Oslo, September 2012 – NRENs and the fear of the cloud

Fountain, downtown Oslo.

Fountain, downtown Oslo.

The first trip in my new role as cloud technologist of DeIC went to Oslo – for the Nordunet 2012 conference – my second one of the kind. These conferences are primarily a meeting ground for the Nordic NRENs to meet with each other and a few of the other major NRENs like SURFnet, and AARNet and catch up with what the others are up to.

A general theme was the “fear” of the public cloud – as formulated by e.g. Olaf Schjelderup from uninett:

“So, we need to ask: should most services and data then be moved to The Cloud?…and do the users then need the NRENs as we know them?”

His answer – with which I sort of agree:

“NRENs could offer:

- Massive high capacity storage and streaming service
- High availability (HA) due to large 24/7 user community
- Long term storage / archiving
- High Performance – scalability
- Low latency between server and client
- Conformance with national law, regulations, practice, special needs, security policies.”

To me, the crucial point in a Danish context is whether such services should reach users, i.e. researchers, through the university IT departments, through the parallel (loosely organized) HPC-centers, or directly – through web-based self-service.

I stayed at the very nice SAS hotel close to the conference venue – with a view all the way to the dual towers of the city hall.

View on city hall.

View on city hall.

The conference was well organized and included a visit to the city hall, where we got to enjoy the beautiful mural paintings of Henrik Sørensen and others.

Oslo city hall paintings.

Oslo city hall Nobel Peace Prize hall.

The conference gala dinner was in the charming Gamlelogen with very good food and splendid entertainment by a local opera singer.

Conference dinner.

Conference dinner.

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