network will be able to buy Office 365 from Janet. Students will receive Office 365 Education Plan A versions, according to Microsoft. This version offers 25 GB storage, email through Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint with Skydrive Pro that brings its 7 GB storage facility to the package. Students can also use browser based versions of Word, Excel, One Note and PowerPoint as also Lync for communication in real time. The Office 365 deal will save each institution up to £20,000 and savings for the entire sector will be in the region of £670,000. Azure package will render savings in millions. At present Janet is tied into the GEANT pan-European data network connecting educational institutions of Europe and North America.

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