NORDUnet, which hosts many of the services offered to members of the Research Network through DeiC, has made a conscious choice.
It is about wanting to host the services offered for Research Networks in the Nordic region.
"This means that we have full control over all parts of the infrastructure between the user and his data - with the shortest possible connection via the Research Network, which is also very difficult to eavesdrop on," says Martin Bech, head of The Research Networks and services.
The benefits of this are that users is kept in a safe environment where areas such as espionage, surveillance or compliance with GDPR regulations are kept on a short leash. NORDUnet has, for example, written a number of GDPR templates that can be easily adapted to the individual user's needs.
The private cloud
By using the Research Network, the distance from A to B becomes fast and short, because the traffic is transported on dedicated lines with no other traffic than that from the members.
This is one of the reasons why the services are kept in an internal universe. But also the challenges of others listening, prices and the requirements for handling personal data are of great importance.
The task is solved by NORDUnet who is purchasing the software for a service and installing it in a private cloud located on the Research Network.
"A user of, for example, the media service Kaltura does not come outside DeiC's network at all when the service is used, because it is hosted in a private cloud and assigned via the Research Network," says Martin Bech.
Part of the payment for cloud services is expenses for traffic, storage, networking and support. The institutions on the Research Network have already paid for much of this, which means that it is possible to obtain reasonable prices for the products that can be delivered at cost price to Research Networks in the Nordic region.
Predictions and black magic
Running the services is not without challenges. Among other things, they require that the network is dimensioned correctly in relation to the number of users.
The communication between the provider and the users of the services is therefore important. If a user suddenly uses five times as much capacity as agreed, then a problem arises.
Therefore, we must ensure good contact with the users, good planning in relation to future consumption spiced with a bit of black magic to predict the future, to provide the best user experience with the individual services.