The Janet education network has been integrated with the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud network to help improve connectivity and easily offer cut-price Microsoft cloud applications to colleges, including the Office 365 productivity suite.
Janet says the new agreement "enables improved access to infrastructure and application services such as websites, virtual learning environments and research projects". Janet has recently become part of the Jisc group, the UK champion for digital technology in research and education.
The move to peer the Microsoft Windows Azure data centre to the Janet network, said Janet, would mean "bandwidth is managed, ensuring high-speed delivery with no delay or latency".
Professor Anne Trefethen, CIO at the University of Oxford, said: “In the UK higher education institutions are fortunate to have high speed network services as provided by Janet. The capability afforded by Janet’s peering with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud with high-bandwidth secure connections creates new opportunities for researchers and the university community as a whole.”
Paul Watson, professor of computing science at Newcastle University, said: "One of the major barriers holding back further cloud adoption is the time it takes to transfer large datasets from the lab to the cloud for analysis. This new link between Janet and the Azure Cloud removes this barrier, and will allow a far greater range of research projects to fully exploit the benefits of cloud computing.”
The alliance agreement also means any UK education institution can benefit from "standard terms and conditions" on Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity software suite Office 365, negotiated by Janet.
“Through the peering and strategic alliance we are demonstrating our commitment to UK research and education institutes’ increasing desire to access cloud technologies, and we are complementing our world class fibre network with Microsoft’s leading technologies to support the sector,” said Dan Perry, director of marketing at Janet.