German Universities Choose ownCloud to Sync and Share Data among Half a Million Students and Employees
Deal starts one of the largest cloud projects in Germany
ownCloud, Inc., the company behind the world’s most popular open source file sync and share software, and “Sync & Share NRW”, an association of 18 research and applied science universities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, announced they will be bringing private, secure file sync and share to their students and employees during the 2014/2015 winter term with ownCloud Enterprise Edition.
With up to 500,000 users Sync & Share NRW will be one of the largest cloud projects in Germany. It received a grant of 3.1 million Euros from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research after a recommendation by the German Research Foundation, DFG. North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s most populous Federal State and contributes 22% to the country’s gross domestic product. The fourth largest state by area, it is the home of 17.5 million people, 670,000 of them students.
“The aim of this pioneering project for inter-university IT cooperation is the introduction and operation of a cloud storage service for research, teaching and study,” said Raimund Vogl, who – as head of the Centre for Applied Information Technology (ZIV) at Münster University and consortium manager of Sync & Share NRW — is responsible for the implementation and operation of the service. “It offers automatic data synchronization from various devices and collaboration on documents and end users will have 30 gigabytes of free storage.”
According to Vogl, the decisive factors for choosing ownCloud were its open source status, extensibility (the ability to act as a platform so other functions can be added), intuitive usability (especially for end users) and the product’s continuous development.
With more than 1.6 million users worldwide, ownCloud Enterprise Edition offers the ease-of-use, flexibility, sophistication, privacy and security unmatched by consumer-grade apps. ownCloud installs easily on a web server, enabling businesses to host their own file sync and share, integrating into existing user management tools, governance processes, and security, monitoring, and back-up tools. ownCloud can also leverage nearly all on site storage, and can be deployed with cloud storage as well — such as Amazon (S3) and OpenStack (SWIFT) — to create a centrally controlled hybrid deployment model.
“With the increasing popularity and use of commercial cloud services like Dropbox in higher education amid the increasing privacy concerns around the NSA and other disclosures, ownCloud offers a safe alternative with the same ease of use and reliability,” said Vogl. “In this private cloud, sensitive data remains completely in the control of the academic institutions – we run the service in-house, in accordance with German data protection laws.”
“In Germany, privacy is especially valued,” said Markus Rex, CEO and co-founder of ownCloud. “The students, faculty and administration in North Rhine-Westphalia will have the easy access to data they’ve become accustomed to, while at the same time knowing their privacy is being respected.”
About ownCloud Inc.
Based on the popular ownCloud open source file sync and share community project, ownCloud Inc. was founded in 2011 to give corporate IT greater control of their data — combining greater flexibility, openness and extensibility with on premise servers and storage. Company headquarters are in Lexington, MA, with European headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. For more information, visit: http://www.owncloud.com.
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