Former BonFIRE project to offer free European cloud testing environment throughout 2014

The BonFIRE project’s EU funding may have run out at the end of last year, but the scheme will keep on burning as the BonFIRE Foundation throughout 2014, offering developers a free testing environment for a range of cloud scenarios.

Researchers and SMEs will be free to use the multi-site cloud infrastructure to test out their cloud-based apps and services.

The money to extend the project will come not from the EU any more, but from core partners instead. Demand for BonFIRE’s free usage (“Open Access”) facility has been very high, apparently, with over 30 major experiments having been carried out to date.

BonFIRE puts an emphasis on helping developers and researchers to trial a variety of cloud-based scenarios – such as, for example hybrid clouds – using real-world tests over five European sites.

To give a more specific use case, one user employed the system to test out the provision of secure home monitoring services which had to cope with large amounts of video and other data.

Vegard Engen, leader of the Open Access initiative, commented: “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. The experiments are really diverse, with developers exploiting clouds for applications in health, e-learning, multimedia, smart cities, as well as advancing core cloud/services technologies.”

Ultimately, BonFIRE is designed to cut the cost of developing applications, and to help deliver services to market more swiftly.

Josep Martrat, BonFIRE’s project director, said: “The lack of commercial cloud testing services used to limit the development of competitive applications. With BonFIRE that issue went away. As BonFIRE was designed and built by service providers for service providers, it provides just the environment testers and experimenters need without compromise and without loss of control and accountability.