IBM, HPE and T-Systems compete for Europe-wide €5.3m hybrid cloud contract

European research groups confirm details of who made it through to next stage of their hybrid cloud procurement process

T-Systems, along with IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), is being sounded out by Cern as a potential supplier of its €5.3m Helix Nebula hybrid cloud platform for the European science community.

Twenty-eight firms from 12 countries are understood to have submitted bids to provide the infrastructure to support the project, following the publication of a pre-commercial procurement tender earlier in 2016.

This list has since been whittled down to four consortia of suppliers that have submitted their design ideas for the project. Of these, three will be asked to build a prototype platform during the next phase of the procurement process.

IBM is going it alone on its design for the project, while T-Systems is partnering with Huawei and several others to create its platform. The company is also involved in Rhea Group’s bid. The fourth and final group features HPE, Advania, Sixsq and Indra.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, Cern is one of 10 European research organisations backing the project, which is geared towards providing scientific researchers from across the continent with on-demand access to big data and high performance computing (HPC) capabilities.

The organisations said they are seeking to combine commercial cloud services with publicly funded infrastructures and participants’ own in-house IT resources to create the Helix Nebula hybrid cloud environment.

T-Systems has confirmed its suggested design will be based on its Openstack-based Open Telekom Cloud service. The offering draws on the communications network of its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, and features networking kit from Huawei.

The offering is already used to provide public cloud services to enterprises, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and public sector organisation across the continent.

Read more about cloud computing in the science community

Bob Jones, leader of the Helix Nebula initiative at Cern, said one thing all of the selected consortia share is their commitment to innovation.

“We are very pleased with the response to the tender and we would like to thank all the organisations that took the effort of submitting a bid. We realised it was a lot of work for those companies and we want to acknowledge it,” he said.

Read more on IT for government and public sector

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