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IaaS mega-framework tender raises hopes of Europe-wide G-cloud launch

Géant publishes contract notice seeking providers for IaaS frameworks, which will serve 50 million across Europe

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Géant’s plans to create a series of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) frameworks for the European education community could lead to the creation of a procurement portal for public sector organisations – similar to G-Cloud – across the continent, it is claimed.

The pan-European research and education network has published a contract notice, setting out its intention to make IaaS more readily accessible to the 50 million users in the 10,000 education institutions that rely on Géant’s 500Gbps network.

This appears to supersede an earlier Prior Information Notice the organisation published back in May 2015 about its plans.

In the latest document, Géant said it plans to award a “number of frameworks agreements” geared towards the delivery of IaaS to European education and research organisations.

The exact number of frameworks and lots within them is still to be decided, the notice confirmed, but the organisation said the contract term should be in the range of 36 months and kick off in March 2016.

“By aggregating demand across the community [of users] and negotiating integrated brokerage and service delivery, the community will be able to get the best possible value from cloud services,” the contract notice states.

“[It will] make it easier for cloud service providers to reach and deliver their IaaS solutions to the community efficiently and at large.”

Speaking to Computer Weekly, former G-Cloud lead Mark Craddock described Géant’s plans as “hugely exciting”, before going on to discuss how the organisation could expand on its initial objectives even further down the line.

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“There is huge potential for a marketplace across Europe for delivery of IaaS to the public sector, and they’ve already stated this is for 50 million users and 10,000 organisations,” he said.

“I don’t see why they can’t extend it beyond that and then you’d have a true G-Cloud for Europe and it could be massive. It could be huge.

“The notice talks about multiple frameworks, so we could see one for software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, as well as infrastructure-as-a-service, in time,” Craddock added.

For UK-based, public sector-focused IaaS providers, the opportunity for them to cash-in on this is quite small, he admitted, as very few currently offer multi-language support or services.

Instead, Craddock predicts some of the larger systems integrators and IaaS providers – which already have a large European presence – could do well out of what Géant is proposing to do.

“They need to set up a marketplace with local providers who offer support in local languages, and build a European catalogue of IaaS providers who can meet local needs,” he said.

In the meantime, HP has embarked on a similar move to make it easier for European organisations from both the public and private sector to access off-premise services through the roll-out of its Cloud 28+ initiative. 

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