EU cloud testing environment saved after funding runs out

Cloud SaaS

by Joe Curtis| 06 February 2014

Bonfire Foundation will offer free access to SMBs and researchers until 2015.

An €8.5m cloud testing environment is set to remain free and open after core members stepped in after EU funding ended.

Bonfire will keep running until at least 2015 after the EU project proved a popular way of developing applications faster and cheaper with companies such as SAP, Atos and Juniper Networks.

While the cash needed to cover the running costs this year has not yet been revealed, researchers and SMBs will be offered free access, in a continuation of the EU's policy.

The three-and-a-half-year-old project has been redubbed the Bonfire Foundation, and CBR was told the list of companies covering the running costs was "fluid", but included SAP and Atos.

Others include universities such as Southhampton, which takes advantage of Bonfire's Open Access initiative for researchers and developers.

The University's IT Innovation Centre head, Vegard Engen, led the initiative, and said: "The response to Open Access has been brilliant. We've received applications from all over the world including companies, research centres and universities wanting to benefit from our offer."

Experiments can range from cloud health application development to e-learning, smart cities as well as the development of core cloud services, he added.

Josep Martrat, Atos employee and director of the Bonfire project, said the facility is solving the issue of a lack of commercial cloud testing services.

"With Bonfire that issue went away," he said. "As Bonfire was designed and built by service providers for service providers, it provides just [for] the environment testers' and experimenters' need, without compromise and without loss of control and accountability."

Before EU funding ran out in December 2013, Bonfire had seen more than 30 major projects completed, with repeat users coming back to fund more experiments themselves.

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