Our site uses cookies to make it work and to help us give you the best possible user experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more about cookies and how you can disable them, please read our cookies statement. 

Cookie Settings

You can manage your cookie settings by turning cookies on and off.

Click on the different cookie  headings to find out more about the types of cookies we use on this site and to change your settings. Please be aware that if you choose to turn off  cookies, certain areas of our site may not work and your browsing experience may be impacted.

For further information on how we use cookies, please see our cookies statement. 

Strictly Necessary Cookies


These cookies are essential for the technical operation of and proper functioning of our site  and enable you to register and login, to easily move around our site, and to access secure areas. Without these cookies our site won't function properly.  

These cookies are required

Performance Cookies

Performance cookies allow us to collect aggregated and anonymous data on how our site is used, such as the number of visitors to our site, how you navigate around and the time spent on our site and also to identify any errors in functionality. These cookies also help us to improve the way our site works by ensuring that you can find what you’re looking for easily, to better understand what you are interested in and to measure the effectiveness of the content of our site. 

Marketing Cookies

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal information is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from Dimension Data only.

How consumption based cloud can stretch research funding for education institutions


The availability of cloud technologies and consumption-based ITaaS (IT-as-a-Service) allows researchers access to the very best tools at the very lowest cost to budget.

It’s all about access to resources

The purpose of any research project is to establish facts and reach conclusions based on a systematic approach to analysis. Although careful planning provides for input into the budgeting process, research often requires some level of flexibility with regards to resource utilisation.

Consumption-based access to infrastructure provides for this flexibility. Researchers can not only scale their usage of technology platforms upwards, but can also shut down (and stop paying for) resources when the project is complete. This model eliminates the rigidity and redundancy related to the procurement, configuration and maintenance of IT resources for the duration of the project, and their subsequent retirement.

This model also applies to high performance compute (HPC) platforms. The cost of building and maintaining such a platform versus on demand HPC consumption of world class commercial cloud platforms on demand can no longer be justified. In general, capital expenditure on the acquisition of rapidly evolving platform technologies is seen by CFOs to be far less appealing than operational expenditure on consumption-based ITaaS.

The NASA Nebula cloud platform provides for a great example of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) deployed in support of a researcher’s ability to ‘to unilaterally provision, manage, and decommission computing capabilities (virtual machine instances, storage, etc.) on an as-needed basis through a Web interface or a set of command-line tools.

Agile, scalable cloud resources also facilitate the integration of leading edge solutions with devices across the Internet of Things (IoT). This connectivity is often not possible within an environment on-premise and curtailed by a local area network.

Choosing a cloud

The many cloud offerings are easily differentiated based on performance, connectivity and regional compliance as applied to research institutes.

Enterprise scale cloud offerings with highly evolved SLAs focused on availability, performance and data security are easily identified. Where partnerships exist between the local NREN (National Research and Education Network), compliance and connectivity are guaranteed. Here, governance with regards best practice is also implied.

A further differentiator is whether or not a global cloud network has the ability to host locally and support both data sovereignty regulations and the ability for cooperation across collaborative multi-national research projects.

Very few cloud platforms have been able to check all the boxes with regards NREN endorsement, fewer still on a pan-regional scale.

In a nutshell

The ubiquitous, consumption-based nature of cloud levels playing fields – allowing smaller, less adequately resourced institutions the ability to compete for research initiatives and related funding. It is therefore imperative that the institution identifies the right cloud partnership, enabling its researchers to stretch their budget against resource constraint – and succeed!

Previous Article: Clinical mobility: the pebble in a provider's pond Next Article: We've adopted the White Rhino exhibit at Singapore Zoological Gardens

You may be interested in

Crossroad Highways

Hybrid commercial models for hybrid IT

There’s a lot of hype around consumption-based pricing in hybrid IT, but the reality in the enterprise market is mixed – and rightly so. I believe hybrid IT calls for hybrid commercial models.

Read blog
People working around a table

Why new IT skills are the backbone of digital transformation

It’s time for IT to upskill. The technology needed to build a modern and reliable network is relatively easy to implement.

Read blog
People in an office

Bridging the digital transformation skills gap

Today’s programmable networks automate many of the routine network management tasks that engineers once performed manually.

Read blog
Golden Gate bridge

Managing the changing costs of hybrid IT

The muddy waters are getting muddier Most organisations don’t really understand their IT costs.

Read blog