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UC Berkeley is part of an exciting new initiative that will soon make cloud-based file storage and management available to students, faculty, and staff. The service will be provided as part of a two-year agreement between Internet2 – a consortium of leading U.S. research and educational organizations – and Box.net – a commercial online file sharing and storage service.  A small group of users from multiple research campuses are currently piloting Box.net.   We plan to deploy a pilot on our campus here at Berkeley later in the fall semester, with the goal of providing access more broadly to campus users later in spring of 2012. 

The effort will be undertaken as part of the OE Productivity Suite effort run out of Campus Technology Solutions (CTS) group in IST, with Patrick McGrath taking on the functional ownership of the service of the Box.net project with Yau-man Chan as the CTS technical lead.    In addition to Berkeley, other universities are also participating in similar pilots including Cornell, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Notre Dame, and others.   This project supports several important Productivity Suite goals. First, it is a key component of our goal of providing universally acquired and deployed solutions to all members of the campus community.   Second, it establishes a cloud based campus wide solution that will support integration with current environments including document storage, imaging, and collaboration applications.   Third it will provide safe, secure, and inexpensive storage that allows every member of the community to share files and collaborate on documents with anyone in the world with no additional software needed.    Finally it will eventually help replace current solutions that are reaching end of their lifecycle here, including the AFS deployment. 

The larger program was announced today at Internet2  and is part of a developing a series of high-performance networking services called Net+ . While Berkeley's deployment is slated for next year, we will post a project project web page and FAQ and links to other resources in the coming weeks.  Further questions can be directed to boxinfo@lists.berkeley.edu 

For more information, please see the details from Internet2:

http://www.internet2.edu/services/box.html

http://www.internet2.edu/news/pr/2011.10.04.net-services.html

http://www.internet2.edu/services/NET+FAQ-1011.pdf

Bill Allison