What is “INFN Cloud”

Since several decades, INFN runs and supports the largest research and academic distributed infrastructure in Italy, with a very large national data center (CNAF) and 9 other sizeable data centers, all interconnected at very high capacity through the GARR network. This infrastructure utilizes Grid or Cloud protocols to serve the needs of several tens of international
collaborations in physics and in many other scientific domains.  

INFN now offers to its users a comprehensive and integrated set of Cloud services through its dedicated INFN Cloud infrastructure. The INFN Cloud portfolio, available via an easy to use web interface, is defined upon clear users’ requirements. It is based on composable, open source solutions and can be easily extended either by the INFN Cloud support team or directly by end users. 

The INFN Cloud infrastructure is based on a core backbone connecting the large data centers of CNAF and Bari, and on several federated sites connecting to the backbone. Services on the INFN Cloud backbone are typically reserved for special purpose tasks (such as multi-site automated data replication), while the other INFN sites part of the INFN Cloud infrastructure can transparently run one or more of its services, thanks to flexible Cloud orchestration policies. Joining a site to the INFN Cloud infrastructure is regulated by its Rules of Participation and must be approved by the INFN Cloud project management board. In case of special arrangements, the INFN Cloud infrastructure can be transparently extended to other public or private Cloud providers to augment its capacity or solutions. 

Access to the INFN Cloud services is currently reserved to INFN personnel or personnel with whom INFN has established formal collaborations, such as research associates. Authentication and authorization for accessing all INFN Cloud services is enforced through the INDIGO-IAM federated solution, fully compliant with European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and industry standards. 

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