SURF Cloud Strategy

The 2015-2018 SURF Cloud Strategy heralds the start of a new phase in cloud use: instead of first looking to the public cloud for solutions, SURF now supports institutions in the use of services in the public cloud, the SURF community cloud or a combination of both (mix & match services).

Old strategy: ‘cloud first, unless’

Our previous cloud strategy was based on the ‘cloud first, unless’ principle: procure services from the public cloud, unless they are not available. Under this strategy, institutions join forces to form a community cloud. This safe and reliable cloud environment for the education and research community was designed to offer cloud services tailored specifically for the sector. Only where no suitable options were available would institutions turn to private solutions.

New strategy: ‘mix & match’

Our new cloud strategy supports institutions in the use of services in the public cloud, the SURF community cloud or a combination of both (mix & match services). The appropriate choice will depend on the institution's needs, for which SURF prepares criteria in consultation with the institutions. We can then request that commercial suppliers integrate their services into the SURF community cloud under our supervision. However, institutions can also make their own solutions available through the community cloud.

Cooperating with early adopters

Another new feature is that we now develop each specific functionality in collaboration with a group of participating institutions (early adopters). We then share the results with all SURF-affiliated institutions, who gain inspiration and new impulses from the new cloud strategy. Good cases in point are the community cloud services SURFdrive and SURFcumulus.

Legal Framework for Cloud Services

The decision to adjust our cloud strategy was taken in part because the purchased cloud services failed to meet expectations. Amongst other things, public cloud service providers are often still unable to adequately guarantee privacy and information security. While we expect it will be several years before market parties fully conform to the Legal Framework for Cloud Services, institutions are increasingly aware of the risks involved. Institutions also expect SURF to play a more intensive role than was previously the case.

Central online overview of cloud services

Our cloud strategy will remain focused on developing resources that allow institutions to make a controlled and gradual transition to the cloud. We aim to ensure that institutions purchase a large portion of their cloud services from or through SURF by the year 2018. To this end, we will be offering an appealing and comprehensive range of cloud services through an central online webspot. We will consult with institutions to ensure that functionalities, quality standards and terms of delivery meet their requirements. We will advise institutions and users on the most suitable products from our range and offer assistance with contracts, management, security, privacy, sustainability, support and contract management.

Read the SURF Cloud Strategy (pdf)

Latest modifications 09 Aug 2016