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AARNet News - Dark Blue
03 March, 2016

AWS makes it easier for researchers to adopt cloud services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it will waive data egress fees for qualified researchers and academic customers utilising national research and education networks, making it easier for scientists to use its cloud storage, computing, and database services. Data egress fees are the fees associated with “data transfer out from AWS to the Internet.”

The Research Networks GÉANT (Europe) and Jisc (UK) collaborated with AWS to develop this arrangement, which will benefit the global research and education community. Commercial cloud providers offer many services that researchers can use to meet their compute and data requirements but uncertainty about egress charging and the fear of receiving large bills for data downloads has been a barrier to uptake. This new arrangement with AWS removes those barriers.

In its blog post about the announcement, AWS states:

The maximum discount is 15% of total monthly spending on AWS services, which is several times the usage typically seen among research customers. However, there is no cost to upload data into AWS, or move data between Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

The pace of research is no longer limited by the availability of computing resources. Researchers are beginning to rely on cloud computing to drive breakthrough science at breakneck speeds and AWS wants to fuel the pace of new discoveries by making it possible for all scientists to have their very own supercomputers in the cloud.

By reducing data egress fees, AWS will be able to help scientists launch their first computing machine in minutes, analyze data pipelines, and store petabytes of data in the cloud, ultimately accelerating time-to-science.

AWS customers are eligible for waiver of egress charges under this program if they:

  • Work in academic or research institutions.
  • Run any research workloads or academic workloads. However, a few data-egress-as-a-service type applications are not allowed under this program, like web hosting, media streaming, or massively online open courseware (MOOC).
  • Route at least 80% of their Data Egress out of the AWS Cloud through an approved National Research and Education (NREN) network, such as Internet2, ESnet, GÉANT, Janet, SingAREN, SINET, AARNet, and CANARIE. Most research institutions use these government-funded, dedicated networks to connect to AWS, while realizing higher network performance, better bandwidth, and stability.
  • Use institutional e-mail addresses for AWS accounts.
  • Work in an approved AWS Region.

Read more on the AWS blog